Late last year I wrote about a visit to The Fox & Newt - and it proved to be a popular post; it would seem the brewpub had a lot of admirers from the 70's up until recent times.
I feared, however, that the article was somewhat of a kiss of death - not long after I visited, it closed. Again. This was becoming a little like deja vu.
I'm pleased to report that The Fox is up and running - and hopefully for good this time. I enjoyed a relaxed lunch there this week, and spent a little time chatting to Emma, the manager, about what happened before and her plans for the pub.
It all sounds great; firstly- and most importantly - the brewery will be back in early 2009 - although not under the Fox and Newt moniker due to the usual legal wrangles. Recipes have been formulated, gear has been tested and tweaked and a talented bunch of brewers seems to have been assembled. Watch this space for more - I can't stress how much of an event this should be. After all, you can count on the fingers of one hand genuine brewpubs in the vast space of Yorkshire - and there are none in Leeds. A true cause for celebration.
As for the pub itself - well, it's been updated, sure - the walls are now painted and the floors scrubbed but the pub-feel has been retained, as had (thank christ) the tiled fireplace in the side room. Emma's keen to point out that this is a pub - and one focused on beer and lots of it. There are no alcopops in the fridge. There are only two lagers on sale. The beer -chalkboard was updated twice in the hour is was there, and there's even tasting notes for the beer available at the bar.
The beer selection is good - Leeds Pale is always on, and in fine form, I might add - as was the Adnams Broadside that shored me up for the rapidly declining temperatures outside. Others on offer were Leeds' Hellfire, Black Sheep, Elland's Eden and Brain's Top Notch. Emma proudly counted off the beers from York, Elland, Abbeydale and many other local breweries sitting in the cellar, waiting to be supped.
The food looked good - homemade and good value - and I'll be certainly visiting again. The Fox is (as it always has been) a good pub - one slightly out of town, but one that is worth the five minute walk up towards Park Lane. It's run by an energetic and proud bunch of people, who truly want you to enjoy good beer. And hopefully, it'll be beer that they have brewed themselves in the not-too distant future.
The Fox & Newt
Open from 12 midday every day.
9 Burley Street,Leeds, West Yorkshire, LS3 1LD