The Eldon, Leeds review: “Warm, fun and friendly – but I’ll miss the student nights”

They bring energy, creativity and vitality to the city, not to mention a lot of money.

But as I have a drink in the Eldon, I have the impression that a good portion of them are crammed into this modest Greene King pub on the corner of Woodhouse Lane.

It’s Wednesday night and that means it’s student night – and The Eldon is just opposite the University of Leeds. If the routine is always the same as my student days, Wednesday is chosen because it is the day when the university sports teams play their matches in the afternoon. Not that I ever really participated – I was more of a “try the ultimate frisbee the week freshman week and never come back” type.

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The Eldon, Leeds.

When I walk in, it’s like the start of a fever dream. There must be around 50 students, mostly young women, many in khakis or wearing green paint. It’s clearly an army-themed party. It had slipped my mind but of course the Eldon is on the infamous Otley Run pub crawl. A DJ spins some sort of house music as the students rush into the pub to shelter from the rain and fill the bar.

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It’s safe to say I feel a little out of place, but I manage to grab a pint of nondescript lager and find a nook where I’m slightly protected from the madness. Loud, excited chatter is punctuated by shouts and shouts as youngsters scoop up spirits and cocktails on tap.

Apparently the pub is also frequented by old locals, but there aren’t many tonight, probably fearing they’ll be accidentally swept along Woodhouse Lane on a sea of ​​Otley runners heading for The Dry Dock .

The Eldon, Leeds.

Last year the pub was taken over by 23-year-old owner Arjun Flora – arguably Leeds’ youngest owner. You would have a hard time distinguishing him from his clientele given the average age tonight.

The young Sikh says he wants to “turn the script on what it means to be a landlord” and create a welcoming space for all – all the power at his elbow.

The atmosphere is warm, fun and friendly – and I would happily return, but I might miss the Wednesday nights.

Address: 190 Woodhouse Lane, LS2 9DX

Opening hours: Monday to Thursday, 3 p.m. to 11 p.m.; Friday, 3 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Saturday, 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.; Sunday, 12 p.m. – 10 p.m.

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