It's a new year, and with a resolute mind to continue the carousal at independent businesses in 2013, Yelp Leeds' first excursion offline of the year saw folks gathering at one of town's latest openers: Outlaws Yacht Club. And to see out the end of January, nothing more marvellous than a full on horizontal evening of beers, bites, and boardgames was befitting to bring about the bestir, and bid adieu to the malaise of post-Christmas blues.
In keeping with the tone of the venue, folks gathered inside, greeted by a warm and cosy vibe. The interior speaks the language of the space; it's a place for collective catch up, sitting and supping, and resting and recharging upon the retro seats, around long rustic tables, surrounded by kitsch wallpaper and modern art. Not merely a bar, not merely a cafe, this social spot is a hang out for creatives, collectives, and cavorters alike
Upon arrival, Yelpers had the whole of this haven to take seat, catch up, and shed their winter coats, whilst Josie from Brewdog fixed them up with a welcome beer: a hoppy punch of Dead Pony Club to revive their senses and start the party. Already a-buzz, the event had yet to begin, and yet had become alive with folks old and new to the site. With a firm dog friendly policy, we had no less than three Yelpers of a four legged variety, who made fast work of making friends and networking their tails off!
Once everyone had made it through Outlaws' glass doors, the food samples were laid out for all to take in a taster of what this venue has to offer. Sumptuous slices from their meat platters were laid out next to fresh olives, a delectable range of Yorkshire cheeses, oils, balsamics, freshly toasted sun dried tomato breads, and dips. The perfect accompaniment to the next beer on the menu – Brewdog's 5am Saint.
After a healthy helpful from the bites on offer, the rest of the evening was dedicated to relaxing to the chilled out sounds from Outlaws' vintage 70s soundsystem, taking in more of Brewdog's pioneering beer, and challenging one another to a range of boardgames. With Connect 4, Trivial Pursuit, Lifeboat, Zombies, Scrabble and Fluxx, everyone got involved, being in it to win it.
Fuelled by a heap of Punk IPA and, later for a heady finish, Hardcore IPA, a few intense games of Trivial Pursuit and Zombies remained, the honour of being crowned King/Queen of the game yet to be decided. Having gone past the end of the event, it became clear that it was addictively easy to relax in the interior bubble of Outlaws Yacht Club, and so a final stronghold of Yelpers stayed for just one more beer, and one more game.
As ever, the hugest of thanks goes out to this fine venue for welcoming the Yelp community into its folds, and letting folks sample their fantastic menu, to Brewdog for making magic in our mouths for the evening, and Matthew Kitchen for capturing all the moments. These events are always special, in showing off the fine independents Leeds has to offer to folks who delight in sharing their passion for the scene, and this one has set the bar high for 2013. If you set sail this month, make sure to anchor in at this fine venue, and see what fine things are brought in with the tide of Leeds' creative scene.
That's it from me, Rowena H, until next time... I'll see you on Yelp!
Rosemary M: This was my first Yelp event and it did not disappoint. Lovely people, great place, and an overall great time. I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Everyone was very welcoming and the board games were a nice touch. I loved the food and even found a beer I could stomach (dead pony club). I look forward to the next event!
Andy W: This was my first venture into the world of Yelp events, and suffice to say it didn't disappoint! I arrived to meet the lovely Rowena, who did a wonderful job organising everything, and got myself sat down with a couple of fellow Yelpers for an introduction and a chat. The tasters that were presented to us were basically lovely treats, and went pretty damn well with the samples of beer that were dealt out.
Natalie O: What a start to the year of events with possibly my favourite event so far ever. The place is great, a little out of town but actually there is a nice stable set of bars to hop between on your way down to it before a bus home from the bus station or taxi from the nearby taxi stand. Handy. The place itself is nice and open with a big stretch of bar and various types of comfy seats perfect for a natter, meeting bigger groups or smaller groups of people and eating. Dogs being allowed in is such a good move. So many cute pooches around. Had the joy of sitting with David and Jo who have a gorgeous puppy by the name of Izzy who very much helped Chris's plight to get a dog.
Tim M: Now I'm not a very bright person and I'm not really up to getting down with the 'happening and groovy' crowd but, as Yelpers are by and large THE most happening, groovy people around town I have had to do my best. I have to say, OYC made my job easier. It is such a relaxed and informal place where folk can (and do) just chill and when some genius puts a Yelp event AND Brewdog in the mix I'm not far from heaven because all I'd be missing would be some tasty snacks, good company and good old fashioned entertainment (something like a board game). Wooooooo, hang on, it wasn't a dream... they were all there, it wasn't just some Brewdog induced dream (which, incidentally, involved me being chased around by a gang of zombies all called Andy).