127-129 Division Street, Central, Sheffield.
tel = (0114) 2720569 „
After attending my graduation in Sheffield, I was reminded of what a great time I had there and thought I should write some reviews of the bars I used to frequent. I wrote this review from memory, so apologies if it's not quite as detailed as it should be!
The Forum is a cafe bar on Division Street, just below and running parallel to West Street where the Supertram goes. It is on the corner next to the Green, and even spills over onto it, with the unusual 'swimming pool'-like walls and decor. This made little sense to me until the summer, when I saw the numerous tables and chairs put out for people to enjoy their drinks!
Inside the bar is open and airy, a very pleasant place to sit. It sells all sorts of drinks including wines and spirits, and has a good range of cocktails. There are some amazing cakes available if you go in during the afternoon for a cup of tea, and they look amazing too with their coloured icing!
At night the bar is busier and is open later than others at the weekend, meaning that it can sometimes get crowded but never, in my experience, uncomfortably so. The bar also sells a decent range of slightly more upmarket pub food, with the usual suspects such as chips and nachos.
Sometimes the bar has a band playing, as we found out one afternoon when we went in for a quiet coffee and found the band setting up right next to us, making much noise in the process!
Overall, The Forum is a nice bar at any time of day as it has a good atmosphere and close to other bars and restaurants in Sheffield. My preferred time of visit was afternoon as I could enjoy a cup of tea and a delicious cake in a nice environment!
~~~THIS REVIEW ONLY COVERS THE FORUM CAFE/BAR AND NOT THE FORUM COMPLEX AS A WHOLE~~~
The Forum Cafe/Bar is located in the centre of Sheffield in the trendy Devonshire Green/Division Street area of town. It forms part of the Forum Complex of bars and boutique shops.
The bar has been recently refurbished and is spacious and stylish with ample seating areas inside. These are made up of comfy sofas and traditional chairs and benches. To the right of the bar as you look at it there is a terraced area. During summer months deck chairs and tables are available for you to perch yourself on and have drinks and food.
I love going up there on a day off or after work to have a few drinks and chill out for a couple of hours. The terrace is mosaiced and gives off a vibe of being in a Spanish bar somewhere, perhaps Barcelona as I find there is a very relaxed, sophisticated vibe to the place.
The crowd of people who go there is quite diverse. Students, professionals and general sophisticated lovely people all frequent The Forum Bar. I think the prime location next to Devonshire Green is very attractive to a massive range of people. It's just as perfect during the day for a few swift ones as it is for getting squiffy in before heading onto a club.
The drinks menu is massive and there is a wide variety of different wine, beer, cocktails and spirits.
There are generally approximately 10 beers/ciders available on draught ranging from £2.90 - £3.70 a pint. My personal favourite is Staropramen which is a Czech beer.
Bottled beers are priced in the range of £2.90 - £3.80 and there are about 12-15 different varieties and are mostly recognisable brands such as Corona.
A 250ml glass of wine will set you back about £4.90 on average with £4.25 being the cheapest.
Most spirits are approx £2.35 for a single and £3.35 for a double. This is for more basic spirits like Absolut, Archers and Southern Comfort, other brands may be slightly more expensive.
The cocktail menu is quite varied and has a selection of martinis, tall drinks, sparkling cocktails and pitchers. Most cocktails are priced at either £4.25 or £4.50. Sparkling cocktails are £6 and pitchers between £10 and £12.
My favourites are the Rum Cooler which is made with Sailor Jerry's spiced rum, apricot liquer and lime and soda.
The passion fruit martini is gorgeous and I would highly recommend it.
Don't be scarred to ask the bar staff to mix you up something that isn't specifically on the menu as they're more than happy to do this for you.
The bar is usually quite busy and it can sometimes be 3 deep at the bar which is annoying but the bar staff are very good and will get to you eventually as long as your aren't abnoxious about having to wait.
There are drinks offers available for after work drinks, Monday to Friday, 5 - 9pm. Cocktails are £3. A pint of Staropramen is £2.20 and bottle of Becks and Peroni are £1.80. Cocktails are cheap all night on Wednesdays.
There are also other drinks offers available all throughout the week but these vary so you're best off checking before you head down there.
Food is served from 10am to 10pm everyday with breakfast being served until Midday.
There are a range of sandwichs and bar snacks if you fancy something light. These include soup, olives&ciabatta, humous and pitta spring rolls and welsh rarebit from the bar snacks. Priced at £3.75 each or £8.50 for 3.
Sandwichs are priced around the £6-7 mark and include traditional cheese&tomato or the more fancy Grilled Halloumi, fennel and beef.
If you're quite hungry there are a selection of main meals, salads and burgers. These are priced between £7-9 for sausage&mash, fish&chips, caesar salad and pie of the day.
Desserts are available but there is only a small selection such as treacle tart and chocolate pudding. These are all priced at £3.75. I would recommend the 'Our Cow Molly' ice cream as it is produced locally and is divine.
I think the food is very reasonably priced and is of pretty good quality. I'm sure not much of it is freshly prepared and is bought in frozen but for the price I don't really expect it all to be locally produced and freshly prepared. I would recommend trying a few thinks off the bar snack menu with drinks more than anything. I wouldn't generally go there specifically to eat as the West One complex is just a stones throw away and offers a lot of restaurants of higher quality. Forum is more for grabbing a quick bite.
The bar is open 10am til 1am everyday except for Fridays and Saturdays when it stays open til 2am.
There are various different nights throughout the week playing all kinds of music ranging from indie, britpop and rock on a Monday to disco hous and hiphop on a Friday. I personally like to go on either a Monday or Saturday as the music is varied and there always seems to be a good crowd and atmosphere on those night.
I would generally only go into Forum for a couple of hours an an evening and have a few drinks before heading to a club or late bar. I very rarely go there and stay all evening. The only time I would really do this is in the summer and then we tend to sit outside and chat rather then stay inside and dance.
The Latin Jazz Cafe on the third Sunday of every month is a great night out too as there is a live band. Tickets for this are £7 in advance. I just find it really refreshing to go see something different.
DRESS CODE: Smart casual. No hats, hoodies, football colours. You can generally get away with smart trainers if you're a guy but some of the bouncers can be a bit funny if they don't like the look of you so just be careful at night.
I love Forum! It has something to suit everyones tastes and there is always such a varied and mixed crowd in there. I think the location completely makes Forum one of the best bars in Sheffield City Centre and I have spent the most amazing summer days there just chatting/ sunbathing/ drinking/ etc. Whether you're planning a big night out or just a day of shopping in Sheffield I would recommend you go and visit.