Deep South-inspired dishes, imaginatively named cocktails and gigs that range from funk to burlesque ensure The Wardrobe’s popularity.
This St Peters Square pub has enjoyed enduring popularity in a rather challenging location, thanks to solid word-of-mouth reviews of its menu, a packed calendar of gigs, and excellent cocktails whipped up by friendly staff. Challenged by the popular Aagrah restaurant, as well as the West Yorkshire Playhouse and College of Music’s own bars, The Wardrobe seems to survive by working in synchronicity with its competitors; hosting the conservatoire’s end of term performances, offering a pre-theatre menu and championing its considerable gig space.
The upstairs bar has a trendy, unbuttoned vibe, hosting live funk acts on Saturdays, while monthly burlesque show The Wet Spot and a number of larger gigs held downstairs mean the venue is regularly packed. A 2014 change of management saw the menu streamlined by the Soul Kitchen, and dishes inspired by the Deep South, Creole and Caribbean cuisine were introduced.
The grill now forms the backbone of the menu with cuts of meat (at around £15) customised with rubs and glazes, and complemented by starchy sides. The sweet potato mac ’n’ cheese is as rich and crispy as the menu claims, and it would be hard to find a burger you didn’t like among the vast range of meat and veggie patties on offer.
The bar sells a pleasing selection of bottled and draught beers, and cask ales. The wine menu is small but well-chosen, and there’s a cocktail list full of classics to work your way through. Although the zingy, woozy house mojito can’t be faulted, it’s worth trying out drinks from the list of imaginatively named whisky and rum concoctions – Mermaid’s Hair Clip, anyone?
If you work nearby, The Wardrobe is a convenient lunch option, but it’s best experienced in the evening for pre-theatre drinks or dinner that won’t break the bank.
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6 St Peters Square
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