Nation of Shopkeepers
Time Out says
Achingly hip venue with an interior of exposed pipes and a playlist of synthpop. Catch an indie gig or stop by for an American feast washed down with local ale.
Those in the know will eschew the surrounding chain pubs in favour of the invitingly worn leather sofas of Nation of Shopkeepers. Frequented by the bearded, tattooed, fixie-riding denizens of Leeds, the large, open-plan and undeniably trendy bar offers a place to hang out, take a first date or watch an up-and-coming indie act break in their stage routine.
The walls and windows are decked out in urban art that gets updated every season, while the bar is a mix of grey concrete and steel, with fairy lights and chintzy ornaments, giving the place a jazzy warehouse vibe. Mirrored tiles and copper piping in the loos make you want to powder your nose for that little bit longer, and there’s a constant pump of synthpop being played all day, before things get noisy with a club night or gig.
The diverse range of drinks on offer may not be exactly unfriendly to the pocket, but are certainly priced above your average grotty student boozer; for all its hipster ephemera, Nation is far from an adolescent haunt. Alongside the usual spirits and bottled beers, regular visitors will find an ever-changing selection of local ales on draught, as well as fruity European bottles in the fridge
The upmarket American diner trend may have been countlessly and predictably replicated, but Nation still manages to pull it off convincingly, with meals served in little plastic baskets, cutlery plonked on the table for you to arrange yourself, and a mouth-watering array of filthy food. The reasonably priced, creative menu includes burgers, chips, and even a fish finger sandwich to conquer those carb cravings during an afternoon’s drinking or shopping session. It’s true, those on a diet may be hard-pressed to find anything low-calorie on the menu, as the kitchen sends out macaroni cheese, fried chicken, and the intriguing fried egg and peanut butter burger. Ready for dessert? Prepare to gorge yourself silly on the heart-stopping The Threesome – cookies and ice cream, a salted caramel chocolate tart and a chocolate brownie. You’ll order it to share, but you won’t really want to.
29 Cookridge Street
|Opening hours:||Sun-Thu noon-late; Fri-Sat noon-3am (food till 10pm daily)|