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Grove Inn, The
Taps: - / Bottles: -
Cask: / Beer-to-Go: N
[ Bar ]
, LS11 5PL
United Kingdom (England)
phone: +44 (0)113 243 9254
vibe: 4.5 | quality: 4 | service: 4 | selection: 4
Its been nearly two decades since I lived in Leeds for 3 years as an Undergraduate, studying for my Engineering Degree. The City of Leeds has undergone a massive regeneration since the late 80s, which has seen it dragged kicking & screaming from the dark old days of a traffic congested nightmare, and ultimately transformed into a modern bustling cosmopolitan Euro City easily accessible on foot thanks to many precincts. Amongst the seemingly endless Office developments to cater for the massive influx of financial institutions, there has been an equal explosion of trendy Shops, Cafés & Bars. But of course, all this progress comes at a price, usually with the loss of traditional Pubs. Indeed, many of the Basic Boozers I frequented have long gone. So during a recent visit, it was a pleasant surprise to find that amidst all the skyward development, the Grove Inn has survived, but only just it seems.
Only 5 minutes walk from the Main Railway Station, The Grove Inn dates from the mid 1800s. It seems that the Grove Inn was originally 3 adjacent buildings at one time. Now a morphed single entity, the whole exterior is painted in a traditional two tone color scheme; pastel orange for the ground floor and cream for the upper floor; the fresh lick of paint, etched windows and original fittings give the Grove a superb Ale House appearance. It is evident though that the original owners are no longer the present ones, for the lovely band of special molded tiles which separate the upper and lower floors, that proudly state John Smiths Magnet Ales and Stouts in relief lettering, are now painted over in matt black. The present owners, Enterprise Inns, have painted the words Grove Inn in gold though.
Whilst the exterior may have altered somewhat, the interior layout most certainly has not. Inside is a classically typical Yorkshire Corridor Pub. In total, there are four rooms set off the long Yorkshire corridor that runs the length of the Pub. Immediately as you enter, the basic Tap Room is to your left, stark with its untreated bare wooden floor, Dart Board and smattering of stools that dont match. Dogs are welcome in the Grove [as long as their owners are behaved at least] and they can often be found slouched asleep in the Tap Room. The Bar is further down the left hand side, set against the exterior wall, but access to the Bar is gained from both the Tap Room and also the Corridor. To your right, two smaller rooms, one after the other, are decorated to a higher standard, one of which has a Real Fire and traditional fitted Bench Seating. These rooms are a quiet retreat from the noisier (and often smoky) Tap Room. Further down the Corridor the toilets can be found, still with their old ceramic fittings, as well as a large Music-cum-Concert Room. This latter room is often busy; a rare treat these days, for the Grove holds regular Live Music events for local Bands. When not in official Gig use, it usually plays host to the Grove Folk Club, which has been meeting here for some 40+ years.
Heavy on Real Ales, the permanent offerings include Adnams Broadside, Wells Bombardier and Caledonian Deuchars IPA, all in great form, especially the latter. A chalkboard to your right as you enter lists the ever changing Guest Beer offerings; during my visit they had Banks's Bitter, Caledonian 80/-, Exmoor Hound Dog and Grainstore Ten-Fifty. The Grove always has a British Mild too, often it is Batemans, but on my visit it was Theakstons Mild. In addition to the Real Ale, there is always a Real Cider on sale too. Prices are competitive and the Yorkshire service is always with a smile. Does Lunchtime Meals except for Saturdays, though I never tried any food whilst here, the meals are widely popular and good value too.
The Grove is a real down to Earth Yorkshire Pub which welcomes an eclectic crowd from City Gents, Local Workers, Music Lovers and Craft Beer hunters alike, it is simply a superb place to mingle and enjoy a quality Pint of Real Ale no matter who you are.
A demure vertically challenged old Yorkshireman that thankfully still survives and stands proud amongst the all encompassing and surrounding youngster modern day Office blocks.
Leeds CAMRA Pub of the Year on several occasions, most recently in 2002 and 2003. If you want to know what a Traditional Yorkshire Corridor Pub and Back Street Ale House is like, look no further than the Grove Inn, for there are not that many left.
Last Visit: Tuesday 29th March, 2005.
04-08-2005 04:34:21 |
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