Another hot night and another prestigious opening as Ossett Brewery went football-crazy in the shadow of Elland Road stadium yesterday. This lavish refit of the tired Old Peacock has to be the highest profile launch to date for the burgeoning brewing company's pub arm.
The double take guest list had me reaching for my autograph book rather than a camera as the city's haut monde swanked up to have their first look. The incongruity of cocktail party glitterati talking beer and footy was quite jaw-dropping - just so the remarkably up-market make-over of a pub destined to mainly profit from thousands of Leeds United fans.
That said, the Peacock is capable of a big transformation on match days when all the furniture will be removed to create a standing only bar capable of serving several hundred. The restaurant area will also switch to knocking out budget-priced snacks which I imagine will undercut and out-perform anything the football club can manage (apparently a contentious issue the two parties have crossed swords over before).
Another feature that the recent weather has highlighted is the size of the beer garden (very little of which is included in this photo). Once completed by the addition of more picnic tables, this should be immensely popular if the summer holds up - and the outdoor serving hatch direct to the kitchen is a smart move.
Back inside and the unique décor features a collage style wallpaper documenting LUFC's triumphs through the ages, though it was pointed out to me that anything mentioning Manchester has had to be censored. And if you run your hand over the walls you can feel the tell-tale bumps where the naughty words have been cleverly expunged!
I never imagined being the slightest bit jealous of Leeds fans but here they have a remarkable pub that will surely be the envy of every supporter of football and real ale that visits. It's proximity to the stadium will ensure it's not a flashpoint for rival fans and the building of a brand new police headquarters next door won't harm. I fully intend to pop in for a pint or two when my team come calling next year and for the first time ever I'm actually looking forward to my next visit to Elland Road.