The duo behind the UK's 'best' bar are opening a new restaurant in Sheffield

The duo behind a Sheffield bar named the UK’s best place to drink are collaborating on a new restaurant in the city.

Tuesday, 17th March 2020, 5:07 pm

Jack Wakelin was appointed general manager and cocktail aficionado at Public, which opened in a former toilet block beneath Sheffield Town Hall in 2017, and Tom Aronica was made head chef.

Together they have played a major role in its success, helping it achieve the honour of being named 'best place to drink’, as voted for by readers across the nation, in the prestigious Observer Food Monthly Awards in 2018.

The pair have previously run the popular pop-up supper club Bench at locations in Kelham Island and on Abbeydale Road, and they are now set to open a restaurant with the same name in Nether Edge.

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Bench Bar Restaurant would open on Nether Edge Road in Sheffield (pic: Google)

Bench Bar Restaurant will be based at the former Birdhouse Tea Company shop on Nether Edge Road, subject to planning permission being granted to convert the premises from retail use to a restaurant.

The planning application describes it as a bistro and neighbourhood shop, which would be open from 4pm until 11pm each day and would comprise a 24-cover restaurant and a small 'shop' where customers can buy items produced on-site.

“The current unit is completely empty and has been since September of last year so there'll be no loss to the area. Our use will bring a neighbourhood shop and restaurant to the area. We have signed a 12 year lease on the empty unit and intend on improving the neighbourhood's services," states the application form.

“With a neighbourhood restaurant opening to the evening it will bring more footfall to the area and boost the economy of the area. There will be minimal negative impact as we aren't open late and ensure our activities are in line with the licensing objectives.”

A licensing application has also been submitted for the right to supply alcohol from 4pm to 11.30pm Monday to Thursday, 2pm to 11.30pm on Fridays, 12pm to 11.30pm on Saturdays and 11am to 11.30pm on Sundays.

The application also outlines plans to play recorded music indoors during those hours.