Kelham Island, once the city’s cutlery-making hotbed, is fast becoming a place where foodies go to pick up their knives and forks.
The old industrial quarter has had new life breathed into it thanks to stylish and sympathetic conversions of its centuries-old warehouses, which are now home to inner city-dwellers. And since the award-winning gastro pub the Milestone on the corner of Ball Street brought fine dining to the area seven years ago, a number of cafes and restaurants have followed suit.
This weekend, two more Kelham Island venues hope to open their doors in time for the influx of visitors to Kelham Island Christmas Market. Both will be offering casual dining with an artisan twist.
Milestone owner Matt Bigland is challenging his group head chef Luke French to come up with witty new takes on the pizza for Craft & Dough, his artisan pizzeria on Green Lane.
“It will be an all-day operation serving pizzas for breakfast through to dinner,” says Matt, who also owns Fancie on Ecclesall Road and the Wig and Pen on Campo Lane. “We’re pushing Luke to come up with some interesting toppings. There may well be a nose to tail pork pizza.”
He’s welcoming with open arms the arrival of near-neighbour Urban Quarter, which also hopes to open this weekend, next to the Kelham Island Brewery shop. “The more places there are here, the more we will bring diners in,” he says.
Restaurateur and chef Stuart Baker is determined to open his artisan British burger bar on Saturday, council building regulations paperwork notwithstanding.
Stuart knows a thing or two about pizza - he has run Roast cafe in Howard Street for the last four years and staged numerous pizza nights.
At Urban Quarter the former Dorchester chef plans to hand-make burgers from Yorkshire beef and brioche buns from craft city bakers Roses. Select craft beers will be on the menu and cocktails will be in the safe hands of Adam Clark, this year’s bar tender of the year in the Eat Sheffield Awards .