IT’S a Friday night. You’re dressed up to the nines. You want loud music, strong drinks, glitz, glamour and excitement. And the first bar you go to is...completely empty?
Such was the case with Reform Bar. From the same people behind popular Leeds bars The Verve and The Call Lane Social, I had high hopes for this place. Still going strong after nearly seven years, Reform Bar is known for being individual and quirky; a cool haven for those who would rather settle into cosy sofas with a cocktail than dance till dawn surrounded by teenybopper ravers.
So why did I find it completely without customers at 11pm on a weekend? The bar staff, who, incidentally, were a total joy, letting us pick the music we wanted and test out a variety of drinks, were quick to tell us it’s the place to end a night, not to begin one.
Not only were the drinks fantastic, but they rarely cost over a fiver, a brilliant price for a good quality cocktail. Their already top-notch menu is currently being re-modelled, and will soon display an even wider variety of drinks.
After the night at their sister bar, and next-door-neighbour The Verve draws to a close, Reform comes to life. They must be one of the only bars in Leeds that stay open until 6am on the last Saturday of every month, meaning that the night owls have somewhere to rest their weary feet and enjoy a cooling beverage.
The bar itself is gorgeous, with an understated retro feel – it managed to feel both spacious and intimately cosy (no mean feat when there’s only four people in the place...). The dark maroon walls and black leather interior is stylish and chic, making anyone who drinks there feeling that tiny bit more glamorous.
And what a choice of drinks there is. Not only do they offer a wide selection of continental beers and wines, but the bartenders are more than cocktail-savvy. Almost everything you can think of appears on their menu, from the classic Cosmopolitan to exciting new takes on the always dangerous martini. Not only were the drinks fantastic, but they rarely cost over a fiver, a brilliant price for a good quality cocktail. Our barman even told me that their already top-notch menu is currently being re-modelled, and will soon display an even wider variety of drinks.
Reform’s website proudly announces it is an ‘unpretentious bar’, something I would definitely agree with. It may not be the place to go for a wild hen night – not a tacky cocktail umbrella or beer-and-a-burger meal deal in sight – but for young professionals or students who’ve grown tired of the clubbing scene, I couldn’t think of a nicer place to escape to after work. They don’t offer food, only bar snacks, but this is most definitely not a dinner joint.
Just tucked out of the way of the centre of town, Reform Bar offers its customers great drinks at a reasonable price. The eclectic music and achingly hip, but nevertheless lovely bar staff alone make it worth a visit, and it more than deserves its loyal clientele, wherever they may be hiding...
Leeds LS1 6PQ
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