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Previous Pint Pleasures - November 2, 2008

guinness eileen

University Arms, 197 Brook Hill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

In recent months I've been hearing about a "new" pub called the University Arms. In this climate of skyrocketing prices and economic uncertainty it's not surprising to hear about pub closures. In the past year in my part of Sheffield alone we've waved goodbye to 3 or 4 pubs. So how could a new pub possibly afford to open?

The reason is that the University Arms isn't exactly new. The place opened as a drinking establishment in 1952, but it wasn't called the University Arms and you and I couldn't walk in and order a pint. Originally a meeting place for university staff, it became a private members' club called Club 197 in 1982 and was open only to university staff and postgrad students. It wasn't until recently that the public was allowed into the premises after Mike Pidgeon took over last year, redecorated, and opened the University Arms public house.

One recent workday afternoon we decided to stop in for a visit. It's easy to find, situated just off the University roundabout. We walked up the steps and passed through to the rear of the pub where we found a bar with a good selection of locally brewed cask ales including Thornbridge and Acorn. The friendly barman served us pints of Wild Swan (3.5%, Thornbridge Brewery, Ashford in the Water, Derbyshire). This is a very nice, verrry hoppoppoppy brew, just the ticket after a short day at work. We sat in the back solarium and listened to the wind whistle through the large woodsy beer garden. The garden is equipped with a brick barbecue, making it an inviting destination in the summer, and it also has a patio heater for the cooler months.

In the solarium there is an upright piano which, after taking a few exploratory plunks on the keys, we found to be surprisingly in tune. We accompanied our pints with a bag of Yorkshire Crisps, a local gourmet brand with inspired flavours. I have to admit I don't eat crisps very often because they seem a bit boring, but these tomato, basil, and mozzarella flavoured crisps would beat plain old cheese and onion any day of the week.

The University Arms also features Belgian and European beers, food, a quiz night on Thursdays, and occasional live music, along with other special events including Morris dancers. Oops, sorry, I didn't mean to frighten away any Morrisphobes. I can assure you this won't be happening all the time, so it's no reason to stay away from this pleasantly traditional "new" pub.

University Arms Updates
(Last updated 28 August 2016)