So long and thanks for all the crisps.
Well it’s happening - Fab Café is leaving us. At least for a short while, anyway. In a way it feels like your best mate from secondary school is going off traveling for the summer before going to uni. He will be back - but who knows when and who knows where and how much will they have changed when they come back?
This bar has been the staple - my bread and butter if you will - when going for a night out in Leeds for the past 6 years. Having come from a small place with about a million “old man pubs” and nothing but a Wetherspoons for Friday night entertainment you can imagine what the cogs turning in my brain were conjuring up when a friend of mine who had been in Leeds a year before once told me, “Bruv its sick! You got some Hans Solo thing on the wall when you walk in, and it’s got House Of The Dead and Space Raiders and stuff”.
Suffice to say I was not disappointed. Other alternative venues have changed over the years since I have been in Leeds. Fuel still goes strong but has way more pop music than ever, God knows how many coats of paint Dry Dock has had since I arrived in this city and as much as I don’t want to admit it, Cockpit is just plain gone - but Fab Café always stayed strong and true to its calling. Nights out there could be fickle at times, being somewhat surprisingly quiet on some and then on others rammed, but it never disappointed.
This is the kind of place people could dress and act how they wanted without giving a crap, dance like monkeys, chat some grade a waffle and play some games. There are some rumours saying that you can go in the early evening and have food, though I’m still not convinced about that one, but it always game birth to some awesome nights out in Leeds regardless. As a result, whenever someone came to visit Leeds, Fab was the place to take them with its cheap drinks, late licence and decent mix of rock, pop, emo and metal - an instant recipe for success.
I was pretty proud of myself when we did the quiz and I managed to get 10 points for figuring out that the answer was Walt Disney when the clue was “some people called him a Nazi” although I was pretty let down by myself when I completely sucked at the video game themed quiz. I think my crowning moment in this place was when me and a friend managed to finish the House Of The Dead arcade machine - yeah that’s right, you read it right, your eyes do not deceive you - someone actually completed an arcade game. . . and yeah it cost about a tenner. Each! We were struggling at one point and this random guy joined in feeding the greedy machine with us until we had slugged through the whole thing. He then walked off into the crowd dancing in front of the UFO DJ booth never to be seen again. It was a beautiful moment the three of us shared.
However, the beauty of this place is within the amazing collection of random action figures, plushies and comics. I can’t count the amounts of times I have been propped up against the bar with a mate and said “Doode I had that Sonic cuddly toy when I was a kid!” and then promptly try to chat up whatever unfortunate bar maid had the pleasure of serving me using the exact same line 2 seconds later.