This is sheffield in the evening

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This is Sheffield in the evening

Enchanting stages and energetic dance floors. Relaxing spas and restorative pints. Streets alive with chatter and cheer. In Sheffield city centre, the evening is time for friends, time to unwind, time to try something a little different. Enjoy the sights, savour the tastes, and revel in the sounds of Sheffield in the evening with tips from this guide published by Sheffield BID (Business Improvement District). Through the Alive After Five campaign, Sheffield BID aims to show off all the city centre has to offer each day from 5pm onwards. Sheffield has such a lively, diverse and safe city centre that it’s received national recognition through the prestigious Purple Flag Award for seven years running (see p 29). Read on, and discover how to make the most of this fantastic and welcoming city centre. 2

Live music


Backstage at Music in the Round


Eating and drinking


After-hours tea


City of beer


A ‘theatre of beer’


Bars transformed


Something different


Cultural evenings


Late evenings


Relaxing evenings


Flying the Purple Flag


Best Bar None


Getting here



Live music

Whether it’s smooth jazz in a cosy lounge, local rockers in a lively bar or a big-name orchestra gracing the City Hall stage, you’ll easily find great live music any night of the week in Sheffield city centre. The Leadmill is an icon of independent music that’s going strong after three decades, while Corporation – or Corp, as locals fondly call it – has been the city’s home of rock and alternative 4

music since 1997. Plug and Bungalows and Bears are ones for the indie kids, bringing to town acts hotly tipped by publications like NME and Loud and Quiet. Gigs in the O2 Academy’s auditorium range from rock to reggae to rap, and their club nights regularly keep crowds dancing into the early hours. Meanwhile the not-for-profit cafe Foodhall often opens at night to host gigs in the DIY spirit.

Photograph by Tracey Welch

For those whose tastes lean more towards the classical, Music in the Round stage intimate chamber music concerts in the Crucible Studio, and international orchestras make up a good part of the varied programme at Sheffield City Hall. Tucked away just off West Street, Trippets Lounge Bar hosts live jazz every Friday and Saturday, while the stages of Maggie May’s and West Street Live are graced with local bands most nights of

the week. And if you’d like to have a go yourself, head to open mic night on Mondays at The Green Room, another bar with music at its heart. Don’t forget to look out for major music festivals each year too, like the lively Tramlines weekender, the always innovative Sensoria, and the BBC Music Day showcase of local music.


Photograph by Kaupo Kikkas, courtesy of Music in the Round

Backstage at Music in the Round


Music in the Round is here to make classical music accessible to all. They host top-notch chamber music concerts in the intimate Crucible Studio, often featuring resident group Ensemble 360. We caught up with them to find out more. What can chamber music first-timers expect from a Music in the Round concert? Sitting unusually close to some of the world’s best classical musicians! So close that you can see their energy, feel the excitement and hear their control in every note. Chamber music is written to be listened to up close (traditionally it would have been played in your living room) and Music in the Round’s concerts are intended to give you that same extraordinary up-close experience. The Crucible Studio is both intimate and relaxed, with no formal dress code. Musicians often give a brief introduction to the music before they play, and you’ll get to hear a really wide range of music from classics by Bach and Mozart to contemporary works by the likes of Steve Reich and Philip Glass. And if it’s your first time, make sure you let box office know as you can get your first two tickets for just £5 each. What’s the highlight of the annual programme? The annual Sheffield Chamber Music Festival each May is, without a doubt, the highlight of the year. Ensemble 360 come together with guest artists from around the world to perform an incredible 30+ concerts in the Crucible Studio and at venues around the city in the space of just nine days.


Eating and drinking

A host of independent eateries have set up shop in Sheffield city centre alongside some larger, national names. Between them they offer everything from the truly indulgent to the budget. Since you’re so spoilt for choice, here are a few tips on places to eat out, whoever you’re with and whatever the occasion. Eating out... with friends Try an eclectic array of flavours from around the world, like delicious tacos at The Great Gatsby, something spicy at Butlers Balti House, artisan pizza at Craft and Dough or Japanese dishes from the sushi lover’s heaven that is Mr Miyagi. And for a sweet treat there’s Sundaes Gelato on Glossop Road, which stays open till 11pm each night. …with kids The Street Food Chef’s Mexican canteen opens into the evening and does mini burritos for smaller appetites. For a post-cinema treat, try one of the restaurants in the new development next to The Light on The Moor – Pizza Express, Gourmet Burger Kitchen and Nando’s all offer kids’ menus. …on a date Leopold Square is a pretty spot for a date, home to the likes of Zizzi, The Botanist and Cubana. For something a little different but distinctively charming, head to Tamper on a Friday night when the cafe opens late with its After Hours menu of cocktails, beer, wine and delicious small plates. 8

…to celebrate The luxurious seating at Oisoi is almost enough of a reason to celebrate a special occasion there – and its superb variety of Asian dishes is also impossible to resist. Silversmiths, meanwhile, uses local, fresh and seasonal produce, for those who want a special, but very Yorkshire, dining experience. …before a show Within a couple of minutes’ walk from the Crucible, Lyceum, Library Theatre and Montgomery are some excellent restaurant choices: from Mama’s and Leonie’s – an Italian restaurant dating back to the 60s – to much loved chains like Piccolino, Ego, Browns, Smoke and Bill’s. …on a budget All-you-can-eat Chinese restaurant U Buffet offers food bursting with flavour and at great prices. Meanwhile independent places like pizzeria Bloo88 and bar-eatery The Forum regularly have generous offers on their food, And, great value pub food options include the Roebuck Tavern and the Benjamin Huntsman.

Dine Sheffield Based on New York’s Restaurant Week, Dine Sheffield celebrates Sheffield’s diverse dining scene and gives the city’s foodies an opportunity to enjoy fantastic food at great prices. During Dine Sheffield diners can enjoy deals at some of the city’s most-loved cafes, pubs and restaurants. From world cuisine to pub grub, café

favourites and fine dining, some of Sheffield city centre’s favourite eateries have fixed price menus at £5, £10 or £15 per person. To keep up-to-date with the latest news, head to and keep an eye on #DineSheffield on Alive After Five’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages.



Photography by Nigel Barker

After-hours tea


Mother-daughter duo Julia and Rebecca English set up their loose leaf tea company in 2013, opening their tea shop in the pretty suburb of Nether Edge a year later. After searching for the perfect city centre location for years, Birdhouse Tea Company has now expanded, opening a Tea Bar and Kitchen on Sidney Street in early 2018. It’s a real treat to be able to relax with one of Birdhouse’s distinctive blends in beautiful surroundings until as late as 10pm each night – and to have the option of adding excellent food or a tea-infused cocktail into the mix. What made the duo want to make the move to the city centre and evening opening hours with their second branch? “We spoke to a whole range of demographics and something that continually popped up was people feeling like there was nowhere to go in the evenings to just relax – especially on their own,” Rebecca tells us. “With such a huge population of young professionals and students in our city, the ability to pop into a welcoming space to clear your mind or open your laptop and study with a nice cup of tea or glass of wine, away from your own four walls, has been welcomed with open arms by people from many different walks of life already.”

In recent years the area around Sidney Street has become home to several small galleries and artists’ studios, and Rebecca is hoping its nighttime community can now develop too. “We’re looking forward to the area growing and eventually creating a lovely community similar to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, which thrives on local people championing independent businesses not just in the day but also in the evening.” Serving pies from Pie Eyed, cheese boards from Porter Brook Deli and Little Mesters (Sheffield’s new cheese makers), and wines from Starmore Boss, Birdhouse is well on its way to creating a celebration of local independent businesses in its new corner of the city centre.


City of beer Home to characterful pubs and excellent breweries, Sheffield’s reputation for beer just keeps on growing. The city centre is a must see destination for real ale enthusiasts. Whether you enjoy a good craft beer crawl, are more at home in a cosy pub or prefer a bit of live music with your pint, these tips will help you make the most of the city’s thriving beer scene.

Craft beer crawl Hop off the train in Sheffield station and you can start out on a craft beer crawl almost immediately. The Sheffield Tap is housed in a series of elegant rooms off platform 1B and stocks more than 200 beers, both local and international, as well as brewing some of its own on site. From here, head to the nearby Rutland Arms, where there’s often a few local favourites on the taps alongside more usual brews from across the country. Onwards to Head of Steam, a bright and roomy beer hall conveniently close to the theatres and Winter Garden. Next, to the Devonshire Quarter, where you’ll find an ever changing array of quality craft and cask beers at The Devonshire Cat, as well as a branch of craft beer trailblazers BrewDog. 12

Live music pubs Specialising in both good beer and live local music, the Frog and Parrot is a longstanding institution in the Devonshire Quarter. Nearby, you can also often catch a gig over a beer at The Washington. The Grapes, meanwhile, is a traditional Irish pub that hosts acoustic music or a singalong in its front room most nights of the week (it also happens to be where Arctic Monkeys played their first gig).

Cosy pubs Sheffield’s not short of characterful pubs that are each cosy in their own way – some with hearty meals (The Red Deer, Fagan’s), others with snug corners (The Three Tuns) or a fire (The Bath Hotel), and those that just have that warming, traditional pub atmosphere (Dog and Partridge, Tap and Tankard).


Photography by Nigel Barker

A ‘theatre of beer’


A short walk from Sheffield station, Sentinel Brewhouse is a destination brewery, opened in 2016 by master brewer Alex Barlow. It brews a core range of British, continental and American style beers, which travel a matter of metres from the tanks to the hand pulls and taps – fresh, unfiltered and unpasteurised.

Alex invites you to step behind the scenes to enjoy the 'theatre of beer' at one of Sentinel's brewery tours. The tours are a unique opportunity to see the whole brewing process, from grain to glass, in Sheffield city centre. They run each Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with the last tour at 5pm each evening – visit to book.


Bars transformed

Photograph by Ant Oxley, courtesy of The Botanist

Things rarely stay the same for long in Sheffield city centre, and in recent months some of its favourite drinking holes have been utterly transformed with fresh new looks. The Devonshire Cat has had a sprightly makeover in keeping with its owner Abbeydale Brewery’s rebrand. Bungalows and Bears has once again brought new life to the old fire station with its facelift, making a feature of its huge bar and dance floor. Devonshire Quarter staple The Forum has installed some shiny new neon signs and opened a pizza slice bar alongside its excellent menu of burgers and meals. And The Devonshire (formerly The Old House) is now an elegant, understated place, with floral prints and greens to match its focus on all things gin.

Elsewhere in the city centre, a fairly unexpected space has recently found a new life as a bar. After years of standing empty, the doors to the former underground public toilets next to Sheffield Town Hall opened once again in autumn 2017 – now though, the space offers a convenience of a very different kind as speakeasy-style cocktail bar Public. Public is the latest venture from the people behind the The Great Gatsby and Picture House Social. “I must have walked past the gents’ toilets a thousand times without ever thinking about it,” owner James O’Hara says, “but we’ve always wanted to do a tiny underground bar that would allow us to be really particular and do a very personal project. Thankfully the Council, once they realised we weren’t insane, were also open to the idea – the rest is history!”

The Botanist 16

Photograph by Amber Carnegie

Public Image courtesy of Public

The Devonshire


Photograph by Amber Carnegie

Photograph by Nigel Barker

The Forum

The Devonshire

Something different Make jewellery Bars, shows, gigs and films are all great – but what if you’re after a truly one-off, unique or unusual evening? Well, Sheffield’s got you covered for that too. Here are our top tips for an alternative evening – whether you’re going solo, sharing it with a date, or spending it with friends.

Shoot lasers The sci-fi laser adventure that is Quasar offers pure entertainment, no matter your age. 18

CAST has been holding jewellery making evenings in various Sheffield restaurants and bars since 2016. The concept is simple: people get together over delicious food and drink, and carve their own ring from jewellers’ wax, which the organisers then take away and cast in silver, before delivering the finished item to you.

Get glamorous at Style Sheffield Every spring, Sheffield’s fashionistas and beauty addicts come out in force for Style Sheffield, an event which showcases the very best of the city’s fashion and beauty retailers, from small independents to big brands. Following a series of fringe events, including beauty nights and exclusive discount weekends, Style Sheffield culminates in a glamorous fashion

show where guests can see the very latest collections, shop their favourites, and enjoy a glitzy evening with friends. Keep an eye on #StyleSheffield on Alive After Five’s Twitter, Instagram and Facebook pages for the latest updates: @SheffAfter5,

Get creative Just off Division Street, The Art House is driven by the belief that natural creativity can be unlocked in anyone, given time, a bit of tuition, and the right environment. Look out for their regular, informal evening sessions such as Sip and Paint and Sketch Club.

Crack the code Described as being “like in a real life video game”, The Great Escape is a thrilling challenge: get a group together and solve clues and puzzles to make it out of one of the themed locked rooms within 45 minutes.

Get spooked Join Mr P Dreadful for an after-dark walk round the city, uncovering tales of characters thought to haunt its streets. Steel City Ghost Tours run on Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, setting off from the Town Hall steps at 7:30pm.


Cultural evenings Sheffield is a city of culture, and never more so than on an evening. As the sun goes down, the city’s stages and screens – and sometimes even galleries and museums – gleam with activity. Theatre Tudor Square is home to some of the most exciting theatres in the country, with the Crucible, Lyceum and Library Theatre all sharing a doorstep. Round the corner is The Montgomery, popular with amateur dramatics societies. Meanwhile in a converted Mothercare on the edge of the city centre, Theatre Deli hosts innovative shows involving anything from audience participation to virtual reality to beat boxing. Cinema Sheffield boasts one of Europe’s largest independent cinemas in the Showroom, which shows the latest art house releases and is home to festivals like Doc/Fest (documentaries), Celluloid Screams (horror films), and ShAFF (adventure films). The Curzon, meanwhile, brings indie films to a beautifully converted bank, and The Light is a brand new cinema on The Moor with some of the most luxurious seats in town.


Comedy Sheffield’s comedy scene is incredibly wideranging, taking in everything from big names with sell-out shows at the City Hall to newcomers’ gigs in the upstairs rooms of pubs like The Red Deer and Rutland Arms. In between the two, there are regular comedy nights to be found at the likes of The Leadmill and DINA. Art An art gallery opening at night may sound novel, but it’s not that unusual in Sheffield. Museums Sheffield’s Friday night Live Late social events regularly bring people together over art, crafts and music on at Millennium Gallery and Graves Gallery – look out for upcoming dates. And don’t miss exhibition opening evenings at the likes of Bloc Projects, Gloam Gallery, APG Works, and 99 Mary Street.


Photograph by Nigel Barker

Late evenings Night owls, step this way. Sheffield’s home to a lively and welcoming nightlife culture, with cracking bars and clubs dotted across the city centre. Nighttime hotspots include the elegant Leopold Square, where the likes of The Botanist, Bamboo Door and Kuckoo shake and stir some of the most colourful cocktails in town. Just over the road is All Bar One, a modern and stylish place for dinner, wine and cocktails. The Devonshire Quarter – around Rockingham, Carver and Division Streets – is home to a host of late bars, with favourites including Soyo, Beg Borrow and Steal, The Forum, Bungalows and Bears, BrewDog, The Green Room, The Devonshire, and The Great Gatsby, with the likes of Crystal, Paris, The Viper Rooms, and Popworld for those looking to dance. West Street is one of the busiest streets in the city each weekend, as crowds crawl between places like Walkabout, The Original Bierkeller, OMG, Reflex, Tiger Works, Revolución de Cuba, The Wick at Both Ends, and The Cavendish. Cocktail bars OHM, Revolution and Be At One cluster round the West One complex at the top end of the street. Elsewhere in the city centre, you’ll find places to dance the night away at a variety of club nights at places like Code, Plug, Leadmill, O2 Academy, Tank, Area, and Corporation.

Area 22


Image courtesy of Area

Relaxing evenings

At the end of a busy, fast-paced day, there’s nothing better than slowing it down and loosening up when evening comes. Luckily, Sheffield city centre has lots of opportunities for those looking to unwind.

Join a club By day, Union St is filled with busy freelancers and entrepreneurs. By night, it hosts classes and clubs to suit a range of interests – from pilates and life drawing to an alternative choir and food growing workshops. In an airy studio on Carver Street there’s also Unity Yoga, offering classes suitable for beginners and more advanced yogis.


Make a splash Whether it’s laps in the Olympic-sized swimming pool or a go on the slides in the family fun leisure pool, a dip at Ponds Forge International Sports Centre can’t help but leave you feeling good. On top of the pools, there’s also a gym and fitness centre, a sauna and a steam room.

Pick up a cue Putting your mind to a game of pool with friends isn’t just fun, but can also provide a welcome distraction from dayto-day stress. Book a table at The Common Room any night of the week.

Unwind in the baths Relax in beautiful surroundings in the Turkish baths at Spa 1877. It opens till 8:30pm Monday to Friday, giving you time to take it easy after the 9 to 5. 25



Our city centre has plenty to offer after 5pm. Retailers, restaurants, entertainment and leisure venues work together to deliver a unique early evening experience, with offers, promotions and special-events. Several signature events also feature as part of the early evening experience, including Restaurant Week (Dine Sheffield runs in March and September) and Fashion Week (Style Sheffield runs in May). Plus, many of our shops are open until at least 6pm weekdays and some stay open just that little bit later on a Thursday. See the website for upto-date information on where to shop. Here you’ll also find offers and promotions on food, leisure and entertainment after 5pm. So, hit pause on home time, and press play on you time. Life begins at 5 here in Sheffield!



Bungalows and Bears


Photograph @eweatherby

Flying the Purple Flag Since 2012 the national Purple Flag award has been given to towns and cities that offer a particularly welcoming, diverse, safe and enjoyable night out. Sheffield was the first city in Yorkshire to be awarded Purple Flag status in 2011 and is proud to fly the Purple Flag for the seventh year running in 2018. The award is largely down to the hard work of local businesses, as well as a strong partnership between South Yorkshire Police, Sheffield City Council, Sheffield City Centre Residents Action Group, South Yorkshire Fire and Rescue, U-Night, and Sheffield Business Improvement District (BID). So as you enjoy all that an evening in Sheffield has to offer, you can do so safe in the knowledge that it’s recognised as one of the country’s best cities for a safe night out.


Best Bar None Sheffield is one of a number of towns and cities to be part of Best Bar None, a scheme that works to reduce alcohol related crime, reward responsibly managed bars and pubs, and share practices to improve standards in evening and nighttime venues citywide.

Ask for Angela

Winners of the Sheffield Best Bar None awards for 2018/2019 are: The Common Room (Overall Best Bar None and Best Bar/Late Bar), Benjamin Huntsman (Best Pub and People’s Choice – Pub), Tank (Best Nightclub and Best Independent joint winner), Reflex (Best Chain and People’s Choice – Bar/Late Bar), Maida Vale (Best Independent joint winner), Sheffield Hallam (University Challenge), and Pop World (People’s Choice – Nightclub).

Anybody of any age, gender or orientation may find themselves feeling uncomfortable or even threatened while on a date or a night out. If you find yourself in this situation, you’re encouraged to approach bar staff and use the code words “Is Angela in?” The staff will then know that you’re in need of assistance and will help to discreetly remove you from the situation and call a taxi if necessary.

What’s more, Sheffield’s Best Bar None Champion scheme has received national recognition, being awarded the Most Innovative Scheme at the national Best Bar None Awards.

Originally the idea of Hayley Child, Substance Misuse Strategy Coordinator for Lincolnshire County Council, the campaign has since been rolled out in various cities across the country. 28 venues are currently signed up to the scheme in Sheffield, helping to ensure safety is a priority on any night out in the city.

As part of Sheffield’s Best Bar None initiative, in 2017 bars, pubs and clubs across the city came together to launch Ask For Angela, a campaign focussed on supporting those who feel unsafe, intimidated or threatened on a night out.

The Common Room 30

Photograph by Nigel Barker

Getting here Getting to Sheffield

Getting around

By train

By tram

Sheffield is well connected, with regular direct trains to most of the country’s major cities. Leeds, Manchester and Nottingham are each less than 1 hour away by train; London St Pancras 2 hours; and Edinburgh 4 hours.

Hop on the Supertram at various points across the city – stops include the Railway Station, the University, Sheffield Cathedral and West Street.

By bus

By coach National Express coaches regularly pull up at Sheffield Interchange, right in the city centre. Megabus drops off and picks up at Meadowhall, a tram ride away.

By road There are a multitude of parking options in the city centre. Alternatively you can Park and Ride at a number of spots just outside the city. Coming from the M1, park at Nunnery Square or Meadowhall, or from the west park at Middlewood, and catch the Supertram into the centre. Sheffield’s bus network reaches far and wide. Pick up a timetable from Sheffield Interchange (over the road from the Railway Station), or use their handy journey planner.

On foot The city centre isn’t huge, and you’re bound to discover more of the little things to love in Sheffield when you’re able to amble any which way you fancy!

Sound as a pound! Park your car in a council car park or use an onstreet parking space after 4.30pm on weekdays and in most cases it’ll only cost a quid. Then you’ve got the whole evening to explore all that the city centre has to offer.


Sheffield BID In 2015, over 500 businesses in Sheffield city centre collectively decided to invest in improving their environment. They wanted a busier, more vibrant city centre. They wanted a city centre that’s cleaner, safer, and easier to access and navigate. And they wanted a stronger voice. That’s where Sheffield BID comes in.


The BID (Business Improvement District) is the very centre of Sheffield – marked out by the boundary of the old inner city ring road. Within the city centre, Sheffield BID’s five-year action plan is to deliver projects and services across all sectors to enhance both the physical and trading environment.