One might assume that a venue with so much to offer in various avenues would suffer a kind of identity crisis, but it is Belgrave’s laid back approach that allows them to brand and manage such a multi purpose venue with ease, maintaining an almost festival atmosphere with their chipboard bar and fluorescent signage that remains long after the tent poles have been packed away elsewhere.
Their street food style approach to catering champions the greasy glory of the burger with current residents Patty Smiths, who are responsible for the ‘second best burger in Leeds’- and that’s official- think pink in the middle and oozing with a novel cheese sauce. Also in residency are Dough Boys Pizza who offer more than just bog standard pepperoni and endeavour to bring big yet extremely palatable flavours to their generous quarter slices. Between 11pm and 7pm mid week and till 5 on the weekends these are a steal at half price a slice! The champions of coffee Laynes Espresso have also put their stamp on the venue, serving their wares seven days a week, also dishing up the very popular monthly brunches that summon up a sophisticated, unusual take on the tradition.
Belgrave is an airy space with three floors of offerings. The very top floor is their roof garden, whimsical with deckchairs, plant pots and AstroTurf, providing an impressive view of Leeds on a clear day and in hotter weather, a packed out sun trap. The first floor sees a lot of action too, offering a performance space (with an already impressive array of musical talent under its wing) and is also known to put on film nights, transforming the space from a ‘snug bar’ to a cinema akin to film night in your vintage-cool living room. During the notorious Belgrave Street feast and above all the foodie action on the ground floor- involving a constantly expanding plethora of street food innovation- this space accommodates a lovely arts and record fair.
Following the rip roaring success of these monthly Street Feasts, the first festivities for Leeds Indie Food will commence at Belgrave with their usual Street Feast offering, bookending the fortnight alongside final event Leeds Feast which is co-hosted with Leeds Indie Food and held at The Tetley, the new headquarters of ‘contemporary art and learning’.
Belgrave will host their own LIFF events with their full time residents; ‘Patty Smith’s Dining Club Presents: Chef’ on the 17th May and part timers Fu Shnickens hosting ‘An Evening with the House of Fu Shnickens’ on the 13th May. Both evenings will present menus offering multiples courses of their original creations alongside beers, cocktails and film screenings, with Patty Smiths showing the 2014 hit film Chef, and Fu Shnickens paying homage to the art of sushi with documentary ‘Jiro Dreams of Sushi’.