New Sheffield city centre site grows Pitcher & Piano portfolio to 18. Zoe Fryday reports
Sheffield has undergone a wave of regeneration in the last few years, with Kelham Island – the old industrial quarter – welcoming a surge of new bar openings and start-up businesses. The city centre, however, appeared to be lacking when it came to after-work drinking and dining destinations. Pitcher & Piano, which is operated by Marston’s, hopes to fulfil this desire. Joining 17 other P&P venues across the country, the new site is both vibrant and contemporary, presenting guests with a luxury space to unwind and enjoy those social post- 5pm hours. “We really wanted to create a fun, thriving destination for after work drinks in the city centre,” explains general manager Ellen Coulson. “The new bar is a great addition to the area, but has its own unique feel which we felt was missing from Sheffield.” Located a stone’s throw from the bustling theatre complex and City Hall, Pitcher & Piano is also drawing pre-and post-theatre crowds seeking a bite to eat before a show or a few drinks to finish off the night.
From muched-loved classics through to one-off house concoctions, the bar boasts an extensive variety of cocktails, alongside a selection of wine, spirits and sharing pitchers. “Every weekday from 5-8pm we have two for one house cocktails, which has been an immediate hit. It’s a great way to try things that you wouldn’t normally go for,” points out Ellen. “One of our most popular seasonal cocktails is the Midnight Express from our Winter Warmer menu. It’s a quirky cocktail with a mix of Absolute Vodka, Kahlua Salted Caramel Liqueur, chocolate powder, a shot of espresso, and a caramel and popcorn foam. It even comes with mini popcorn on the side.”
Drawing on the overarching popularity of flavoured gins, the team have also developed a dedicated menu of G&T pairings for guests to indulge in. Mason’s Lavender Gin mixed with Fever-Tree Indian Tonic is accompanied with blueberry liqueur and fresh berries, while Hendrick’s & London Essence Co Bitter Orange and Elderflower Tonic presents a “very British affair”, handsomely garnished with cucumber ribbons and orange peel. For those being mindful of their drinking, the Sheffield venue also provides everything from fruity iced teas to a range of alcohol- free cocktails using distilled non-alcoholic spirit Seedlip. The refreshing Apple a Day, for instance, combines Seedlip Spice 94 with apple juice, lemon juice, honey and cinnamon.
When it comes to food, Pitcher & Piano’s ethos is that it must be simple, fresh and honest. Small plates are a fashionable choice with customers. Whether its halloumi fries or peri-peri chicken skewers, the dishes offer a satisfying sharing option or accompaniment to a few cocktails. P&T also serves an assortment of sandwiches and quesadillas, burgers and modern twists on staple pub classics. The menus are adapted throughout the year to ensure the food and drinks are always seasonal and in sync.
As guests sit down to enjoy a glass of prosecco or a fruity Cosmopolitan, they become part of the chic, colourful aesthetic of the venue. The interior design, led by Concorde BGW, is striking yet intriguing. “Our new bar is very sleek and modern, but has quirky little touches here and there, with lots of millennial pink! We get complimented most on our neon P&P sign which dominates the downstairs bar.” There is a private room for meetings or dinner parties, and a charming roof terrace, which is already proving to be a signature feature. “We’re one of the only bars in Sheffield that has one so we can see this being a real hit when summer eventually arrives.” Capitalising on the weekend city buzz, Pitcher & Piano hosts live DJs on Fridays, and a saxophonist enhances funky Saturday night vibes.
According to the team, the reaction to the new venue has been great. “We’ve really come in with a bang,” says Ellen. “As the after-work culture continues to thrive in the city, we’d like to hold onto our place as a key destination for both the people of Sheffield, and those coming to visit. We love Sheffield!”
Pitcher & Piano, 1 Holly Street, Sheffield, S1 4AW
Behind the scenes
Interior designer: Concorde BGW
Architect: PHD Architects
Main contractor: Interiors UK
Bar and kitchen fit out: Interiors UK Signage: Sign Specialist
Originally published in the January 2019 print edition of Bar magazine.