The folk behind Wapentake have opened a new bar and it’s just as awesome as you’d expect…
Have you heard? Milo is no more. It’s the end of an era, but fear not, because its replacement is going to blow your socks off. Slocken comes from the Yorkshire-loving folk behind Leeds favourite, Wapentake, but they’ve created a very different experience here. It’s less bakery, more lively bar, with a menu of local beers and unusual pizzas.
The venue itself is much like it was before, all concrete, metal and exposed brickwork, but they’ve made it their own with Yorkshire prints, comfy couches and hipster-esque benches. The result is a much more welcoming venue and one that works day or night. They’re opening for lunch at midday, so you can head over for a cup of coffee and a pizza, or maybe even settle down for an afternoon of work in a unique setting.
“It’s a place for all to come and chill out during the day or have a knees up in the night,” Founder Emily Youell told us. “We have hot drinks, pizza, local ales and gins to keep you all happy, everything we use is as locally sourced as possible. There are pool tables, a foosball table and a dart board upstairs to play about on.”
The middle floor will be open all day, so there’s loads of space here, but in the evenings, it will transform into a gig space, with a line-up of live music. They’re not giving much away about what they have planned at this point, but they did tell us not to pack away our dancing shoes, so it’s going to be lively.
Slocken is still just as obsessed with God’s Own Country as Wapentake, and once again, the name takes its cue from an old Yorkshire word. It’s adapted from Old Norse and translates as ‘to quench thirst or drink greedily’ – and that we will. They’ve got four cask lines that will be loaded up with Yorkshire’s finest and 10 keg pulls – expect a mix of lager, cider and weiss beer, with permanent lines from Kirkstall, North Brewing Co, Northern Monk and Magic Rock. Love a good Belgian sour? They’ll have Rodenbach Grand Cru on tap too.
It’s not just beer though. You can work your way through their collection of Yorkshire gins or try one of their cocktails – how would you like to try Parkin in liquid form? And that’s not the only original tipple on the menu – they have a range of cocktails inspired by local sweet companies, including Lion’s Midget Gems, Rowntree’s Fruit Pastilles and Terry’s Chocolate Orange. These bad boys will be 2 for £10, so you’re in for a real treat.
And if you’re not drinking, they’ll be bringing their barista quality coffee over from Wapentake, with a full range of refillable soft drinks. “We have Dandelion & Burdock on our postmix gun (you get free refills too). If you grew up in Yorkshire, it’ll take you back to Fish & Chip Fridays, so you can still have fun even if you’re driving,” Youell told us.
Alongside the drinks, they’ve put together a menu of pizzas and salads – but don’t expect the usual fare. They’ve brought the most popular dishes over from Wapentake, but here they’re served atop of pizza. They’re all a little bit unusual, but it’s the Sunday Dinner that has us the most intrigued. This oh-so British take on pizza is topped with slow-cooked beef and gammon gravy, before they load on broccoli, cauliflower, Wensleydale and a Yorkshire pudding with carrot and parsnip puree. It has to be seen to be believed.
But that’s not the only dish that will raise eyebrows. Ever tried curry on your pizza? You can with That ‘Ot ‘Un – they’ve used their dark curry sauce as a base and topped it with bhajis, marinated lamb, roast cheese, fresh chillies, coriander & mint relish and mango puree. Alternatively, you can try one of their most popular sarnies in pizza form – the BBC is a combination of brie, bacon and cranberry sauce, brought to life with red onion jam and their house dressing.
“We’ve kept it simple with 6 different styles of pizza and every style has its own veggie counterpart. We understand that there’s a massive demand for vegetarian and vegan food in Leeds, so we wanted to be able to offer a full menu for everyone. We’re also working on perfecting our gluten-free pizzas for the same reason. Nobody should feel like they don’t have a fair choice of food on the menu.”
Now, we almost don’t want to tell you this, because we’re headed down there ourselves and we don’t want you bagging all the tables, but you can get a 7-inch pizza or the equivalent salad bowl, with a drink for just £7 at lunch. That gets you any pizza from the menu with a refillable soft drink, a pint of house lager, ale or cider, or a glass of 125ml Shiraz or Chenin Blanc. Get in.
The takeaway here is this – if you love Wapentake, and we certainly do, you’re probably going to love Slocken just as much. So get yourself down there and check it out – let us know which pizza you go for!
Slocken, 10-12 Call Lane, Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS1 6DN.