Pub visits this week: 2
It’s been a tough week for Get to the pub.com as heavy snow has made it a task getting anywhere – and in any case, when the most part of it came down, on Tuesday, there was barely a pub to be found open in the middle of Sheffield. Luckily for you, the reader, I bravely struggled to the Rutland Arms for a couple of hours on Friday evening (the Sheffield one this time, not the Grimsby one) and ventured out again on the Saturday. I know, I know, the selfless sacrifices I make. No need to thank me. Has your pubbing been affected by the weather? Post a comment and share the pain.
Rutland Arms, Brown Street, Sheffield. A quick flurry of snow-defying drinks after work, which I shan’t expand on here because I’ve started writing a whole post about the Rutland based on this visit (look out for it here in the next two or three days). An interesting point is raised in the pub chat though: someone remarks that pubs are less likely to open in severe weather these days because managers are less often tenants, and instead of living upstairs in the pub they’ll more likely travel in from a home elsewhere.
The Shakespeare, Gibraltar Street, Sheffield. This is probably my last ever visit to the Shakey: opened as a coaching inn in 1821, it’s about to shut down for no reason that seems terribly clear to anyone (“the owner’s obligation to sell the building”, according to a note on the door). A couple of years ago it abruptly became the live music venue of choice for Sheffield’s hipster cognoscenti, deriving an agreeable kind of shabby boho feel from some pot plants, a couple of sofas, and stacks of those free magazines about local culture and stuff which seem to proliferate in this city (you know, all ‘challenging’ photography and features about graffiti). Tonight I’m here for the DJ night, Pop-o-matic, which some of my friends are running. The venue part upstairs is apparently as cold as the Scandinavian conditions outside, so the music is happening downstairs in the main pub bit. There aren’t many here, largely because of the weather, but as we drink a lot of pints of Easy Rider and Directors, and a few whiskeys, there’s enough warmth in the room to de-ice the nation, and we finish the night dancing tipsily to ‘Mr Blue Sky’ and ‘Together in Electric Dreams’. Goodbye, the Shakespeare – I hardly knew you. But this is a great way to go out.