Going back 15 years or so, a big night out on the town in Sheffield generally involved going to a nightclub as pretty much every pub and bar closed at 11pm. It would cost £5-10 to get in the club (although there were cheaper offers if you went in before 11pm to beat the queues) and although there were attractions in the form of music and opportunities to pull, the choice of drinks was generally terrible and expensive. In many city centre bars and clubs, I used to opt for the safe option of a bottle of Beck’s. The nightclubs generally used to shut at around 2am, from when there were huge queues in kebab shops and a choice of going on a hunt for an elusive taxi or catching the 2:30am night bus.
Fast forward to today, following the licencing reform of 2003 – something CAMRA campaigned for – pubs and bars can apply for a licence for any opening hours as long as the council feel it is appropriate for the location. There are now many places to get real ale (and other craft beers) well into the night – on a weekend, at least. The fast food and taxi situation is much improved too, although sadly night buses are no more.
Anyway, here is our guide to a post-midnight pint in Sheffield city centre – whether that be on a big night out or unwinding after a late shift at work!
Large classic Wetherspoon’s pub on two floors offering all you expect from the ‘Spoons chain, including national and local ales at reasonable prices. Open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.
On a Saturday night the opening hours are extended until 1am, it has music and TV screens but also plenty of seating if you want a more relaxed evening. There are a number of real ales available, a mixture of national brands and the more popular local beers, including Bradfield Farmer’s Blonde.
On a Friday and Saturday night this bar parties through until 2am with 80s music. A range of the more popular real ales, both local and national, are available here.
A German-themed party bar with two-pint steins of beer, sausages and pretzels, cheesy music, dancing on tables and more. For the real ale drinker there is normally a beer from Stancill on handpump. Open until 3am most nights.
Despite the lack of handpumps, ale is available here – look out for the little blackboards hanging above the bar. A quiet, civilised bar with tables outside in the square and a restaurant upstairs. The bar is open until 1am on Wednesdays and until 2am Thursday to Saturday (midnight the rest of the week).
By day this bar located in an old fire station is a relaxed affair serving up beer and burgers. At night it is still civilised thanks to keen door staff, but livelier with DJs providing music. A couple of real ales are on offer; Abbeydale Moonshine is a regular. Open until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Aimed primarily at students, this long thin venue has pool tables at one end and seating throughout the rest plus music and TV screens. A couple of real ales are available – normally a national brand and one of the more popular local ones – and there are some craft beers of reasonable interest on keg. Open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.
St James Street
By day this pub, located in a classic gothic building, feels smart and relaxed with a simple food offering. At the weekends it often sees live rock music and possibly a more alternative crowd. Real ales are generally national brands such as Theakston’s and Robinson’s but local guest ales also feature at busier times. Open until 2am Friday and Saturday nights.
Owned by True North Brewery and offering their own real ales plus Abbeydale Moonshine, this sports-themed bar offers 12 American pool tables, numerous TVs, a DJ most nights and food based on the American Deep South. Open until 1:30am Friday and Saturday, 12:30am the rest of the week.
Previously known as the Old House, this recently refurbished little bar in an old Georgian townhouse run by True North Brewery has a range of beers. While the daytime vibe is a relaxed one with food service, the evening is livelier with a DJ providing the music until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.
Run by Abbeydale Brewery and refurbished in 2016, this is somewhere to sit back and chill out with a decent beer. An extensive choice of real ales on handpump and craft beers on keg means there is always something interesting to try. Open until 2am every day.
Recently refurbished, this Greene King pub is decorated with a local music scene theme and has a small outdoor drinking area at the rear. A range of real ales are available from Greene King plus local guests. Open until 1am on Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights.
Another modern, recently refurbished bar. It has two rooms, one open-plan hall with music, the other a cosier L-shaped room with a relaxed atmosphere. As well as the main bar servicing both rooms, there is the ‘Slice Bar’ open from 4pm until late serving pizza by the slice as well as drinks. The bar is open until 1am on a Thursday, 2am on Fridays and 3am on Saturdays.
Part of the same family of pubs as the Cavendish on West Street and the Bloomery in Broomhill, the Graduate is a favourite with students of the nearby Sheffield Hallam University. Offering up to three real ales, the pub is open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
A fairly small venue but with a nice atmosphere and a range of beers and cocktails, open until 3am on Friday and Saturday nights and 2am the rest of the week.
Known for its live music events and with a recently refurbished kitchen, this bar overlooks Devonshire Green and attracts a varied crowd. There are two changing real ales on the pumps. Open until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.
This is a lively and often busy bar with a dancefloor. It hosts live music from time to time but at the weekend there is a DJ playing indie and classic tunes. Two real ales on the bar, usually Sharp’s Doom Bar and something from Clark’s of Wakefield, plus a bottled selection. Open until 2am on Tuesday and Wednesday and 4am Friday and Saturday nights.
A twin scene venue with the upstairs run as a fairly traditional pub and downstairs a music venue although live music does feature upstairs from time to time. A real ale is available on and off at the upstairs bar. On a Friday and Saturday night the Mulberry is now open until 6am with upstairs being rather cheesy featuring karaoke, and downstairs a more alternative playlist.
A cosy, traditional pub with a range of real ales and real cider, including up to eight cask offerings. Regular ales include Blue Bee’s Reet Pale, Kelham Island Easy Rider, Moorhouse’s Pride of Pendle and Welbeck Abbey’s Portland Black. Open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.
A former Lloyds No1 Bar in the Wetherspoons chain offering what you come to expect from a “Spoons”, with a range of ales including national brands and local guests at reasonable prices. Open until 1am on Friday and Saturday nights.
The Washington is a more traditional pub layout although it does have a dance floor/stage area and DJ box reflecting the fact it is a music-led venue. Earlier in the evening there is often live music, at night on a weekend there is a DJ playing quality music. The pub has two rooms, the other being a lounge with a piano. One central bar serves both rooms. There is also a large beer garden with an indoor section, the music is piped outside so those getting some fresh air don’t miss out on the atmosphere! Real ales on the bar include Abbeydale Moonshine, Exit 33 Mosaic and Black Sheep Bitter. Open until 1am on Tuesdays, 2am Wednesday and Thursday, and 3am on Friday and Saturday nights.
A quirky L-shaped bar, known best for its cocktails and the Lemon Drizzle flaming shots, however a selection of real ales are available on the bar too. Can get very busy at the weekend, when it opens until 3am (2am the rest of the week).
A chain that really needs no introduction although some things have changed in the old days of the Wine Lodge when it was proper cheesy. Nevertheless, there is still a DJ playing pop music at night, drinks offers during the week and cheap food during the day. Opens until 2am on Friday and Saturday nights (midnight Mon-Thu and 11pm Sunday). There are four handpumps on the bar dispensing the likes of Greene King IPA, Sharp’s Doom Bar, Robinson’s Dizzy Blonde and Thornbridge Jaipur.
This little pub is a serious rock bar with a DJ playing rock and metal tracks to an appreciative crowd until the early hours. Two real ales are normally on the bar, including Wychwood Hobgoblin, Sharp’s Doom Bar or Robinson’s Trooper.
Andy Cullen and Dominic Nelson