There is one place in Leeds where I will always feel welcome, never too old, too underdressed or too over the top. It is cheap, cheerful, and excitingly different. It is Fab Cafe and it is my home from home.
I would say that I am not a club person. I don’t like to get too dressed up, I hate paying a huge fee to even enter a building. I hate angry bouncers and crying, drunk girls. I hate huge queues at the bar and not enough space on the dance floor. I hate bad attitudes and warm beer. I hate dance music and posers. You could say I hate clubbing. But in Fab Cafe, none of that stuff exists. You can rock up there in your jeans and trainers, chat to the men on the door, pay your £2 maximum and enter. And once inside, you are open to an entirely unique clubbing experience.
It is described as a cult movie and TV theme bar and it certainly is. There are a number of TVs around usually showing cult movies. Once a week there is a film night where they show such a film. There is floor to ceiling memorabilia as well, including an “alien” replica, life-sized Darth Vader and millions of comic books and annuals. The DJ booth is a rocket-shaped affair and the choice of music is somewhat eclectic. On any given evening you could expect to hear a variety of songs from Rage Against the Machine’s Killing in the Name, to The Smiths’ Ask to Step in Time from the Mary Poppins movie!
Nobody takes themselves too seriously (staff included) and the fancy dress nights are always a laugh as everyone makes a real effort. An added bonus is that behind the bar in addition to lots of lovely drinks, they sell classic sweets – sherbert fountains, candy bracelets, lollipops, Wham bars and Space Raider crisps! On a night out, who wouldn’t want such a treat!
All in all, I would recommend Fab to anyone planning to visit Leeds – especially on a Saturday night. And most likely there I’ll be in my jeans and trainers, eating a lollipop, watching a movie, and chatting to strangers.
46 Woodhouse Lane, Leeds, LS2 8PL