My history with The Commercial runs not nearly as deep as it does for many, nor does my frequency of patronage approach anything that might offer me license to think of myself as a regular. These things notwithstanding, I felt instantly compelled to nominate this fine establishment for a PotM award when I was last leaning upon their most estimable bar, learning that they were eligible again (their last nomination was quite some time ago). The occasion of said visit is itself reason enough to justify the nomination, since I was there to present the landlord with an award to acknowledge a noteworthy achievement, namely, 20 consecutive years in The Good Beer Guide.
I can vividly recall my first visit to The Commercial, for ‘twas a day upon which I was returning to Sheffield from Leeds. A friend offered to drive me and another down, rather than have us catch the train. The driver was to visit his family in Chapeltown, so it seemed like a sensible marriage of objectives. Upon arriving into Sheffield’s northernmost parts, it was suggested we visit The Commercial to help alleviate the symptoms of our previous night’s indulgence. Walking in, it immediately became clear that the choice to have a Saturday afternoon beer in this particular spot was no accident. The bar was a forest of beer engines (at that time, serving numerous ales from the now defunct Wentworth Brewery), there was an abundance of polished wood and brass… and a dartboard! That particular afternoon slipped by in perfect contentment and it was a shame that we couldn’t stay there (upright) all day. I always look forward to returning to The Commercial and take opportunities to introduce the place, wherever necessary, to those that have yet to have had the pleasure.
Of course, there are all sorts of things that recommend this pub to its patrons, chief among these being the terrifically popular monthly whisky tasting events, the hearty food, the friendly staff and the indefatigable landlord.
I find the Commercial, at once, remarkable yet unremarkable. It is a place of plain, winsome beauty that serves glorious, well-conditioned beer. In short, it is an unadulterated delight to spend time in Chapeltown’s most decorated public house.