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Pubs Galore Autumn 2022 Midlands Pub Crawl. with Mobyduck on the Pub Forum

The Cross Keys, Leeds

107 Water Lane
LS11 5WD
Phone: 01132433711

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: of 10) Add Review see review guidelines

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Alan Winfield left this review about The Cross Keys

The Cross Keys is one of a few pubs situated behind Leeds train station.
The front door to this pub was closed when i visited on an early Saturday evening,but when i tried the door handle it opened.
Once inside there are two rooms either side of the front door,the seating is comfy bench type chairs plus normal tables and chairs.
There was a good choice of real ales on the bar,i had a drink of North Brewery Prototype which went down very well,the other beers noted were Anorchy Quiet Riot,Abbeydale Absolution and one from Thornebridge.
The pub was packed with all people drinking,the drinkers did seem a lot more upmarket than you get in most pubs.
It seemed quite a cosy and comfortable pub to have a drink in.

Pub visited 13/2/2016

On 20th March 2016 - rating: 7
[User has posted 6113 recommendations about 6113 pubs]

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Steve C left this review about Cross Keys

I visited the Cross Keys with Ray who has commented below and I also felt uncomfortable as I walked in and was asked whether I was dining. We stood outside for a moment thinking that the pub was closed, but thankfully some local diners with knowledge of how doors operate walked in before us. This pub is in the Michelin guide so it is obvious that eating takes precedence over drinking, but there are four hand pumps on the bar alongside some premium draught products. I went for half a Prototype which went down well.
The interior is split into two with a small dining area to the left of the entrance and the bar area with seating to the right. Stairs behind the bar lead up to the toilets and there is a room upstairs that is used for functions.
There is a weekly quiz on Sundays.

There was nothing wrong with the beer, but I prefer a proper boozer so I would probably give this place the swerve if in the area again.

On 12th December 2013 - rating: 6
[User has posted 3956 recommendations about 3933 pubs]

Please Note: This review is over a year old.

Real Ale Ray left this review about Cross Keys

This pub was quite busy with people dining on our lunchtime visit. I felt a little uncomfortable at first, as two members of staff asked were we here for food or were we drinking, as though they didn't want people just coming in for a drink. There was a choice of 4 ales on the board, we tried the Kirkstall North Prototype, which was decent and reasonably priced. Was worth the visit for the beer alone.

On 23rd November 2013 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3126 recommendations about 3126 pubs]

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Pub SignMan left this review about Cross Keys

A pub called the Cross Keys was first built on this site back in 1802 to serve workers from the surrounding industrial area and it seems it was able to survive until the 1980’s before finally closing and falling into disrepair. The regeneration of this part of town has allowed the people behind the city’s successful North Bar and Further North venues to take the premises on and give it a tasteful refitting, allowing this historic venue to commence trading again.
The result is a very smart, well appointed pub which manages to accommodate diners and drinkers without either group feeling short-changed. You enter into a tile floored room with the servery directly opposite the front door. A banquette runs along the front wall whilst there are standard tables and chairs elsewhere, allowing a decent number of people to be seated around the bar area. The walls are mostly bare brick and there are plenty of restored wooden beams which all adds up to create a rather atmospheric and cosy space, enhanced by the stove sat in the fireplace on the end wall. A second front room, to the left of the entrance, has a similar layout with a quarry stone floor and its own stretch of servery. The pub extends to the rear, down the right hand side of the building, past a bare boarded space with some unusual decorative wallpaper towards an area seemingly used by those wanting to eat. There are large windows here which look out across the sizeable courtyard which has plenty of outdoor seating, sadly of no use in the inclement weather on my visit. A spiral staircase leads from the main bar up to the James Watt function room which is available for hire, although I didn’t get the chance to explore. A previous reviewer wondered what James Watt’s connection to Leeds is. According to the pub’s website, he apparently once stayed in the Cross Keys and would ply workers from a rival’s company with drinks in order to extract trade secrets from them.
Four handpulls offered an impossible to choose from selection, comprising Titanic Plum Porter and Lifeboat, Oakham Green Devil IPA and Kirkstall North Prototype, which I presumed was a house beer, so I gave it a try and thought it was a pleasant session ale. The barmaid who served me was very friendly and chatty and gave me the impression that some thought is put into ensuring a high standard of customer service.
I really enjoyed this place and thought it was an excellent start to a long crawl around Leeds. I had a great pint in an interesting building with very friendly, welcoming staff and would suggest that anyone heading into Holbeck should make sure they check this place out.

On 9th October 2013 - rating: 8
[User has posted 2826 recommendations about 2826 pubs]

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ROB Camra left this review about Cross Keys

Called in here again on Friday and the thieving sods were charging £3.95 a pint for Magic Rock High Wire. It wasn't a mistake, I checked with the barmaid. I still like the pub, but you're losing a couple of points for that amount of profiteering. It's not even as though it has far to travel.

Small two roomed pub with a large courtyard owned by the same people as North Bar & Further North also in Leeds. The left hand room has a number of dining tables and chairs whilst the right hand room has a number of larger tables aimed at drinkers. There's also an upstairs room which can be hired for functions etc. Four handpumps with changing guests on the bar with Liverpool Organic Porter & Outlaw Wrangler being very good on our visit. We also ate here. The liveried staff were very attentive & efficient and the food was excellent. I had pork fillet & pork belly with champ and the other half had lamb steak & breast of lamb with garlic mash. It's good restaurant quality food and also restaurant prices at £14 & £16 respectively, but it was worth it. We both liked it in here and will no doubt call in for both the good beer and food on our next visit to Leeds.

On 10th September 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3028 recommendations about 2943 pubs]

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Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about Cross Keys

Looks traditional enough from the street, but the interior has been thoroughly remodelled in a semi-modern style with quite a lot of exposed brickwork and minimalist decor. The two-part bar forms an overall 'L' shape, and there is also further seating upstairs (closed off when I visited). Patio beer garden at the back. Four handpumps, offering a good selection of ales from Northern micro-breweries (e.g. Phoenix Black Bee Honey Porter, £3.40 and in fine form). Overall, well worth a joint visit with the nearby Midnight Bell. (NB - Review dates from August 2011.)

On 5th February 2012 - rating: 8
[User has posted 7117 recommendations about 7117 pubs]

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Quinno _ left this review about Cross Keys

Backstreet pub/diner located in the former industrial area of Holbeck and run by those responsible for the North Bar. The interior of this one has clearly seen a massive refurbishment, with exposed brickwork and beams to the fore, as well as a cast-iron spiral staircase which provides access to the function room upstairs. This place is aimed squarely at the emergent yuppie classes in Leeds with a menu of gastronomic pretensions, low tables and stools whilst one wall is plasters with framed prints of no real theme, so no more interesting than others. Beer-wise, there are four handpulls over the split bar with a changing range of mainly Yorkshire microbrewery beers, often featuring Elland, and Roosters as well as a range of bottled beers in the fridge, as you’d expect given the owners. I was unimpressed with my beer though in all honesty, pretty flat and lifeless; maybe I was unlucky as others seem to be quite effusive about the general quality. It’s OK but I wouldn't see myself going out of my way to re-visit this one next time.

On 1st September 2011 - rating: 6
[User has posted 4423 recommendations about 4408 pubs]

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Old Boots left this review about Cross Keys

In ambiance the Cross Keys is very like its near neighbour the Midnight Bell but not quite so stylish, lots of exposed brickwork, light coloured ceiling beams, quarry tiles and a spiral staircase leading to an upstairs function room. This is named after James Watt, the Scottish engineer who worked mainly in Birmingham, not sure what his connection with Leeds is however. Two downstairs rooms, one a cosy bar the other a larger room with bench seating and tall stools beside a drinking shelf. There is also a patio or “sunny courtyard” which is very pleasant on a sunny afternoon. The rooms have plenty of seating on cream coloured leather benches and lots of short stools. Four handpulls in the two bars with a changing range of mainly Yorkshire microbrewery beers, Elland, and Roosters on my visit. The beer was slightly warm but still in good condition. Also on the bar; Erdingers, Lindeboom from the Netherlands and the super Kuppers Kolsch, plus a range of Belgian bottles. Although slightly less overtly foody than the Midnight Bell, unlike there the Cross Keys staff have more of a restaurant ethos but still work well.

On 24th October 2009 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2651 recommendations about 2415 pubs]

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Steve of N21 left this review about Cross Keys

A good pub in the same strret as the nearby Midnight Bell. Seems to be a FreeHouse as it focusses on local microbreweries rather than large brewery beers. For the record the beers on offer on the date of my visit were Roosters IPA, Acorn Old Moor Porter, Silverback from the Brass Monkey Brewery and Doctor Mortons Famous Ancient Greece from Abbeydale brewery, all from Yorkshire I believe. Really liked the Roosters IPA but wasn’t so keen on the Silverback.
As for the pub it’s of a high standard of traditional décor laid out as one bar but in two sections, a main and larger one to the right and then smaller section to the left which has large wooden tables mainly for dining. There is a function room upstairs which is reached by use of a metal spiral staircase, which somehow seems to become a feature of the bar area instead of an intrusion.
Didn't eat but the food menu was what I would describe as ‘posh nosh’ and priced accordingly. For example the chalk board offered for Sunday lunch a Roast Rib of Beef, served whole at the table so that you can carve it yourself. Has to be pre-ordered and serves 5 and will set you back £75.00. I guess a great idea for a special occasion, but I still have the feeling that if I were shelling out £15.00 for Roast Beef I’d be looking for someone else to do the donkeywork.
But overall, in conclusion, a really nice comfortable pub where I’d definitely come back for the beer.

On 13th April 2009 - rating: 8
[User has posted 1849 recommendations about 1785 pubs]

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Steven Bradbury left this review about Cross Keys

Absolutely fabulous new pub in the re-generated Water Lane area of Holbeck. Based on two floors, top floor can be accessed via a spiral staircase. Vast range of foreign bottled beers and numerous beers on draft, many from local brewers.

On 2nd February 2007 - rating: 10
[User has posted 12 recommendations about 12 pubs]