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20-24 Woodhouse Lane,

(0113) 244 1212

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Review byTacita Vero'07/08/2008
Sport orientated without being sport obsessed Varsity is a brand new bar serving cheap food and drinks.

It's ideal for watching the football but also a good stop-off when you're on a night out with mates.

The Venue
Until last year this was a Barracuda pub but since then pretty much everything has been changed to make room for the rather elegant Varsity. It spreads from the pavement on Woodhouse Lane – where you can sit on metal chairs and table and watch people (and the heavy traffic) pass by- into a long room. And the refurbishment could not be more evident. The dining area, which sits on a raised platform, is furnished with rows of contemporary couches and wooden tables, while closer to the bar you'll see brown leather armchairs, high tables and stools. There's also a pool table to provide some entertainment.

It looks nice but it's not dazzling. If it were a person it would be one of those guys who smiles a lot, doesn't mind buying rounds and shops at Gap.

The People
Lads in suits who've escaped from work for the day come here to down a few pints with their mates. There's also the casual thirty-something crowd who come in for the football screenings as well as some young bucks who want cheap food. As it's a sports bar it's mostly men so if you're a girl on the pull this is a good place to go. Make sure you time your visit to coincide with the end of the match otherwise you'll find yourself competing with a plasma screen.

The place gets crowded during the evening towards the end of the week or when there's a match. On other nights and during the day the pub tends to be pleasantly quiet and it's an ideal place to chat about Kaka's form.

The Food
The menu is aimed at your stereotypical lad who's into (watching) sports. It's not particularly healthy but it's manly and lines the stomach. Chips with cheese and bacon, beef burger, steak pie, sausage and bacon hot melt and others.

Starters cost between £3 and £6 and light bites such as chips with a selection of toppings cost between £2.50 and £3.15. Hot melts, sandwiches, wraps and jacket potatoes cost between £4 and £5.50. Or you can build your own double burger for around a fiver. Mains cost between £4 and £5.75 and, hidden here and there, you'll find healthier options that are even tasty such as the vegetarian chilli. There's also a falafel wrap, Cajun chicken salad and others. If you already have their V-card, you can even order two dishes for only £5 and choose from starters like garlic bread, mini Thai fishcakes and spicy battered prawns, and mains including chicken crown, seafood combo, lemon peppered turkey escalope and others.

The Drink
One of the reasons Varsity is attractive is the prices. It sells some of the cheapest beer in town but variety is sacrificed. You can get a draught beer for between £2.15 and £2.50 and a bottle for £2.65 (even cheaper with their membership card) or go a more sophisticated route and opt for a wine. The selection is not particularly exciting but prices are low with bottles between £10.50 and £17. Large glasses are in the £3.70 to £5.85 range while small glasses are between £2.70 and £4.20. And if you're planning to be a regular get their membership card and your bill will be even lighter.

For something fancier you can order a cocktail (£3.50 to £4). Their selection includes some long drinks, classics and other easy mixes like June Bug, Very Very Berry and the exotic Chi-Chi (Malibu, vodka, pineapple). And you can even go for a pitcher (£11). Too elaborate? Cheap shots of Corky’s (£1), Aftershock (£2), tequila or Sourz (£1.50) will set you straight.

The Last Word
Varsity is nothing special but the low prices make it ever-popular with beer guzzlers. It's an ideal bar to watch the game or for a boys night out.
Varsity has been reviewed by 1 users

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Content updated: 27/10/2015 15:09

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