Popular rock bar in a less fashionable part of Sheffield city centre. This is one for the dedicated rock and metal fans.
The Nelson is located on Furnival Gate, where Pinstone Street meets the Moor. The pub is actually housed in one of the combined shop/office blocks that stands along the road, and is reached via a door at street level, though the bar is upstairs. It’s a far from salubrious exterior – the building is a tatty, grey, 1960s construction – but a series of brightly coloured murals, including a portrait of Ozzy Osborne, enliven the Nelson’s own portion of the building and make it easy to spot a mile off.
Inside, go up the stairs (this can be a little confusing, since there are stairs down as well which lead to the toilets and to a second room, and additional bar which isn’t always in use) and you’ll find the main bar and a large open room with ample seating surrounding it. The thing that strikes you first is the incredible amount of red inside the place – in fact it’s so bright you can sometimes see a red glow emanating from the windows when passing by outside.
The Nelson is unashamedly for serious rock and metal fans with different nights of the week aimed at different tribes of rockdom. It’s also popular with an older crowd, since the choice of music is drawn from a variety of eras over the past 30 or 40 years. There’s a karaoke night on Wednesdays and a pub quiz on Thursdays, both with a distinctly rock theme, and DJs play every night of the week. The bar is unsurprisingly popular with rockers, punks, goths and their various kindred spirits.
The Nelson isn’t too fussy about its drink – it has a good range on offer, but nothing too surprising. There’s the usual Fosters, Stella, Guinness, John Smiths, Strongbow, etc, on tap, sometimes with a couple of guest (usually local) ales adding variety. Prices are very reasonable for the city centre, with pints between £2.30 and £2.80. Wines are available, but they’re not really a speciality. Perhaps the greatest variety of drinks on offer are the spirits, with house doubles and drink plus mixer offers available on many of them.
The Last Word
If you’re a rock fan, The Nelson Rock Bar does exactly what it says on the tin. If you’re not, it probably won’t be your thing.