Tastes and Tipples: Wakefield’s Unity Hall bar returns with a touch of class

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Lobby is the latest addition to Westgate’s historic Unity Hall and the new management wants to create a bar worthy of its location.

The former Unity Works venue has gradually reopened as bars and offices with Lobby filling the spot furthest to the bottom of the road, which used to be the venue’s cafe.

New manager Damien Mitchell, from Alverthorpe, started his nightlife career 150 yards up the road at Flares, washing glasses when he was 17.

Since then he’s worked at bars and restaurants across the city and knows the scene inside out.

At Lobby, he said: “It’s a shame this place been closed for so long and there’s a lot to live up to now it’s back – we wanted to make a bar deserving of the building it’s in”

“I want to keep it classy. There’ll be no overly loud music on.

“It’s a place where you won’t have to push and shove for a place at the bar. There’s no issues, no trouble, no friction.

“It’s a place you can have a drink before you hit the top of town.” The music will be easy listening and there are plans in place for the bar to host acoustic nights.

Throughout the day there are sandwiches and paninis available and the coffee is among the city’s best. Damien said: “We’re effectively a cafe in the day and a bar by night.”

Unity Works went into administration in October 2017 but has since reopened as a conference centre, Lobby, and numerous other businesses.

Neighbouring bar The Establishment is a separate firm and was not affected when Unity Works went into administration.

Give it a go

Try: There’s a broad drinks and cocktails menu with plenty of “new twists on some of the old classics”.
Damien recommends the violet gin Martini.
Open: Tuesday until Sunday the bar will be open from around 10am usually until around midnight. It opens 10am until 4pm on Monday, and from 5pm on Sunday.