Once Leeds’ best-kept secret, modern speakeasy Smokestack is now firmly established as the go-to spot for cocktail aficionados and funk and soul enthusiasts.
Served up in vintage glassware, spirits and cocktails have not only been blind-tasted to offer up the best flavours, but are also ethically sourced (surely a very considerate plot to save your conscience for late-night antics). Talent is key at Smokestack, where bartenders demonstrate true showmanship – theatrically producing twists on the classics-based menu. Watch them set light to the passionfruit garnish of a show-stopping Hurricane or whip up an American-style Sazerac for those who savour a more bitter taste. Cleverly a weekend menu caters for busier bar times, so you’re never waiting too long for your serve.
Weekdays host a fun and laid-back crowd but come the weekend the bar’s two floors are taken over by resident DJs Chico Malo and Daley Smith for what is locally recognised as the city’s best funk and soul club night.
Best Bars tip: Break up your week with Smokestack’s Wednesday live music offerings. There’s free entry and the 300-year-old building provides ideal setting for amazing acoustics.
— Mieke-Kyra Smith, @mieke_chu