City Tastes & Tipples: New-wave bar is classy on an industrial level

Exotic: Cocktails are popular among the locals.
Exotic: Cocktails are popular among the locals.

The landscape for a night out in Wakefield is shifting.

Westgate became a byword for boozy bedlam back in the day, but that reputation is being slowly ushered out of the city like a bouncer directing a drunk out of a club.

New bar manager, Tom Baker.

New bar manager, Tom Baker.

Quality over quantity is the optimistic new buzz term, and The Establishment is quite literally, at the heart of this movement. Slap-bang in the middle of Westgate, where better than to raise the flag for rejuvenation and 
respectability?

Positioned next to Unity Works, it looks the part with its glass frontage and Chesterfield leather sofas.

There’s a nod to its industrial past as the old Co-op building too, the bare-brick walls and stained wooden floors all add to the working-class elegance.

At the helm is new bar manager, 31-year-old Tom Baker who agrees that attitudes are shifting. He said: “There’s been a bit of a reputation for Westgate over the years but this is a bit more premium than that.

“There’s a new lease of life, pardon the pun but we’re already quite established from when it opened and there’s a good base of customers already.

“There’s a lot of hidden gems in Wakefield and you’ve got to look down these back streets to find these independent places that are doing a really good job.”

The Establishment is working hard to ensure there’s no shortage of substance to match its style. There’s a new-found eagerness to push the real ales (Tom’s background includes Ossett Brewery) while there’s a focus on gins, rums and cocktails - where master classes to become a budding Tom Cruise are even on offer, while stonebaked pizzas are also on the menu.

For a more up-tempo night, there’s the room at the back with music, and there are plans to make use of the rear terrace as the summer approaches.

Opening times: Thursday and Friday evenings from 4pm and Saturdays from noon. Plans are in place to open Sundays while an interactive quiz is due to start on Wednesday nights from April 11.

To Try: The freshly-made pizzas change each day but the pepperoni is favourite among the regulars. The wide selection of gins and premium lagers are also popular.