Food News

Slate Pool Bar: Is new Leeds venture a hit or a miss?

Slate is a new pool bar opened by the folks behind Roxy Ballroom (which is a great venue in town for a work night out or a gathering with friends).

We popped along last Thursday evening to see what all the fuss is about over this new pool bar, situated where The Lounge used to be on up and coming Merrion Street.

On first impressions, Slate is a stripped back, attractive bar that offers outside seating, four pool tables, food based around sandwiches and pizzas, and a fairly ‘cool’ vibe.

Dig a little deeper, though, and it’s clear that what we hope are just teething problems rather than long-term issues are holding back this pool bar from being an instant Leeds hit.

The pool tables are great and hiring them in advance is pretty straightforward. Splitting the cost of doing so between a big group of us led to a pretty reasonable cost per person for two hours, which was great. However, being asked to pre-pay the whole lot and then being presented by a bill for said amount at the end of the night left a bitter taste. This was clearly a mistake but one that, in combination with other less than perfect aspects, grated.

Perhaps the worst aspect of our visit to Slate was the service. One of the bartenders was just downright rude on several occasions and to several different members of our party. Overhearing bitching between staff members isn’t what you want when you’re trying to be served at the bar.

The drinks themselves were quite nice and nothing was wrong there. Everything seemed reasonably priced and there was a good selection to choose from.

The food, however, was also hit and miss. I had a pepperoni pizza and chips and really enjoyed it, especially the cracked black pepper chips with mayo. Someone else ordered a vegetarian pizza, though, which was largely focused on a pile of mushrooms on top of some tomato and cheese. It tasted and smelt like a slab of vigorously flavoured garlic bread – not ideal.

It also seemed odd that there was no capacity to be able to add toppings to the pizzas. They’re made fresh to order, so why not allow people to customise?

We’ll forgive the lack of a dessert menu since this isn’t a restaurant; it’s a pool bar with food for grazing on, but it would have been nice to see a few easy pudding options on offer.

All in all, Slate does show promise. The area where the pool tables are is smart, the outside seating area fantastic in the sun, and the decor on the whole has been done well. If Slate can up their game with service, perhaps giving their bartenders a few lessons in manners, and maybe rethink some of the menu, then this pool bar still has the potential to become a hit in Leeds.

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