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Previous Pint Pleasures - August 19, 2009

guinness eileen

The York, 243-247 Fulwood Road, Broomhill, Sheffield, South Yorkshire

On a busy Broomhill corner, across the street from the new Eurospar, is another new old pub, the York. Originally opened in 1854 on the site of an old blacksmith's shop, the York sold cask ale to Broomhillians until 1970, by which time the disused second floor was discovered to be haunted. At some point the pub was closed and refurbished, and in January 1996 it reopened as part of the O'Neill's pseudo-Irish pub chain. In 2000 the pub changed once again, become part of the Edvard Munch-logoed Scream student pub chain. In 2008 it was refurbished back into the style of a traditional pub and re-opened once again as the York.

So I suppose one could call it the New York as opposed to the Old York. Fortunately one can no longer call it O'Neill's or Scream.

Recently I visited the York to meet some former workmates for an after-work drink. It was a warm sunny afternoon and we sat in the front corner room, "we" consisting of me and Craven as the other workmates had managed to come up with a wide range of creative excuses for opting out at the last minute. Ah, well, it was their loss. I started with a pint of Blanco Blonde (4.3% ABV, Sheffield Brewery), a nicely hoppy brew most refreshing after my long hot journey from the city centre aboard a First 52 sardine tin pulled by 5 snails. This lovely beer is very light in colour like a sunny room. Perhaps it was the beer rather than the late afternoon sun that was lighting up the room.

As there are up to 9 locally brewed cask ales available, I had to taste a few to make a decision on my next pint. I was tempted for a moment by the Mystery Ale. If you can guess what it is you have the chance to win 2 pints of the next Mystery Ale. Seeing as how my taste sample suggested a basic traditional bitter, of which there are dozens brewed in the UK, I decided to forego the mystery and go for a pint of Brewers Gold (4.0% ABV, Crouch Vale, Essex) instead. All I can say is the Gold, another pale ale, followed the Blonde very nicely. I could picture them walking down the beach together.

As we sipped and swapped library tales and other esoterica, I noticed some of the York's cultural offerings: books on a shelf, an art gallery room, and of course a pool table. The food menu seems to be reasonably priced and includes pork burgers and lamb burgers, soups, sandwiches, and plenty of vegetarian options, with a Sunday roast at £5.00. Monday nights feature acoustic jams and Wednesday is quiz night.

The decor features purple and lavender arches with simple wood tables and a classic pub sign from a Shepherd Neame pub called the Blue Anchor, which suggests a sea view rather than the York's view of Fulwood Road crawling with rush-hour gastropod traffic. Although the pub has a beer garden, the room in which we sat felt like its own beer garden, with picnic tables and lots of sunshine. The whole impression is of a student/musician/artist/writer/pool-player pub-cafe. The only real criticism I have is of the tankards in which they serve the pints. Pints of cask ale shouldn't have handles on them, at least not in city pubs. Quaint village pubs populated by old farmers sitting around roaring coal fires, perhaps. But not in a city pub. It's just all wrong.

York Updates
(Last updated 26 February 2017)