Leeds’ oldest pub, Whitelock’s, is poised to make a welcome return on Monday 17th May in-line with the easing of government restrictions. The iconic watering hole, which has recently undergone an extensive refurbishment of its outdoor beer garden, will kick things off by celebrating the cream of Yorkshire’s independent drink scene, showcasing local heroes from around the region from breweries to gin distilleries, and coffee roasters to cider makers.
Speaking ahead of the re-launch, Ed Mason, Whitelock’s owner, said: “We have been closed since October, and this is the first time in the pub’s 300-years that we’ve been shut for so long. It has been a tough few months for everyone, and we thought what better way to re-open than with a celebration of all that is great about the region’s independent drinks businesses.
“Whitelock’s has always thrived serving the workers and shoppers in the heart of Leeds city centre, and we are delighted to be able to safely welcome people back as the city comes out of lockdown.”
Whitelock’s will be teaming up with its adjoining sister bar, The Turk’s Head, to showcase the best Yorkshire produce. The week-long showcase event will run until Sunday 23rd May.
The celebration will feature a wide range of acclaimed and award-winning guest beers from independent Leeds breweries including Northern Monk, Kirkstall Brewery and Anthology, and from further afield in Yorkshire including Zapato, Roosters and Abbeydale – making Whitelock’s an essential one-stop-shop for all discerning beer lovers.
The landmark venue will have extra cause for celebration, as its comeback marks the end of a six-and-a-half-month closure – the longest the pub has been closed in its 306-year history.
First licensed way back in 1715, Whitelock’s has witnessed countless key moments in modern history and seen many landmarks of its own. For example, it was the first pub in Leeds to install electricity and the venue’s significance was recognised in 1967 when the building became Grade II Listed. Needless to say, the historic pub has poured its fair share of pints across three centuries.
Those looking for botanical refreshment will not be left disappointed either, as two of the region’s biggest gin distillers will be on hand with an array of summer cocktails. Whittaker’s will be bringing along some of its acclaimed gins, fresh from its copper stills in Nidderdale. These will include the fruity Rampant Raspberry and the citrusy Summer Solstice.
Artisan distillers Sloemotion will also be bringing their distinctive brand of gin and sloe gin to the table, with its extensive range of flavours, including Blackberry and Apple. Wine snobs will marvel at an exceptional collection of reds and whites from York’s brilliant Field & Fawcett wine merchants.
Coffee & tea connoisseurs are welcome to drop in for some choice bean selections from local legends Maude Coffee Roasters, and South Yorkshire’s Bird House loose tea from Sheffield.
There will also be Whisky from Filey Bay on the Yorkshire Coast.
The menu will feature the renowned Whitelock’s range of Yorkshire pub classics sourced from local suppliers at Kirkgate Market with firm favourites including both Fish & Chips and a vegan version using Banana Blossom and nori, which is fast becoming a firm favourite. Expect a range of specials for the occasion.