The Old Peacock has teamed up with Spiced Mango to offer boozers top Indian nosh
Loath as we are to pigeonhole football fans as merely existing on a diet of beer and curry, alas it seems the perfect match for the Old Peacock to choose celebrated Indian restaurant the Spiced Mango as its food partner following a recent re-furb.
The Old Peacock has existed on Elland Road since 1826, that’s 93 years before Leeds United even existed and thus its patrons were awarded nearly a century of grace before the football club started to heap ritual misery and humiliation on the local population.
The demographic and the local landscape has changed considerably since then, and so has the Old Peacock. It has become a staple part of the matchday ritual for generations of Leeds United fans, and in 2013, Ossett Brewery spent £400,000 transforming a downtrodden ‘football pub’ into a prestige food and alehouse, which now serves record numbers of Leeds United fans on home matchdays.
Of course the trouble is, how do you make money on the 340 days a year that Leeds United don’t draw 30,000 crowds to the area? It’s a problem the Old Peacock has had since 1919, in an area that used to be largely residential, but is now mainly industrial and dominated by a football club that only comes alive on a couple of days a month.
For 99 years, the various owners of the Peacock have simply put up with that and budgeted for the matchdays in which the pub is transformed into a heaving mass for around two hours before Kick-Off, during which time they simply can’t pour beer quick enough for the thirsty hordes. To their credit, Ossett Brewery took a slightly different stance when they took over the closure-threatened pub five years ago and brought considered décor, trendy pale ales and homely gastro-food to LS11.
Now is a time for change though, and with no Indian restaurant within four miles of Elland Road, a lightbulb moment has triggered a food partnership between the pub and the Spiced Mango restaurant, which is based at Middlestown, near Wakefield.
The Spiced Mango is an amazing restaurant and we have worked very hard to make this partnership happen
From July 13th 2018, the pub’s restaurant will be serving an exclusively Indian menu on an evening and weekend, showcasing all the best ingredients from the Spiced Mango’s extensive menu and bringing its exciting and exotic Asian dishes to Elland Road.
This is the Spiced Mango’s first venture outside their signature restaurant, but for Ossett Brewery it is another bold leap into beer and food fusion, and mixing concepts with a reckless abandon that somehow works. After bringing authentic Japanese cuisine to Candlebar at Granary Wharf in Leeds city centre, via Edo Sushi, this is another food partnership that defies the stereotype of what will work in the shadow of a football ground.
The Old Peacock’s restaurant has been closed for three weeks, but mainly to re-fit equipment. A subtle internal refurbishment will offer some understated Indian touches but remain loyal to the skilful football design theme that manages to entrance Leeds United fans, whilst not scaring off regular punters with the usual garish football styling that hits you like a sledgehammer.
Owner of Ossett Brewery Jamie Lawson has been a regular customer at the Spiced Mango for many years, and the concept partnership came about through natural discussions. He commented:
“The Old Peacock is one of our most successful pubs, and obviously it has a unique location and special identity. However, we are always looking at ways to maximise revenues on non-matchdays and how to make all our pubs that little bit different and a bit special. The Spiced Mango is an amazing restaurant and we have worked very hard to make this partnership happen, so we can’t wait to see it become a great success."
Certainly we can’t help but applaud when a brewery tries to do something different and introduces a bit more style and quality and challenges conventions in an area. And so we will follow the July 13th opening with a swift visit to LS11 to try the new Old Peacock/Spiced Mango partnership, before the football season doubtless renders the Elland Road area a no-go zone for fun or contentment of any kind.