The Closed Shop is one of two pubs opposite one another that have been reborn and made Commonside worth the short ride on the 95 bus up the hill from the City Centre or the walk down the hill from Crookes (the other being the Hallamshire House, now operated by Thornbridge Brewery). Andy Stephens’ Reet Ale Pubs took on the lease with Punch Taverns last year after the pub had gone downhill then closed, he reopened the pub with a range of real ales – some from Blue Bee Brewery which he co-owns along with guests. Not long after, the pub was subject to a refurbishment that left the pub smart, classy and well presented yet still quite traditional. Food was also introduced and this has proved popular with the menu expanded and also a childrens menu introduced. The food hours on a Sunday have also been extended to 9pm, the same as the rest of the week, so Sunday dinner are available right up until the quiz starts. The Sunday night quiz is Andy’s usual pub quiz where all the answers are linked by a tenuous theme, there is also a bingo quiz on Wednesday nights. Sporting action can normally be watched on the TV in the games room at the back of the pub, which also hosts a pool table. Another area that has been subject to refurbishment is the beer garden, which is now quite pleasant in the summer. Paul Howe moved up to the Closed Shop from the Rutland to be installed as assistant manager and the team have all made their own mark on the pub in various small ways, now lead by chef manager Mark Barton. We will be presenting our May Pub of the Month award, as voted for by our members, to the Closed Shop on the evening of Thursday 22nd May. As well as celebrating their award win, they will be celebrating the arrival of Spring with a beer festival which will see a second bar boasting a range of extra guest beers and there will be general party shenanigans too. Please come and join us, we’ll be there from about 8pm.