The doors were closed, of course, but I missed what it represented – the warmth, the community, the music and the gentle hum of pints in a room full of real people.
Of course, the Brude – as it is affectionately known – is one of the best concert halls in the city, if not the country. A crown jewel of the UK music scene.
But it is also a top quality alcohol.
The best pubs and bars are the ones that bring together people from different walks of life.
Given its location, students are obviously well represented, but the wide variety of concerts on offer bring together a wide range of people, and there is still room for the elders who have seemed to drink here for decades.
Longtime licensee Nathan Clarke, who lives above the site, said the Brude is “first and foremost” a community center – and you can feel that vibe everywhere (the most recent addition – the room community – expanding its footprint even wider).
Part of its charm is how it still looks like a men’s working club – small bar stools, an old Leeds map on the wall, and some cheesy Christmas decorations.
The choice of beers is excellent, there is something for everyone: Tuborg, San Miguel and Carlsberg for lovers of lager; Somerset Cider and Magners for the cider heads; Jasper from Kirkstall Brewery and Tony from Three Swords and Anthology Brewing Company for those who prefer a hand-drawn pint. In addition, there is a long list of cans and bottles on offer.
As I empty my pint of Three Swords, the sound of 2000s indie Los Campesinos! drift in the bar. Their set draws to a close as they explode their biggest hit “You!” Me! Dancing ‘in all its bubblegum-guitar riff burst.
The moment is tinged with sadness, however – hours earlier, a government press conference warned us to only socialize “if it really matters.” The Omicron tidal wave is upon us. Another Christmas accompanied by a feeling of imminent dread.
I just hope I don’t plan nostalgic walks past a shuttered Brude in the New Year – because places like this really matter.
Address: 33 Queen’s Road, Burley, LS6 1NY
Opening hours: Sunday to Thursday, 12 p.m. to 11 p.m. Friday and Saturday, noon – midnight
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