May 2021 Newsletter

Greetings pub lovers and a special welcome to our new members. Once again, our sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers go out to anyone who has lost loved ones during this awful time.

Well, the weather has been kind-ish to support the pubs (what a shame the recent Bank Holiday Monday was pretty much a wash-out) and bars that were able to open for outdoor service and it’s all gone pretty well I think. We’ve not heard of too many problems. A couple of mask-related issues, but on the whole I think a very successful re-opening. Congratulations to the owners and managers and staff for making it happen and you, the customers, for being so supportive and understanding. Things can only go from strength to strength from here…..surely?

On the subject of staff, lots of pubs/bars advertising for bar, waiting and kitchen staff. We won’t list them all but keep your eyes open on the venue’s social media sites.

A few words from OPC Committee:
“On behalf of everyone in Otley, we would like to express our appreciation to all the landlords and staff who have worked so hard to get their beer gardens open and their pubs trading again since April the 12th. The last 12 months have been a terrible time for the pub trade, with different restrictions being imposed at short notice and responsibility being handed down to landlords to ‘police’ the rules. When pubs HAVE been allowed to open, they’ve needed more staff for fewer customers and less income, and yet they’ve tried to keep on providing the welcoming hospitality that we know and appreciate.

In a way, it’s even worse for those pubs that haven’t been able to open yet, just because they don’t have a suitable outside serving area. It must have been awful for them to see surrounding beer gardens filling up under the April sunshine (?) while they were forced to keep their doors locked and their cellars empty. Everyone at Otley Pub Club is really looking forward to Otley’s remaining pubs opening in May, and we’re determined to visit in person and welcome you all back on the 17th or as soon as we possibly can after that. Otley isn’t known as a ‘famous pub town’ for nothing – it’s all down to your hard work and customer service. We thank you all for that, and hope that we’ll soon be free of all restrictions and back to the good old days of pubs being at the heart of the community.”

This month, we have exciting news on 2 re-openings of pubs we thought we were in danger of losing, in the Pub News section. Plus the usual Pub Events – remember, if you are a publican and want your event advertising to our 650+ members, then just drop us an email
Also, very exciting news of Otley’s very own Shadow Brewing Co opening a brewery and tap room – more below

If you have any news on openings that we haven’t learnt of, please drop us a note ( and we’ll try to keep our Pub Updates page as relevant as possible:

In summary, here’s a list of places open now for outdoor eating and drinking:

  • Black Bull
  • Black Horse
  • Bowling Green
  • Fleece
  • Groove Pad (Fri, Sat, Sun)
  • North Bar Social
  • Otley Tap House
  • Rose&Crown (Closed Mon/Tues)
  • Royalty
  • Whitakers Arms (Closed Weds)
  • Yew Tree

We have news of the following opening on the 17th May:

  • Junction
  • Old Cock
  • Red Lion
  • Roebuck
  • Rookery
  • Tavern
  • White Swan

And on the 21st May:

  • Manor House

And in June:

  • Bay Horse

Still to announce a date:

  • Cross Pipes
  • Horse&Farrier (Cleaners seen in and around this great venue – hopefully re-opening mid to late May!)


Horse & Farrier
Will re-open mid to late May. The Leasehold remains up for sale – anyone interested in running this iconic Otley Pub?

Rose & Crown
Opening and Trading under new management. The beer garden looks great. The beer, although limited choice for now, is top notch. Not doing food at the moment , but you are welcome to Bring Your Own, which sounds great – pizza one way and Bondgate Bakery the other. What’s not to like about that? Welcome to Gareth and the team and we hope they will be very successful.

Shadow Brewing
We’re delighted to hear that our good friend Ian Shutt has plans to open his Brewery and Tap Room on Boroughgate (No. 98 – the old ModelSport shop) this summer. Exact dates aren’t available but work in the premises is well under way.
We’ve previously sampled his excellent beers at the Stew & Oyster and also Groove Pad Beer & Vinyls, plus appearances at the Otley Beer Festival, Curious Hop and others.
The new Shadow Taphouse will of course add to the vibrant pub beer offering on that side of town, with The Manor House, the White Swan and the Otley Taphouse (Taps), so there really is an excellent scene developing in Otley‘s East End!
All at OPC wish Ian and the team every success in his new venture. We’re sure the Otley public and visitors will support and enjoy this new experience
More on this exciting new development on our website here:


Black Bull

The outside space is looking great and proving popular. Well done to Mel and the team.

Black Horse

Who took the roof off? Great courtyard atmosphere here. The cocktail nights in conjunction with @thesocialleeds have been fun! Watch social media for the next cocktail event.
Bar opening hours: midday to midnight
Food: midday to 9pm

Fleece (or as we now know it, the award-winning Fleece!)

Reporting excellent trade. Things running very smoothly. The app for ordering is easy, and quick service makes it even better. Fantastic outdoor space front (if you don’t mind the traffic) and back – remember, Otley’s only riverside pub.
Monday & Tuesday: closed
Wednesday & Thursday: midday to 9.00pm (food til 7.30pm)
Friday & Saturday: midday to 9.30pm (food til 8.00pm)
Sunday: midday to 8.00pm (food til 6.00pm)
See Facebook site for booking arrangements or, call on 01943 514886 or email Some days have been fully booked for food, so booking advised and there is space for walk-ins. Great work by Geoff and his team.

Groove Pad Beer & Vinyls

Fantastic outside set-up now even better. Canopies and heaters have gone up and with the evening lights it looks almost continental. Backed up by some great offers, it’s brilliant to see. Well done to all!
Temporary opening hours:
Friday: Midday to 8.00pm
Saturday and Sunday: 10.00am to 8.00pm

North Bar Social

Great outdoor space in conjunction with the Woolpack music studios. And they are continuing their fantastic offer for NHS staff:
“We mustn’t forget as we begin going back to normal, the thousands of key workers who have been on the frontline of the COVID-19 pandemic. We appreciate all those who have continued to support us through the last lockdown and to show our appreciation for NHS workers in particular we will be continuing our Buy the NHS a Pint scheme!
If you work for the NHS just show your server your card and you’ll get a drink for free for up to £5 plus you get a drink on the house every time you come in!
Some come join us and let us celebrate you and all your hard work!”

Opening hours: Midday to 10.00pm every day

Otley Tap House

Great to see the live music back – including Sunday late afternoons! Have you seen the pictures of the new upstairs venue room? Looks great and we can’t wait to visit. Events outside in the beer garden for now of course.
Live music “most” Fri and Sat evenings plus, Sunday late afternoon sessions starting at 5pm – great idea – memories of Korks Sunday afternoon sessions, always very popular. We wish Joe and the team every success.

Also, major sporting events on the huuuge screen outside. Check out Taps website for details of the events/times etc.

Bar opening hours:
Monday to Saturday: midday to midnight
Sunday: midday to 10.30pm
Food truck opening hours
Sunday to Thursday: midday to 10.00pm
Friday to Saturday: midday to 11:00pm
Last orders 9:30pm

Download “the Otley taps” app and order through the touch of a button!!
Otherwise you can order through this link:

The Royalty

Worth a walk up th’ill. The food is as good as always, although on a limited, but still quality menu for now. The homemade pasties are going down a treat – yum yum!
Opening hours midday to 7.00pm – of course weather permitting – probably worth checking Facebook for updates before venturing up!

Whitakers Arms

Monica and Andy and Jack doing great stuff. The garden is a joy – a great sun trap. Covered area is lovely and comfortable – heating is welcome! Food is consistently awesome!
Opening hours:
Monday & Tuesday: midday to 9.00pm
Wednesday: Closed
Thursday: midday to 9.00pm
Friday & Saturday: midday to 10.00pm
Sunday: midday to 6.00pm

Food hours: Monday to Friday: midday to 5.00pm
Saturday: midday to 5.00pm
Sunday: midday to 4.00pm

Yew Tree

Still providing the excellent carvery on Sundays 12.30 to 4pm. Now taking bookings to eat in (well…..out….but you know what we mean) or takeaway! Text 07392 306247 or ring 01943 461330 to book a table! No need to book on any other days – just turn up.

Monday to Thursday: 4 to 8pm
Friday & Saturday: 2 to 10pm
Sunday: 12 to 9pm

More excellent news and signs that things may be getting back to normal. From the Yew Tree:
“Book your party now! We are now taking bookings for functions after 21st June (guideline permitting!).
Free room hire and DJ ONLY £100 if booked before the end of May! Buffets also available”

Let’s hope they’re very, very busy! I’m sure they will be with all the catching up that needs to be done!

And Finally…

Compass Festival – Public House Project – welcoming artists Etheridge and Persighetti to Otley!

Otley Pub Club was delighted to welcome artists Katie Etheridge and Simon Persighetti to Otley as part of their work for the forthcoming Yorkshire Square pop-up pub/art installation, which will celebrate pubs and pub culture as part of the Leeds Compass Festival in July.

Since 2017 Katie and Simon have been working with brewers, publicans and campaigners (including our very own President, Greg Mulholland) to explore and celebrate the enduring role of Pubs as places of community, intergenerational exchange, entertainment, (hi)story telling and activism.

Every two years, Compass Festival animates the city of Leeds with interactive live art projects in public spaces like shopping centres, markets, museums and the city streets and the Public House project has become a mainstay of the festival.

During Compass Festival 2021, Public House: The Yorkshire Square, a four-sided pop-up-pub, will be in Leeds Kirkgate Market in July. It is modelled on the dimensions of the unique fermenting vessel made famous by Tetley’s Brewery. Exploring the idea that the Pub of the future has many faces, each side of The Yorkshire Square will present a different bar offering multiple ways to explore the past, present and future of pubs in Leeds and surrounding area. .

We were delighted to contribute to the project by showing Katie and Simon some of our famous pubs (if only outside!). They also interviewed Mel from the Black Bull as one a series of interviews with publicans.

We’re planning an Otley Pub Club trip to The Yorkshire Square in July so we will advertise this in the next newsletter.

To read more about the Yorkshire Square Project (and the Compass Festival) see

That’s it for this month folks. Remember, if you want your news/event covering just drop us an email.

Stay safe – keep your distance – wear your mask – wash your hands, be patient and hopefully we’ll be out of this before too long.

Very best regards

OPC Committee

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