April 12, 2021

Public to launch in the heart of Sheffield this autumn

Launching in autumn 2017 close to Sheffield’s renowned theatre district, Public will be an intimate, speakeasy style cocktail bar located underground in the converted public toilets of Sheffield Town Hall. Creating exceptional cocktail craft outside of London, Public will deliver an exclusive bar experience to those seeking the unexpected.

Public is the fourth venture from local bar experts James O’Hara and James Hill. The entrepreneurs behind The Rockingham Group who have already successfully launched Picture House Social, which was named runner up in 2015 and 2016’s Observer Food Monthly Awards in the “Best Places to Drink in the UK” category. In addition, its Autumn 2016 menu was nominated for “Drinks List of the Year 2017” in the industry- leading Imbibe Awards. The group’s other ventures include city centre hot spot The Great Gatsby and Daisy’s Bar, Sheffield’s first sit down table service cocktail bar.

Public’s bespoke cocktail menu of 25 expertly curated drinks, is a progression of the cocktails tried and tested by The Rockingham Group’s world class bartenders over the last seven years and is their most forward thinking cocktail menu to date. The carefully developed drinks menu is split into five aptly named quirky sections. ‘Public Footpath’ features recipes using high quality local ingredients, including blackberry infused gin, which forms the base of the Hedgerow Negroni (£6.50), using blackberries from The Hedgerows of the Peak District.

With a focus on sustainability the menu also has a list of cocktails cleverly made from bar waste products. Highlights from the ‘Public Awareness’ section include, the Knockbox City Limits (£7.50), which infuses waste coffee grounds from Steam Yard, the city’s premier coffee shop, in Pedro Ximenez. The Sherbet Fountain (£6.50) is another intriguing creation, with its secret house-made ‘no waste’ citrus sherbet ingredient made from citrus peel. In addition to the innovative cocktail menu, there will be an extensive wine list to challenge any wine enthusiast.

The food menu, perfectly paired to accompany the experimental cocktails, is split into small plates and sharing food, using the best locally sourced ingredients to create a constantly changing, seasonal selection of dishes.

(L-R) James Hill, Jack Wakelin & James O’Hara

The bar’s interior offers an inviting and stylish environment in the unique converted 19th century public toilet. Despite the underground setting, the small 40-seat intimate space is bright and colourful. Attention to detail is prominent throughout the bar’s design from the premium menus to the ceramic plates, used to serve the food, by local artist Franky Hague of Grey Suit Clay. Elevating the drinking experience is the ‘vinyl only’ music policy, with all records provided by Sheffield’s best independent record store, Bear Tree Records.

Public will lead an emerging trend of exceptional cocktail bars outside of London and is set to become the first of its kind as Sheffield’s newest luxury drinking destination. Putting Sheffield firmly on the map with food and drink enthusiasts seeking out the best destination cocktail bars.