With a capacity of just over 500 and a pounding soundsystem, the Mint Club is a techno sweatbox definitely not for the faint hearted.
After the first major refurbishment since its inception 11 years ago, the Mint Club reopened its doors to the public in 2008. Truth be told, on first glance it doesn’t appear to have changed a huge amount, but this is by no means a bad thing.
A ceiling lighting panel based on the Watergate Club in Berlin has been installed (it's the largest of its kind in Europe) and there's also a thundering new Funktion1 soundsystem, but much of the raw intimacy that made the club such a favourite has been retained.
In fitting with the name, the club is decked out in mint green complete with Polo mint-style chairs dotted around. Its unisex toilets confuse many people on their first visit and be cautious about the mirrors on the walls directly outside the toilets; many a person has woke up with a sore head after a collision.
Rather than being tucked away in the corner, as it was previously, the DJ booth has been moved into a more central position and is now the main focus of the club. This certainly improves the DJ/crowd interaction, and if you select the right night the dancefloor goes off more impressively than a lit match in a firework factory.
One long bar at the back of the club makes getting a drink a breeze even on busy nights and there is even a smaller bar tucked away in the corner which many people seem to miss.
Unless you're one of the first few through the doors you'll struggle to find a place to sit down, but a plethora of mushroom toadstools in the ‘urban chic’ outdoor area offer an imaginative alternative to nestling on the cold concrete floor.
Mint Club is less than a minute's walk from the Headrow and is close to lots of cool and funky bars such as Mojo's, Sandinista and North Bar, all of which are perfect for pre-club drinks.
The crowd here varies from night to night but they're generally a pleasant and up for it crowd, although one or two slightly shady looking characters can be seen lurking in the corners as 5am rolls around.
The bouncers are far more friendly and approachable than you've come to expect, and the bar staff appear to enjoy the night as much as the punters and can be seen sneaking off for a little dance between collecting glasses. There's no dress code but it's advisable to leave those brand new white trainers in your wardrobe.
Drop into the Mint Club any night of the week and you'll hear house, techno or electro. Saturdays host established nights such as System, Asylum, Advice and Filth, while even the midweek student nights all pump out dance music.
With Kompakt and Cocoon residencies, both of which are exclusive to Mint, and guest appearances from world famous DJs such as Michael Mayer, Theo Parrish, The Hacker and DJ Rolando, the Mint Club is the place to come and get your weekly techno fix.
Drinks are just above reasonably priced for a weekend with all standard bottled beers and alcopops set at £3 to £3.50. A wide selection of spirits are available from the main bar and are charged at £3.50 with a mixer, although a double will cost you, unsurprisingly, double the price.
Attention to detail on drinks was clearly not high on the agenda during the refurbishment; straws seem to be like gold dust, tall drinks are served in cheap glasses and if you require a lime with your Corona then you'll have to go elsewhere.
Big discounts are available during the week and £1.50 will get you either a bottle of Carlsberg or a Jagermeister Bomb.
The Last Word
It can cost £10 entrance and upwards on a weekend but with nights going on until past 7am you definitely get value for money. With a booming sound system and an amazing light show, the recent refurbishment has firmly cemented the Mint’s place as the best small dance club in Leeds.