Leeds Pie and Reclaimed Beer micro-pub started as a joke


What started as a ‘joke’ during the lockdown has grown into a fully-fledged new dining venue in Leeds.

Dave Knowlson, 40, “stumbled upon” a vintage pie blocking machine at a salvage yard in Calverley during the lockdown with free time.

At the time, he was the manager of the Grove Inn, Holbeck, and was not working.

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Dave decided to fix it up and sell it back – but once the job was done, the Yorkshireman in him couldn’t help but bake some pies.

The father of two said: ‘Before I knew it, I spent most of the lockdown while the pub was closed, baking pies and delivering to people. I couldn’t do them fast enough!

“I even hit a badge with a triangle and some kind of silly logo that said Dave’s Pie. It was a joke at first.

“Before I knew it, I had a little pie business.”

His delivery business started around September of last year.

Owner Dave Knowlson next to Dave’s Pies and Ales in Kirkstall Road

Dave’s best friend Andrew Turner, who also owns the Wax Bar in the city center and the Canteen in Chapel Allerton, decided to join the business and help it grow into something much more sophisticated.

The Best Buds have acquired a unit in Kirkstall Road, with the aim of creating a micro-pub and pie place. They outfitted it with old fashioned pub fixtures and fittings for that ‘listed building’ feel.

Dave’s Pies and Ales opened earlier this month and Dave says it’s a success. They sell classic pork pies and variations, including pork pies with chili, black pudding, chorizo ​​or festive Christmas-style stuffing and pie.

They serve them alongside a choice list of real beers. The micro-pub can accommodate up to 25 people with 16 people seated.

Dave’s Pork and Stuffing Pies

Explaining the pub-style venue choice, Dave said, “We almost wanted to feel like he’s been here forever. Likewise, there’s like a permanence in pubs that you might not see so much in new openings these days.

“And I loved all the old devices and accessories. There are so many that are put on the dumpster when the old bars are torn off. Much of this is salvaged material.

The bar counter came out of a barn in Scotland following an eBay purchase. The dividers were from a Preston pub. The original Britannia cast iron tables were from the Man’s Garden in Manchester, which were cleaned and painted, and the table tops were Jim Bean barrels. The lanterns came from a pub in Doncaster.

“Every time we spotted something, we would send each other emails with Gumtree links,” Dave said.

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He also loves the location and says that all of the independent business owners along this stretch of Kirkstall Road are supportive of each other.

He doesn’t see his neighbor Cardigan Arms as a competitor – “absolutely not” – and says he offers a different kind of experience.

“We are good friends with the Cardy! We love Cardigan arms.

“The more people in the area wondering where to eat and drink, the better. We can all have a slice of the same pie, if you want!

Have you visited Dave’s Pies and Ales? Leave your thoughts in the comments section below.

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