The Forum Sheffield: Summer of Love events to mark 30 years of bar opened as city's answer to a 'café bar you would find in Barcelona or Berlin'

A series of summer events are being held to celebrate 30 years of a popular pub that was conceived as Sheffield’s answer to a 'café bar you would find in Barcelona or Berlin'.

Sunday, 17th April 2022, 8:29 am

The Forum Kitchen + Bar in Devonshire Street first opened it’s doors on April 16 1992 as Forum Café Bar, Shops, and Boutiques.

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The venue has become a landmark over the last three decades visited by hundreds of revellers every week.

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An old picture of The Forum.

Now plans have been revealed for a series of events this summer to mark 30 years in business.

Nicky Geraghty, senior marketing executive, explained how the idea for the bar first came about.

She said: “Kane Yeardley (managing director) was good friends with Rob Mitchell (co-founder of Warp Records) at the time and the pair wanted to open a type of Café bar that you would find in Barcelona or Berlin.

Looking down Division Street.

“They teamed up with Anne Goodchild (curator of visual art for Sheffield Galleries and Museums Trust) to attend court and were granted the first new license in 15 years by Sheffield City Council.”

"The opening kickstarted the emergence of the area now known as The Devonshire Quarter.”

The bar is operated by True North Brew Co. which is famed for making Sheffield Dry Gin – the first gin to be distilled and bottled in Sheffield in over 100 years – alongside other beverages.

The continued success of the Forum is tied to the emergence of the brewery and distillery, which now operates 14 venues across the city and beyond including the popular Broadfield, The Common Room and Riverside in Kelham Island.

The outdoor seating area of the Forum in present day.

Nicky said: “Without Forum Kitchen + Bar there wouldn’t be True North Brew Co. It’s a cultural icon to Sheffield, without it there would be no Devonshire Green, and there would be no idea of alternative shopping.

“Forum set a standard that others followed and the venue is hugely linked to alternative culture and creativity.”

True North Brew Co. is now celebrating ‘30 Years of Us’ with a collection of events, limited edition produce, and a few surprises along the way.

Dubbed ‘The Summer of Love Tour’ is a five-month long celebration in which nine of True North venues are hosting free outdoor events in their beer gardens.

Before it became The Forum.

Kane Yeardley’s own Funktion-One sound system, aptly named ‘Purple Ronnie’ due to its popularity in the 90s, will tour the venues providing the soundstage for live DJs that are booked to entertain visitors.

From April 16 to August 20, participating venues include Forum Kitchen + Bar, The Crown & Anchor, The Horse & Jockey, Riverside Kelham, The Waggon & Horses, The Punch Bowl, The Broadfield and The Blue Stoops.

True North is expected to reveal more details about the programme of events next week.

The building the contains the Forum is owned by The Church of England which reinvest the tenancy costs into local charities.

The Forum used to have somewhat of a Roman theme.