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Bar Review: The Mess Room, Skipton

Updated: Apr 27

Marvellous music meets brilliant beer at The Mess Room in Skipton.

The Mess Room, Skipton

The Mess Room, Skipton

What to expect at The Mess Room

In August 2019 Julia and Stephen McNamara opened an intimate microbar, The Mess Room, in the former fire station of Skipton’s picturesque canal quarter. Their vision was to create a relaxed, easy-going area for people to gather and bond, with the important additions of excellent drinks and top-quality music, to elevate the good vibes further. With the bar’s cosy ambience (think bohemian colours, rustic furniture and atmospheric lighting); its cracking beer selection; and a packed schedule of live artists, open mic nights and vinyl sessions, we think it does just that.

The Mess Room, Skipton

The Mess Room was extended in December 2022, with the opening of the adjoining Live Lounge – affectionately known as ‘Big Mess’ – a larger space with a second bar, a stage and capacity for around 120 people – allowing the hosting of full bands and more creative events. The 'Big Mess' is a sultrier affair, with the glow of neon and mood lighting bringing jazz club vibes. There’s also a lovely walled beer garden – the perfect summer suntrap.

The Mess Room, Skipton

What’s to drink at The Mess Room?

Owners Julia and Stephen pride themselves on their carefully-curated selection of exceptional beers from independent breweries. As their website states, you won’t find Carlsberg or Carling here! Eight craft kegs and four real ales mostly rotate regularly, whilst Lorelei lager by Strange Times Brewing (Salford) and North Brewing Co’s (Leeds) Sputnik Hazy Pale and Springwell Pils are permanent lines. When we visited, choices included Goose Eye Brewery’s (Keighley) Bitter, Parts and Labour Pale Ale by Rooster’s Brewing Co (Harrogate), Vanishing Point, a blonde ale from North Brewing Co, Forged Irish Stout (Dublin) and Camden Town Brewery’s Pale Ale, plus ciders from Lilley’s (Frome) and Sheppy’s (Taunton). A great variety of gins, rums, cocktails and wines are also on offer.

The Mess Room, Skipton

What’s on at The Mess Room?

The owners of The Mess Room are passionate about live music, and this is certainly evident in their events listings – there’s absolutely loads going on and something to suit all tastes. Live music is hosted every Sunday evening, plus selected Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Genres span everything from funk to rock to cabaret to blues to pop to indie, so you’re bound to find an act of interest. Notable guests have included Chris Helme (The Seahorses), Mark Morris (The Bluetones) and grammy-award-winning guitarist Albert Lee. Some events are ticketed but many are free, with optional table reservations recommended for popular times. In addition to scheduled artists, open mic nights are held twice monthly, quiz nights on the first Thursday of every month and Cheese and Vinyl Sunday afternoons from 3pm. Follow The Mess Room on Facebook and Instagram, and subscribe to their mailing list to stay up to date with upcoming events.


Where can I find The Mess Room?

The Mess Room is located on a lovely spot by the canal in the bustling market town of Skipton. Skipton is around an hour’s drive from Leeds or Harrogate. There are several options for parking; Cavendish Street Car Park is handy as it’s just a five-minute walk from The Mess Room. The bus station and train station are both just a five-minute walk away, too, with good transport links to nearby towns and cities.


The Mess Room, Skipton

The Mess Room, Skipton: Summary

-          Independent craft beer bar

-          Live music venue

-          Great choice of beers and ales

-          Dog-friendly (apart from during busy periods)

-          Tables can be reserved

-          Beer garden

-          Skipton town centre

-          Good transport links

-          Parking nearby

-          Monthly quiz

-          Twice-monthly open mic nights


Where can I find out more information, reserve a table or buy tickets?

Follow The Mess Room on Facebook, Instagram and their website for the latest opening times, event listings and updates. For events that are not free-entry, you can buy tickets on their Events page, here. Tables reservations for drinks or for non-ticketed events can be made via email, Facebook or in person.



Have you been to The Mess Room in Skipton? How was your visit? For more reviews from Skipton and North Yorkshire, keep and eye on our blog!

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The Mess Room is NOT in the CAMRA Good Beer Guide, the Boathouse and Beer Engine are, the Boathhouse is virtually opposite on the town side of the canal

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