Sheffield’s Kelham Island is the biggest up
and coming area in the UK. It has got lots of your traditional breweries and pubs but
it has also got lots of new bars and restaurants opening up all the time. So where should you
go and what should you do whilst you’re in Kelham Island? Let’s find out. My name is
James and this is The Sheffield Guide. Just half a mile north of Sheffield City Centre,
Kelham Island is an area that has seen significant change, from an industrial heartland to the
best urban neighbourhood in the UK. Although people refer to it as Kelham Island,
the Kelham Island bit of the area is actually just this little islandy bit in the middle
that surrounds the Kelham Island Museum. What happened was, they diverted the river Don
around this little passage surrounding the factories which used to power the water wheels
which powered all the factories. In fact, what is commonly referred to as Kelham
Island nowadays is actually the traditional area of Neepsend and parts of Shalesmoor.
So even though the industry isn’t here in this area any more and things have moved on
and developed, you can still see a lot of that past industry in all the factories that
still surround here that are being converted into beautiful flats and venues and pubs and
bars and restaurants, you can also come to somewhere like here the Kelham Island Museum
with this beautiful big bessemer behind me where you can see a real glimpse into the
past. One thing the area is known for is its unparalleled
real ale scene, earning the nickname of the ‘Valley of Beer’. In fact, Sheffield has
nearly five times the amount of breweries as Greater London. Big brands such as Stones
and Bass have long since left Kelham Island, but in their place many different independent
brewers have emerged. The Fat Cat is probably the most important
pub in Kelham Island, it is the one that started the whole real ale trend. Back in the eighties
this was a real run down area and all across Sheffield all the pubs were run by your industrial
mass-produced breweries like Stones and Wards and Tetleys. A couple of people came and they
bought The Fat Cat which used to be known as The Alma, and they changed it into a free
house where they could essentially curate the best of beers from around the world. Even
as this area was deprived and it was a bit of a no-go area in some respects, lots of
people used to come to this area just for the beer in The Fat Cat. Now as they grew
through the nineties it expanded and they started to make their own beer and created
the Kelham Island Brewery, which is still going today and it is the longest running
brewery in Sheffield now. If real ale and craft beers are your thing,
then Kelham Island is for you with arguably the best pub crawls in the country, full of
award winning pubs. Many people like to start out at the amusingly named Bar Stewards micropub
on Shalesmoor. Right across the road from that is the excellent Shakespeares with its
massive menu of hand-pull drinks. It is then just a short walk across to the extremely
popular, 2018 Sheffield Campaign for Real Ale pub of the year, the Kelham Island Tavern.
This amazing pub is the only venue to have won CAMRA’s national Pub of the Year award
in two consecutive years. If you’re arriving to the area on the Supertram,
the conveniently placed Shalesmoor stop sits right next to The Wellington, which is the
tap pub of the Neepsend Brewery. From there is is a hop over the crossings to get to the
likes of The Ship, a historical pub which has been refurbished to a high standard in
the last few years. It is said that two seamen, possibly smugglers, drowned during the Sheffield
Flood of 1864 in secret tunnels under the pub.
If you’re coming into the area from further along the A61, you might want to try out The
Harlequin on Nursery Street, who’s house beers come from Sheffield’s Exit 33 Brewing
company. Going to the very opposite end of the whole area, the recently crowned Sheffield
CAMRA pub of the year is the Gardeners Rest, who are the tap house for the Sheffield Brewery
Company. This is one of the real success stories of
the area. The Gardeners Rest is essentially now community owned, which means that it’s
locals essentially own the place so it is always going to be a really cool friendly
place to go. As well as that lots of non-profits and charities and things like that all meet
around here. It has one of the best beer gardens in the region as well, it is always worth
just having a walk through, grabbing a pint from the bar – a nice cold pint – have a walk
through and sit down by the river in the beer garden.
But what if Real Ale just isn’t your thing? Kelham Island has pretty much everyone covered.
The Kelham Wine Bar is situated just at the end of the Ball Street bridge alongside its
sister venue Graffiti Bar and Kitchen, which happens to have a lovely cocktail menu as
well as a funky outside pod dining area. Sat atop recycled shipping containers at the
Krynkl complex is INC, Sheffield’s first rooftop bar. Not only is this a cool, and
stylish place to come and relax with a few friends, especially in the sunshine, its cocktail
menu is one of the finest in Kelham Island. Spending time in the sun doesn’t stop there
– some of the best Beer Gardens in Sheffield can be found in Kelham Island, not least the
popular Riverside Kelham and its huge outside area. The recently rebranded Riverside Kelham
is now run by the True North Brew Co famous for other Sheffield venues such as The Forum,
The Broadfield, The York and more. Remember to nip across the bridge for a good view of
the famous and incredible artwork by Phlegm on the wall behind here.
All you coffee lovers are catered for too. The Grind Cafe in Cornwall Works is a brilliant
lunchtime spot whilst The Gatehouse at the entrance to Little Kelham has recently opened
to much fanfare. For something a little more different, Kelham
Arcade on Burton Street houses shop units for the likes of Depot Bakery, and Sheffield
Cheesemasters. So here we are at The Milestone, this is the
gastropub that started the resurrection of food around Kelham Island. It was one of the
first big food venues to pop up as this place was still a hive of industry.
Its probably best known for being a semi-finalist in Gordon Ramsey’s Best British Restaurant
series, but not only is it great for food itself, the Milestone Group has helped with
the revolution of Kelham Island as an area – they own Craft and Dough just down by Kelham
Island Museum, they also have a hand in Inc and Joro in the Krynkl shipping container
buildings and they have also recently opened up Cutlery Works, a big food hall which has
opened to much acclaim. And what a place Cutlery Works is! Located
in and named after the old Rutland Cutlery Works on Neepsend Lane, this amazing building
has 14 food outlets and 3 bars on 2 floors – making it the largest foodhall in the North
of England. You’re spoilt for choice here with everything
from fantastic pies and burgers to amazing sushi to mouth-watering vegan desserts and
everything in between. There’s even a bean-to-bar craft chocolate factory on site!
Don’t make the mistake many do of sticking just to the downstairs hall, head upstairs
for a continuation of all the goodness – and if you want a Cutlery Works protip: Just find
a table, download the Milestone Group App and order with no queuing, along with some
hidden special offers and earning loyalty points.
One of the newer bars around Kelham Island is this one – it is called Pina, with the
Kid Acne graphic on the wall and it is the result of a couple of people who went to Mexico
and tried out the food and the drink and the culture and brought all that down into a little
old workshop that exists here in Kelham Island. And it is the best place to go get Tacos,
it is really cool there’s an upstairs where you can watch the sport on the screens, there’s
a downstairs where you can have cocktails and food and it is just a fun, nice place
to come out to. Around the corner on Hicks Street is The Old
Workshop, which is again situated in, well, an old workshop. Probably the most dedicated
craft beer bar in the whole of Sheffield, this place is very quickly gaining a reputation
as one of the best bars in Kelham Island. For food they serve a selection of Pinchos
from their open kitchen – think Tapas, but with the lovely fresh food stacked on slices
of bread and held in place with a toothpick. There’s no prizes for guessing what food
is on offer at Stew and Oyster by the beautiful old Green Lane Works entrance and clocktower.
This bright and airy bar and restaurant has an amazing menu to match its wonderful, large
outdoor space. If you’re looking for the really cool end
of Kelham Island you have to come down here to Church, The Temple of Fun. It is called
the Temple of Fun for a reason, because it has got all kinds of cool stuff in there.
There’s not only a shop from Drop Dead, there is a tattoist, there’s a ‘barcade’ so you’ve
got lots of arcade machines and pinball machines. Loads of cool cocktails, loads of nice drinks,
everything in there is Vegan, there’s food – a massive vegan menu of food, one of the
best in the country from Make No Bones. Occasionally they’ll host gigs as well, one of the guys
that owns this place is actually one of the members of Bring Me The Horizon the huge Sheffield
band that have done really well, and he is investing back into Sheffield and into the
area through things like Church, through things like Drop Dead and all this Temple of Fun
stuff. It is one of the best places to come down and give a try.
Kelham Island has a good reputation for amazing events too. Every few months the Kelham Island
and Neepsend Community Alliance arranges the ‘Ball Street Deli’ – where the road is
closed and a food, drink and makers market is set up along the gorgeous Grade 2 listed
Ball Street Bridge. Music is very much in the DNA of the area
with practice rooms and studios aplenty. Yellow Arch has seen the likes of Sheffield sons
Arctic Monkeys, Reverend and the Makers and Richard Hawley practice, play and record there,
not to mention International superstars such as Kylie Minogue, James, Texas and even one
of the many Sugababes line-ups. Located in a former nuts and bolts factory,
The often overlooked, but really nice Yellow Arch bar and lounge is open for all throughout
the day and a plethora of gigs, parties, club events and much more happen in the dedicated
event space in the evenings and through to the early hours.
If you’re looking to hire a different kind of space for a party, wedding or other occasion
then look no further than the amazing Chimney House by the Kelham Island Museum, or their
new sister venue The Mowbray on Mowbray street. A must-visit event is Peddler, a night market
that takes place at 92 Burton Road warehouses on the first Friday and Saturday of every
month. This incredible space houses a huge rotating assortment of street food vendors,
drinks, makers’ stalls, art and live music. This combination of prooves extremely popular,
ensuring a unique, entertaining and unforgettable experience each and every month.
And all that is not the end of Kelham Island either, there’s lots more coming in the future.
Just over my should up the road there, there is a really cool new container unit yard being
built where there is going to be loads of shipping containers with lots of little businesses
in there, bars, restaurants, cool gig nights. There’s even talk of a brewery and a distillery
there as well. And beyond that the old Ski Village is being
done up again and renovated as a brand new extreme sport village as well, by Extreme,
so look out for that in the future. Phew – there’s so much to take in across
this amazing area, and there’s probably more that we’ve missed on this non-exhaustive
list plus all the new spaces opening all the time, but how will you ever know what’s
going on? Luckily, Kelham Island is the only area in Sheffield to have its own dedicated
app with all your listings, offers and much more so go download the This Is Kelham app
for iPhone or Android now. What do you think of Kelham Island and the
area? What’s your favourite bars? What did we inevitably miss? Let us know in the comments
and please like, share and remember to subscribe to the DeeJayOne UK channel to support and
get more Sheffield Guide videos in the future. Thanks for watching.