Public announcement

Posted by: Ashley Birch
Public announcement supporting image

Photo credit: India Hobson

You spoke, they listened

Owners of Sheffield’s award-winning underground cocktail bar Public have been forced to do some soul-searching recently, and they’ve decided it’s time for real change.  


Today (27 November), Public co-owner James O’Hara has taken to the bar’s Instagram page to outline these changes, which include smaller seasonal cocktail menus, an improved beer selection and a more relaxed approach to bookings and table service. Basically, they’ve taken on board criticisms and are trying to adapt.


The post, which comes in the aftermath of a hefty business rates bill and plans for a new Sheffield ’indie business alliance’, initially reads like the bar is about to close for good, saying: “We’ve achieved everything we ever wanted with this little bar, we’re proud of the accolades and the awards but ultimately a business has to make sense and Public, in its current guise, just doesn’t.

“This isn’t JUST about THAT business rates bill but it has made us focus on survival and where we’ve gone wrong.


“Before we go on a heartfelt thanks to our regulars, you’ve kept us going over the last 2 years. Hopefully you’ll appreciate what we’re about to say and can still support us, we bloody hope so!”


James goes on to say: “It’s all well and good getting named the best bar in the U.K. and going up and down to London to get patted on the back by people who’ve never even been to the bar but if the people in Sheffield can’t get in, think it’s elitist or just simply don’t like it then what’s the point?


“Public: we called it this because it was an inclusive name but are we really?”

In an effort to become more inclusive, from December, the bar’s yearly cocktail menu is gone, making way for an ‘ever changing, smaller, seasonal menu simply printed on recycled paper’. They will also provide an improved beer selection, including crowd-pleasers like Guinness.


Finally, they are attempting to make more space for walk-ins by scrapping bookings, except for food, and having a more relaxed approach to table service. James added: “That’s it really. Use and abuse us! Invite your friends, don’t worry about not getting in (as much) and let’s enjoy the little place shall we?


“Public: For the many, not the few”


For the full announcement head over to Public’s Instagram page.

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