Love this place, and would definitely go more often if it was closer to my favourite Fernandes. They have quite a nice beer garden to sit in when the weather's nice. They also join up with the pub next door (the Jam Inn) on a weekend so you can wander through both pubs with your drink in hand. The Hop also has a lovely little back room with a real fire in it which is a godsend in the winter months. Also most people overlook this room so you can usually get a seat in here if you get here early enough. Although me and my better half tend to go here quite early, so the bar in the back room is usually not serving at that time. They have a great selection of local ales on to suit most palates, as well as a few ciders on tap and the usual selection in the fridge. They also have good bands on a weekend, as well as comedy nights and quiz nights during the week.
Recently I had an opportunity to visit The Hop in Wakefield. A friend of mine was holding his Yorkshire album launch here so a bunch of us made the trip over to see the gig and had a fantastic time. The outside patio area is lovely, and a total summer necessity, with plenty of seating available. The bar inside is surprisingly large, with numerous little nooks and rooms to choose from, and various bars to drink from.
The downstairs seems to be the main band area, where the heavier music is played, since when we arrived a bigger band was setting up to play. Upstairs there's the Guerrilla Rooms, where the intimate acoustic unveiling was set, a great space for gigs which accommodates at least 60 people - possibly more, I'm not great at judging space!
It's a gorgeous building, with lovely brickwork and warming décor. The staff were all excellent, prompt at serving and really friendly, with a fabulous drinks selection from real ale, to foreign bears, to a range of spirits so no taste isn't catered for. It seems it's the perfect venue for a quiet drink, bustling group outing or packed out gig - somehow they've figured the magic formula that has something for all.
More than anything this place injects a bit of class and personality into the Westgate (or just off Westgate) run, and they are more than worth your custom. For blues, beer and a fabulous night out this place comes highly on the hitlist.
The Hop is situated just off Westgate, the main road going through the towns clubs and bars area and indeed the centre of the town.
The Hop is a well-run smallish to medium sized venue managing to mix a live music bar-type feel with the charms of a british pub, which it does so quite successfully creating a venue of alternative appeal. As a converted old building, it houses two rooms with two separate bars, and an upstairs venue where most bands play. The longer, more bar-like room downstairs has a stage at one end allowing bands to play there, and is frequently the podium for rock-covers bands that play on a friday night, as well as established jam sessions. In the summer long glass windows are pulled back mixing inside with outside for a really relaxed atmosphere. Re-claimed bare clay bricks, dark stained woods and stone slab flooring give The Hop a hardy and traditional 'pub' feel whilst the longer room downstairs successfully works as a bar at busier times. There is seating outside parallel to the bar in an enclosed high walled courtyard, however, the tree overhanging the courtyard appears to be an old plum tree which was shedding its fruit around May, and hence, well, making quite a bit of a mess really, but hopefully no-one will pull it up despite the inconvenience.
A selection of local real ales from Osset brewery lends the place both authenticity and a sense of choice, instantly gratifying the more demanding drinker for his determination in finding the Hop above the bars littering what is known locally as the 'Westgate run' with their own less-than-fine selection of Stella, VK, Stella and, er, Stella. It's also great to see real ales placed in an establishment where they might tempt a much younger market than they are traditionally associated with.
Throughout the week the Hop is moderately busy and is a good place to go for a 'quiet' drink, whilst on the weekends being so busy it it sometimes hard to get to the bar, being almost a battle to find a drink. This isn't a criticism per se, more of a warning that, The Hop is more of an alternative music bar in reality.
A thriving music scene is starting to grow around it featuring local band nights run by promoters Rubharb Bomb, acoustic jam sessions named PURE run by Kate Honeyman (organiser and champion of Clarence Park Festival and the citys yearly Blues festival), comedy nights under the 'Kill For A Seat' name and now emerging artist gigs, which seem to verge onto the bluesy/alternative/rock side of things. It's pleasant to see local cover bands downstairs from time t time - reaffirming that the Hop is not snobby or pretentious and its crowd is welcoming and friendly , a mixture of young and old alike.
The Hop is recommended, and is a safe venue to visit on the weekend with plenty of doorman presence - not because the place has ever had any reputation, but purely because it seeks to preserve this image, as it sits only a few seconds away from some of the more 'seedy' venues in Wakefield.
Well worth a visit on a weekday around 6pm in summer to sit in the courtyard for contemplation with a pint, and worth a ganders on a weekend for a thriving and energetic music venue with a balanced and interesting crowd.
Great selection of ale and great live rock.paid £6 for a band but sat and watched the free slade tribute instead .....im visiting the leeds one on saurday
This is a new bar in Wakefield, it's actually right on Bank Street right in the city centre but the website won't acknowledge wakefield as a placestrange. Anyway, the Hop only opened in December and at the moment only the downstairs bit is open - another bar will be opening upstairs soon. It's being billed as a music venue, and there is a small stage in the corner, but the set out doesn't really seem to be ideal for music - there's very little space to sit and watch the music, and the area where you'd stand and listen is the same area that joins the entrance doors, bar and toilets, so you're constantly being bumped into. However, hopefully once the whole bar is open, the layout will start to make more sense. A good live music venue is just what Wakefield needs, and it's already proving popular - when I dropped in over Christmas, it was filled with people of all ages and there was a great atmosphere. They serve real ale and all sorts of other unusual beers as well as the usual tipples. Whilst it's quite small inside (another thing that will be improved when the upstairs opens) there's quite a nice courtyard outside with patio heaters and chairs that I think will be very popular in the summer.
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