Why is it hot?
Owned by the same team behind the legendary Sandinista, Smokestack prides itself on having a very well-stocked bar to cater for drinkers of distinction and an amazing jazz/ funk/ blues music policy to for the head nodders and toe tappers. Set in an unusual Victorian three storey building, Smokestack's bars are split between the first and second floor, the first floor being a more cosy, seated space, and the second having a much more open, clubby type feel to it. The loft has a dance floor space, stage and DJ booth and hosts several club nights and live shows in keeping with Smokestack's music policy (check their myspace for details of what is coming up, and whether you will have to pay). Previous events have included guest DJ spots from David Holmes, DJ Premier and Northern Soul's first lady Val Palmer, plus live sets from The Haggis Horns. However, resident DJ Chico Malo who hosts free parties in the loft from 10pm most Saturday nights is the star turn and his taste in music can't be beat.
What's the vibe?
A slightly older, more clued-up crowd generally, popular with young professionals and anyone who likes a G&T to be made and served properly.
What to wear?
It tends to get pretty hot and steamy in there, especially when shaking your rump to the funk in the loft when Chico starts up on the decks, so nothing too heavy. Smokestack isn't very dressy but neither is it t-shirt and jeans relaxed.
Average cocktail price?
£5.50 upwards, with bottled beers from around the world from £3.
Being able to choose your level of involvement. If you want to have a few drinks and talk, stay on the first floor and find a quiet corner in one of the booths. If you came to party, head up to the loft on the second floor and get to it.
Address: drink - smokestack 159A Lower Briggate Leeds LS1 6LY