Kate Ryrie enjoys being anti-socially social
THOUGH it conjures up thoughts of the last time you had to trek four miles along the canal to pick up a missed Amazon delivery, this new bar by veteran indie venue Lazy Lounge is not the spot to retrieve wayward post, but somewhere to kick-back on a squashy sofa with a triple fruited gose and wait your turn for a crack on the pinball machine.
The Postal Service is the second venue from the Leeds’ veteran venue - the classic wine/gin/whisky joint down on Wellington Street. It’s got the Chesterfields, the vintage vibes and the steady stream of after-work drinkers to make the most of the whole lot.
But last year, the people behind Lazy Lounge fancied a challenge and a change. They wanted to build a whole new venue in the space next door. Somewhere that would bring a fresh energy to the drinking experience – where craft beer, ice cream, video games and whisky would come together to give the old Royal Mail sorting office a new lease of life.
For now, they certainly appear to have managed the tricky feat of making craft beer seem interesting again. The bar itself has a quirky American charm – but don’t let that put you off, it seems unintentional, like it just happened and they rolled with it.
The main space is long tables, wooden chairs and stools, squashy sofas and plenty of greenery, overlooked by a stylish corner bar, where you can take your pick of thirty-seven drinks. Some ice cold, some not.
As well as the standard crew of local beers – Magic Rock, North Brewing, Northern Monk, you know the drill – there are also some decent Belgian options, as well as the likes of Founders and Goose Island (£4.30 per can) to complement that accidental American vibe.
Head into the back room to discover a cosy, wooden-floored ‘Postmaster General’s Office’, where the term ‘office’ applies fairly loosely. There are more of those squashy sofas, a surreptitious pinball machine, and a line of games consoles along the wall. Yes, that’s right, you can get a beer, get comfortable and lose yourself in Mario Kart for the whole night – no socialising required. Everybody wins.
A further exploration of the bar reveals a selection of shandies – not your standard wishy washy variety though, these heavy hitters come laced with the likes of Kokoro gin, Theakston Peculiar pale ale and Diplomático rum. Boilermakers are another speciality – try the Penny Black (£6.50) for a serious hit, as Northern Monk mocha porter meets Licor 43.
On top of all that, the Postal Service also has Northern Bloc ice cream and Joe & Seph’s popcorn on offer, (great for when you emerge starry-eyed from your Mario marathon) as well as a range of fridge beers to take away and drink at your leisure. These guys are even on Deliveroo – but personally, I’d say it’s well worth a trip to see it for yourself.
The Postal Service, Westpoint, Wellington St, Leeds LS1 4JY. Tel: 0113 430 0232
All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, paid for by Confidential and completely independent of any commercial relationship. Venues are rated against the best examples of their type: 1-5: drink a bevvy in the shed instead, 6-9: Netflix and chill, 10-11: if you're passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: God's own bar.
Drinks and snacks
Penny Black boilermaker 8, sparkling wine 7, Magic Rock Cannonball 9, Northern Bloc Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream 8
Friendly and knowledgeable.
Chilled, cosy and fun. Doesn’t take itself too seriously.