A Sheffield takeaway for generations of party animals
When Chubbys opened its doors for the first time the nearby Limit club on West Street was only two years old. It served its customers right through the nightclub’s 13 year tenure - right up to its last night in 1991.
The Limit – which celebrates the 30th anniversary of its closure next year – is just one of a plethora of after dark venues the legendary takeaway has seen off.
Josephine’s – which opened in 1976 and was only yards from the door of Chubbys – provided a steady stream of hungry customers from the day it opened until the day they shut.
The Human League hadn’t even released ‘Dare’ when the eatery cooked its first burger and Def Leppard – fresh from early performances at the likes of the nearby Wapentake, would release their debut ‘On Through the Night’ album the same year as Chubbys first opened their doors.
The eatery has been a virtual given for generations of party animals for forty years – and this month marks the end of era as the march of change calls time for the business at the present location.
They’re having to make way for the Heart of the City II regeneration project.
Will they return? Thousands of people hope they do.
Chubbys has been a bit of an enigma since the day it opened.
Unveiling a late night takeaway couldn’t have been further from the career path of owner Mehran Behizad. Iranian-born – he first came to Sheffield in 1973 to study industrial design at the then polytechnic.
But he met his Sheffield-born wife and decided to stay in the UK to raise a family.
The Iranian Revolution of 1979 ruled out any return to his homeland at that time so he made the decision to set up Chubbys with various business partners. He later became the sole owner.
Chubbys has had its fair share of favourite recipes amongst punters. Some were deemed special due to their downright simplicity.
Their ‘sexy burger’ became an urban legend.
Why was it sexy? For the simple reason it came with nothing on! Genius!
And obviously there has been the Chubbys cheese sauce.
One regular remembered: “I only had to look at my shirt the morning after to know I’d visited Chubbys. If I had it would be covered in cheese sauce!
“I’ve been frequenting Chubbys since the ‘80s. I then passed on the tradition to my own kids - they love it. I still use it – but not quite as often or as late as I did in the 1980s.”
“I’ll be devastated to see it go. It has been a welcome part of the furniture for as long as I can remember. Cambridge Street has chopped and changed over the decades but Chubbys has stayed a constant. I even expected it to outlive me!”
Sheffield has had its fair share of late night eateries down the decades but few match Chubbys for staying power and resilience.
Pepes – which was sited just a few doors away on Cambridge Street – became huge in the 1990s. It had a second eatery at Hunters Bar roundabout and even operated from inside Club Uropa nightclub on Eyre Street.
Its pizzas and creamy coffees were in massive demand for years. It was the destination for the party set after they’d danced till the small hours in the late 1990s clubbing explosion.
But we’ll leave the last word to Chubbys. They made the shock announcement on social media a few days ago:
“After 40 years we are very sad to inform you that Chubbys will be forced to close from Monday, August 31 due to the proposed redevelopment of Cambridge Street.
“We hope to relocate as soon as possible - please keep a look out on Facebook for updates.
“Thank you all for your custom, loyalty and support over the past 40 years. We look forward to seeing you in the future.”
Many regulars immediately posted their disappointment on social media.
Melaine Axelby said: "You are and have been a part of my life for 33 years. Good luck and all the very best for finding a new venue soon.”
The Dirty Stop Outs have produced two Chubbys T-shirts to honour the legendary takeaway and will be featuring them in a future book. The shirts are just £19.95 each and available from: www.dirtystopouts.com