-The Micklegate Social-
148 Micklegate, York, YO1 6JX.
Situated on the corner of Micklegate overlooking the medieval Bar and City Walls the Micklegate Social stands proudly at what used to be the main entrance to the City. From the people that brought us the trendy Fossgate Social this once Bike shop has been stripped back, opened out and turned into a truly unique multifunctional space. The ground floor is very easily accessed from the street, within is spacious and airy with a mix of comfy sofas, stools and retro mismatched furniture. Huge windows flood the single large room with natural light, along the front is a line of window seats, perfect for watching the hustle and bustle of Micklegate from the calm interior. The other view focuses the impressive City Walls and some welcome greenery.
The theme of the Social is certainly stripped back trendy urban, with exposed ducting, brick, wood and other tactile materials. The bar-cum-kitchen is situated to the top right of the room with shiny stainless steel and red neon lettering, there’s plenty of space to perch up at the bar and relax here too. They have a good range of spirits displayed at the back and a large arched pipe rises out of the bar top to which the impressive 10 keg lines are fitted. Don’t despair if you prefer a cask beer, they have two hand pumps here as well and the prices are pretty reasonable for the area. There is a single toilet on the ground floor which does seem a bit of an afterthought, but it’s a little nicer than the very rustic one in the basement. Personally I quite liked the old farm style sink and all the exposed brick and concrete floor but some of our group didn’t really get it and just thought it was a bit unfinished. It’s not a massive issue as the nature of such an old building it can be difficult to put services in.
This also brings me nicely to the Micklegate Social’s other enticing feature, the basement known as The Den. Follow the red neon sign down some grey stone slab stairs and its beauty will be beholden to you. Cool brick walls and stunning patterned floor tiles are gently lit by downlights and fairy lights. There are more upcycled large wooden cable drum tables like the first floor to one side; the other has low comfy sofas round a solid Victorian fireplace. To the back red curtains screen off a stage area where live music and events are frequently held, making this in my opinion one of the most characterful entertainment spaces in the City. It’s such a cool space and this addition to the trendy bar upstairs with its superb range of craft beers is what gives the Social its extra boost up to what we’d consider as one of the best Bars in York. With not only regular entertainment but community focused events too it really is an asset to the area. They do have a couple of tables outside on the street but it’s not the best a places to sit, especially when there’s so much to welcome you into the bar itself. For us the Fossgate Social’s little brother/big sister surpasses the original, they really have upped their game with this wonderful bar and we’ll certainly be back soon.