The rise of Sheffield's themed bars including 1970s Neepsend Social Club and Canteen, Sardinian Sky Lounge and Roxy Ball Room - opinion

Sheffield seems to be experiencing a renaissance of new venues opening that have a particular theme or pay homage in some way to a particular place or time.
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This summer we have seen the opening of Kelu - described as a 'Sardinian Sky Lounge' and specialising in Mediterranean food and drink.

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The rooftop venue sits atop the Krynkl development at Kelham Island and offers visitors the chance to sit back and relax while watching the sunset over the city skyline.

Roxy Ball Room.Roxy Ball Room.
Roxy Ball Room.
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There's also Le Ble - a new bakery, patisserie and coffee house painted in gold and promising ‘Mediterranean tastes’ which has just opened in the city centre.

The owners gave an insight into it's unusual name and said: "One name, two different meanings. Μπλε (meaning blue in Greek), is a tribute to the colour of the Mediterranean sea, where the founders of Le Blé come from.

"It also means wheat in French, one of the most basic ingredients for many of our products.

"An incredible journey to the tastes of the Mediterranean starts here."

Kelu.Kelu.
Kelu.

When is Roxy Ball Room due to open in Sheffield?

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But perhaps the most intriguing new place to open that pays homage to another influence is Neepsend Social Club and Canteen.

Based in Kelham Island, the venue is themed on British social club dating back to the 1970s.

The venue, which opened a few weeks ago, features a bar, games area for a quick round of darts or table football, and a canteen style restaurant area.

The Neepsend club.The Neepsend club.
The Neepsend club.

It is split into three main areas – a lounge at the front, the middle is taken up by the canteen and restaurant which leads to a pub games area at the back.

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Old pictures of scenes from social clubs in yesteryear adorn the walls, whilst there are maroon coloured curtains that frame the live music stage.

The floor is decked out in traditional patterns and is inspired by the flooring inside a social club in Attercliffe that the owners noticed during a visit to the venue.

The nostalgic theme continues on the food menu and there will be freshly cooked sausage rolls on the bar every evening.

Inside Le Ble.Inside Le Ble.
Inside Le Ble.

The whole concept is the mastermind of owners – twin brothers Tom and Ben Miller.

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Tom, aged 33, of Crookes, said: “We hope people who visit will look around, have something to drink and a bite to eat and feel nostalgic for a different time that is part of British culture."

And this week a new bar opens in the city centre that includes a nod to a legendary nightclub of the past.

Roxy Ball Room is set to open in Wellington Street on Friday, August 19.

The 15, 500 sq ft venue will include beer pong, pool, ice-free curling, duckpin bowling and a shuffleboard.

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It will be based underneath Telephone House, which was also once a ballroom dancing hall.

The club’s name also pays homage to Roxy Disco, which was a popular staple on the city nightlife scene in the 1980s.

There is of course nothing wrong with taking something from the past, or borrowing something from another place, and turning it into something new.

Let's hope these new venues can put their own stamp on their new businesses and make them a success.

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