Future of live music Sheffield pub in doubt after owners are ‘given notice to leave’

The future of a popular live music pub in Sheffield has been thrown into doubt after the owners were ‘given notice to leave’.

Friday, 12th April 2019, 9:40 am
Updated Friday, 12th April 2019, 9:44 am
The Dove & Rainbow,Hartshead Square,Sheffield City Centre

The Dove and Rainbow, on Hartshead Square, is owned by pub company Punch Taverns. 

In a post on Facebook, the owners revealed Punch are hoping to transform the pub so that it befits a ‘wider market’. 

The Dove & Rainbow,Hartshead Square,Sheffield City Centre

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They said that, under the new plans, the stage and pool table would be lost as well as ending the ‘house doubles’ and cocktail menu.

As a result, the owners said that Punch’s vision for the pub did not match theirs and they have been ‘given notice to leave’. 

In a post on Facebook, the owners said: “It is with much sadness, cider and JD, that we have to tell you that after nearly 13 years, we will be leaving the Dove at the end of June.

“This is because Punch have plans to invest for the pub to appeal to a “broader market” and to serve food. Their vision for the future does not match ours, or even come close. It is not our choice to go.

“We very much wanted to “Remain” on our current terms and we still have three years left on our tenancy.

“However, after months of heated discussions, we have been told that remaining as we are is not an option. We are therefore being given notice to leave, just because we would not sign up to their new plans.”

The Dove and Rainbow prides itself on being the home of ‘rock music, real and live music’ in Sheffield with a number of bands performing there over the years.

However, the owners said that Punch’s proposals crossed a number of 'red lines’ with financial implications and future trading arrangements they could not agree to. 

While the pub will still be open past the end of June, the owners said it will be a ‘different version’ with ‘someone else to determine exactly what that will look like'.

They said: “The pub will be getting a refurb (new toilets, yay!), which we do agree it very much needs, so will be closed for a few weeks after we leave.

“Dovestock, 21-23 June, will be our last live music event, and we also have a few other weekend slots available between now and then, for key bands who have played before.

“If you would like a final gig on our stage, for old times sake, just message Keith on Dove Central.

“Until then, it's very much “Business as usual” right up until we call time on our final night on Saturday 29th June, and we hope that you will continue to support us, and all our staff, as you always have done.”

Punch Managing Director, Andy Spencer said: “The Dove and Rainbow is a live music venue that as the pub’s owners, we believe in.  We understand the strength of feeling shown from our pubs loyal customers about the businesses future. 

“We want to reiterate that it is in everyone’s interests that the Dove and Rainbow has a bright future,  and that is why we have taken the decision to invest in the pub to ensure its success.  

“Our plans are sensitive to the pub and its history of being a popular music venue in Sheffield and we aim to both enhance and widen its appeal.   

“We will work hard to find the right people who can take the business forward to serve customers both old and new.”