By Jack Markham @str8edgesprint
With the demand for locally sourced, non-mass produced goods increasing exponentially year after year, Sheffield is setting itself apart as a city catering to those who want something a little bit different.
Nowhere is this more apparent than the renowned Devonshire Quarter, a veritable cornucopia of rustic bars, cute cafes, and vintage clothing shops. Indeed there is hardly a chain store in site, and those that are still have some interest, an example being the inclusion of one of the very few Taco Bell fast-food joints in the UK.
However the real interest lies with the shops and restaurants that are native to Sheffield, with all boasting unique features guaranteed to satisfy even the most demanding clientele. Take the Common Room for example, an American-inspired sports bar that brings together live sport, recreational pool, and authentic Oklahoman smoked food into one incredible package.
“The viewing experience is fantastic here. There’s not a place you can sit where you can’t see a TV, we have over 50,” said assistant manager Dan Bathie.
“We also have own pit grill imported from Oklahoma and the largest range of bourbon in any bar in South Yorkshire.”
If clothes shopping is more your thing, then Syd & Mallory offers another unique experience. The small, homely boutique is filled with retro detailing and you can speak with the owners as they hand-sew patterns and appliques in front of your very eyes. The garments are started upstairs on industrial machines and individually finished for the customer while they wait.
“I don’t think there’s any other shops doing that in Sheffield”, said co-creator Lucy Jo Newell.
Another hallmark of Sheffield’s independent scene is how the businesses and traders collaborate with one another to improve the industry on the whole. Not only do Syd & Mallory source their fabrics from mills in Sheffield, but whole events have been organised to promote this cooperative mindset.
This was seen at last weekend’s Peddler Night Market, an event featuring over 20 of Sheffield’s independent food, drink, and artistic businesses. The market runs monthly and has been gaining popularity with every occasion, culminating in queues running all the way down the street in Kelham Island where it was located this month, a testament to how popular the independent scene in Sheffield is now.
“We’ve been queuing here for about 45 minutes now, but it’s worth it because I’ve never seen any of these stalls before,” student Kate Marriott said while waiting in the queue.
“Me and my friends like experiencing something different that you can’t get every day.”