Queens Court, or simply QC as we know it locally, is a stalwart feature of the Leeds gay scene that is still going strong nearly 25 years after it opened. With its tempting early evening half price happy hour and a safe inclusive feel, my wife Nicola and I have long been making the short trip across the cobbles down to Queens Court for ages.
There’s nowhere nicer on a warm evening than sitting out in the QC courtyard with friends in a fun music-filled space with a never-ending supply of cool crisp lager mere steps away. I’m a massive people watcher, and my vantage point from the cobbles offers a wonderful spot to observe the well heeled of Leeds unevenly navigate the shortcut the courtyard affords between Call Lane and Lower Briggate. Many a great night has started there as the courtyard welcomes drinkers from QC and Fibre spilling out together and creating a lively atmosphere. The vibe is chilled out and fun.
We were lucky enough to see the newly spruced up Queens Court on its grand re-opening last Friday, as
the bar quickly filled with happy drinkers. We met up with Simon who manages the bar to get the lowdown. The floors are looking brand new but it turned out they had stripped the wood back to reveal the beauty, all ready for dancing feet when Miss Orry Main pumps out the tunes. The comfy booth that we were sat at looking fresh with its new upholstery. Fresh paint in a darker colour throughout the bar adding to the makeover.
Simon clearly is great at what he does, has managed the successful bar for 13 years and now looks forward to the new addition of Popworld to Queens Court. He obviously takes pride in his team, and as regular drinkers at the bar, it’s worth noting that their door staff and bar team are always efficient, respectful and welcoming.
As a gay woman there are plenty of hip watering holes to take my money, but I drink at QC because these guys know how to make everyone feel welcome without any fuss. Lively banter from the bar staff makes you feel included and part of the energy without any judgement. As Simon says, ‘Everyone is welcome, but leave your attitudes at the door!’ It’s nice to see female door staff too instead of the usual beefy blokes turning the unfashionable and far-too tiddly people away.
Midweek treats like Rock and Roll bingo, Cobble Wobble and fabulous old school classics mixed with cheesy pop music make it feel like a Saturday night. Annual Leeds Pride parties for us are centred around the rainbow-umbrella festooned beauty that the courtyard becomes in the glorious summer where all are welcomed, but the little haven in Leeds is especially home to LGBT people.