A hundred or so years ago, opening an establishment named after a remark attributed to Napoleon – a sworn enemy of the British crown – would have been professional suicide. Thank goodness times have changed because without Nation, Leeds would be bereft of one of its best nightspots.
Located on Cookridge Street, just a short walk from Leeds' famous Millennium Square, A Nation of Shopkeepers is the establishment of choice for fans of underground music, art, great food and great beer.
With a cosmopolitan array of draft beer ranging from Jamaican Red Stripe to Irish Guinness, you're sure to find something to suit your taste. Hemingway's Mojito is a popular choice for fans of the famously Bacchanalian novelist, while Weston's Old Rosie cider is available on draft for those who don't mind waking up with one hell of a headache.
The choice of food at A Nation of Shopkeepers is similarly wide-ranging. Macaroni and cheese, fried chicken, impressive breakfasts and sharing platters all score big amongst visitors. Finish off your meal with a chocolate brownie served with vanilla ice cream and you will not be disappointed.
But the main thing that makes A Nation of Shopkeepers such an important part of Leeds' already impressive nightlife scene is its commitment to great music. While most bars will encourage staff to bring in "cool" CDs to spin of an evening, or to plug their iPods into the sound system as long as they promise not to play their Lady Gaga and 2Unlimited playlists, Nation's approach is a much more sincere one.
Take a look at the bar's listings and you'll notice a heavy schedule of live music acts, DJ sets and club nights; it is events these that confirm the bar's position at the very heart of the new music scene in Leeds. With a calendar that is packed with fun, exciting and interesting things to attend, there's every chance that you will go to A Nation of Shopkeepers in search of a beer and leave with a new favourite band.