Looking back at legendary Sheffield takeaways Greasy Vera’s and Chubbys before national chains moved in

In the days before 24-hour takeaways and national chains like McDonalds moving into Sheffield city centre, there really was only one late night takeaway of note – Greasy Vera’s, writes Neil Anderson.
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The legendary eatery – a converted blue Austin van that sat on waste ground overlooking the city centre at the end of Corporation Street - was originally started by husband and wife team Vera and Les.

It was popular right back to the 1970s and became a post-nightclub necessity for scores of hungry revellers on a weekly basis in the 1980s and 1990s.

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Greasy Vera’s was also frequented by shift workers, on-duty police officers and more.

John Smith at Greasy Vera's in 2003John Smith at Greasy Vera's in 2003
John Smith at Greasy Vera's in 2003

The no-frills eatery – which amassed almost cult status - was accessed by a pot-hole filled road and added a portacabin in later years.

It even attracted the attention of big names. Stars from the Fiesta cabaret club were regular visitors after their performances and everyone from Freddie Starr to Alvin Stardust were spotted munching on bacon butties and drinking cups of tea in the small hours.

Greasy Vera’s was later taken over by John Smith and served its last customer in the 2000s.

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Their own unique take on the spelling of sandwich – or ‘sandwitch’ as it said on the sign – only added to their cult status.

ChubbysChubbys
Chubbys

By the 1990s there really was only one menu item of note as far as many were concerned – the ‘chegburger’. It was a burger with additional cheese and egg. If you were feeling really hungry there was a ‘double chegburger’.

Greasy Vera’s served generations of customers down the years. You only need to look at online message boards to get a feel of how popular it was. It was such a popular part of Sheffield’s after dark history.

It the early eighties another late night eatery that also went on to achieve cult status appeared on the Sheffield scene – Chubbys on Cambridge Street.

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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.

Greasy Veras.Greasy Veras.
Greasy Veras.

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.

Chubbys on Cambridge Street SheffieldChubbys on Cambridge Street Sheffield
Chubbys on Cambridge Street Sheffield
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Why was it sexy? For the simple reason it came with nothing on! Genius!

It closed after 40 years due to the redevelopment of Cambridge Street.

Both Chubbys and Greasy Vera’s T-shirts are available from www.dirtystopouts.com

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