Bankers Cat, Leeds

29 Boar Lane
City Centre
Leeds
LS1 5DA
0113 440 7998

Entering the Bankers Cat, with its mahogany bar counter and separate seating areas, you’d believe it had been here for generations. In fact it only opened in 2019, having been converted from a former branch of the Nat West bank (photo 1). The Grade II listed building has come full circle, built in 1873 as the Saracen’s Head public house, converted to a bank sometime in the 20th century, and restored to a pub again in the 21st century.

The Bankers Cat is a joint project between pub group Pivovar and Thornbridge Brewery who combined to form Thornbridge & Co. to create new pubs. The first pub to come out of the partnership was the Colmore in Birmingham, another converted bank.

The pub has a row of four-seater booths, Irish style, on the left side and a narrower wood-panelled seating area on the right leading to a wider corner compartment with a wonderful stained glass window (photos 3 & 4). The window was not part of the old bank but is a replica of an Edward Burne Jones window at the brewery’s first home, Thornbridge Hall, created specially for the pub. Downstairs the old bank vault is now a pair of comfortable small rooms, still with a large steel door and a safe (photo 2).

Cask beers, as you might expect, are a selection from Thornbridge’s huge range, but always including Lord Marples bitter, Astryd pale ale and of course the award winning strong beer, Jaipur. There are also two or three changing guest ales from other breweries and a selection of keg beers and cans. There’s a large range of gins plus a smaller choice of whiskies from around the world. There is no food.

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