Ladies call time on lads' pubs
Saturday 10 April 1999
The pub's owner, the drinks giant Allied Domecq, asked its women employees to create their idea of a perfect place for a woman to have a drink on her own without feeling intimidated. After two years of planning, the Wharf Street pub, in Wellington Street, Leeds, once a place for hard- drinking men, is now a female den.
"It's a bit lighter and more open,'' said Damien Hawke, 21, a student. "But I don't like the idea of women isolating themselves, sitting together in their own little cells."
But would a woman on her own feel comfortable enough to drop in at Wharf Street and order a drink?
"I don't usually go anywhere on my own," said Emily Parry, 18, an office worker from Leeds. "Normally I would wait outside a pub for my friends before going in but I suppose I wouldn't feel uncomfortable waiting on my own in here. It's friendly enough, nice and bright, peaceful with a nice atmosphere."
Her friend Carolyn Kelly, 25, said she didn't think it was a lads' pub. "The decor is just too nice. I could bring my mum here and she doesn't like pubs."
Sharon Rice, 37, a police officer from Sheffield, said the pub didn't seem a place for posers or a bar for the lads.
"I am quite used to going into a place on my own, that wouldn't bother me, but I just hope the prices aren't too high that they exclude ordinary working-class women."
"Having women's magazines is a nice idea," said Sarah Coyne, 26, a project controller with a finance company. "If you're on your own you could flip through a mag and not feel awkward. "
How does the landlord, Jason Argyle, 29, welcome a woman on her own?
"By making her feel she's not on her own but part of the party. The trick is not to make her feel different because she is alone. How we do that is our little secret."
But there is no intention to ignore men, says Allied Domecq. "Pubs can be intimidating places for women but we have tried to design out the elements which traditionally put them off.
"We wanted to offer women a pub environment in which they felt welcome, comfortable and above all safe.
"The windows are bigger than in most pubs so people can see what's going on inside, the lighting is very good, there is waiter service so women don't have to join the scrum at the bar and there are decent toilets.
"The place is bright and open, the decor warm and friendly. There are chairs with backs so people feel they are protected - and the staff have been trained to make everyone feel welcome.''
Christopher Bates, a 20-year-old geography student, had just one complaint.
"The waiter service makes a difference," he said, "but one of the best ways of meeting a woman is rubbing shoulders when you're ordering drinks at the bar."
- 1 Game of Thrones season 6: Jon Snow theorists believe Ned Stark's son may have a twin sister
- 2 Artist takes LSD, draws herself over different stages of the 9-hour trip to show its effects
- 3 Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
- 4 iPhone 6s camera: features to include 4K video camera and flash for selfies
- 5 A pint of water every day is the key to losing weight, scientists say
Miley Cyrus address Robin Thicke VMA controversy: ‘He wanted me as naked as possible, but I got the heat because I’m a woman’
Most expensive city to live in for expatriates: Luanda, Angola takes number one spot with Hong Kong and Zurich in top three
If Surrey were Syria: Social experiment shows what it's like to live under siege
Irish tourist filmed fighting with shopkeepers in Turkey says they 'messed with the wrong man'
House of Lords: Outcry as donors, fixers and MPs caught up in expenses scandal get peerages
Dresden riots: Protesters in Germany attack refugee buses shouting 'foreigners out'
France train shooting: US soldiers speak of the moment they stopped gunman and 'beat him until he was unconscious'
Labour leadership: Jeremy Corbyn accused of 'deluding' young supporters with 'claptrap'
'Women only' train carriages: Jeremy Corbyn unveils radical move to tackle public harassment
Black holes are a passage to another universe, says Stephen Hawking
Iain Duncan Smith 'should resign over disability benefit death figures', says Jeremy Corbyn
£9464 - £12995 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...
£26000 - £29000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The Product Development departm...
£19000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This hull based charity providing except...
£9464 - £10396 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The successful applicant will ne...