Sheffield speakeasy launches – in converted public toilets


A new speakeasy style cocktail bar, Public, has launched in the heart of Sheffield. The location: converted public toilets.


The fourth venture from local bar experts James O’Hara and James hill, Public is an intimate, speakeasy style cocktail bar in the heart of Sheffield, close to the renowned theatre district. What makes this cocktail bar so special, however, is the owners’ choice of location: underground, in the converted public toilets of Sheffield Town Hall.

Public boasts an extensive, bespoke cocktail menu that have been split into five quirky sections, with section titles including ‘Public Footpath’ and ‘Public Awareness’. Some of the cocktails feature high quality, local ingredients, and have a focus on sustainability – with other cocktails ingeniously being made with bar waste products. In addition, the speakeasy style bar has a broad wine list, and will offer food in the forms of small or sharing places, which will change seasonally.

Meanwhile, the highlight of Public is its innovative use of the unique space. As a converted 19th century public toilet, the bar offers an inviting and stylish environment to its guests. Designed by James O’Hara, co-founder of The Rockingham Group, Public boasts a bright, colourful interior - you would never imagine the underground location was previously public amenities. The small, 40-seat space is intimate in its nature, allowing the attention to every detail to take centre stage.

Built by Rocket Design, the well-placed bar is sophisticated, finished with a striking black and gold colour combination that is reminiscent of the speakeasy style. Individual booths follow this design, the dark seats a contrast to their backgrounds, which reign from polished wood to exposed brickwork. To elevate the speakeasy drinking experience, Public also has a ‘vinyl only’ music policy, with records being provided by a local, independent record store.

To continue with this tradition of using local products within the space, all ceramic crockery has been designed and created by local artist Franky Hague, of Grey Suit Clay. This includes the plates that will be used to serve food, and also mugs and saucers for various drinks. To show the creative process behind the ceramic elements made for the bar, Public also commissioned a video which shows artist Franky Hague making the pieces for the speakeasy, and discussing her love of working with clay:

Public opened its doors on Friday 24th November.





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