Abbeydale Road is a place 'on the up'
The very long, very busy Abbeydale Road is attracting new interest!It’s a popular place to live. Despite the bustle of the main road, the streets behind it are surprisingly peaceful.James Ross, director at Eadon, Lockwood and Riddle, said there is a “definite change” around the lower Abbeydale Road area, with more owner occupiers moving in.“I put the shift down to the popularity of places such as Bragazzis and the Forge Bakehouse, and we have the real ales shop, a new gin bar...great cafes, shops and restaurants,” he said. “It’s definitely a place on the up, getting more like Sharrow Vale. I predict in a few years time Abbeydale Road will be a top place in Sheffield. It needs to turn the corner a bit, but it’s getting there.“The response is crazy for most properties, with multiple viewings and bids,” he added. “We have seen more listings this month than last, but still need more stock.”Adrian Hanstock relishes his job as area team leader for Jameson’s cafe and tea rooms, not least for the ‘theatre’ of dressing up in suit and dickie bow to add to the twenties style dining experience. And he can walk to work, which he loves.Self employed for 26 years, Mr Hanstock retired when the lease expired on the site on which he based his business.He said: “The Diocese of Hallam wished to donate the land to St Wilfred’s to allow for 20 flats to be built. It was the ideal time to retire, but after six days I was bored. I called in here (Jameson’s) when passing one day and got chatting. That resulted in a work trial and here I am. I’ve always loved this area...there’s so much independence.“We get famous people dropping in, recently we had Gordon Banks with his son who is the drummer in Pulp. Phil Oakley’s been too.“It’s a random road, there’s everything, even a snooker shop. When the Mosque at the bottom has celebrations, visitors pop in with home-made sweets. It’s a very friendly community.”He had to mention the majestic Picture House, still a hub for entertainment with the Picture House Social a staple meet-up spot for locals. “My son was there on Valentine’s night to see Romeo and Juliet,” he said.As it is the antiques quarter, there are vintage shops, and St Vincent’s and Barnardo’s charity shops are crammed with bargains.On a corner, opposite the Picture House, is a little herbarium. Kirsty Anderson, 31, is a herbalist and Amatsu practitioner who works there, and lives just around the corner.She said: “The shop moved here a year ago to reach more people. We offer classes in herbal medicine. I moved here three years ago. I’m renting and find it a very affordable place. I like to cycle and have easier access to the Peak District than Crookes where I was before.“I like being here so much I have to make real effort to go anywhere else.”The Forge Bakehouse with its shop, cafe, and baking school, has just opened Mester’s Social upstairs for hot food. It’s extremely busy.Matt Risby, 37, began work at The Forge soon after it opened in 2012. He has lived in the area 15 years and said property prices are climbing because it is an “absolutely great place to live and work”.He added: “It’s a close community and people help each other. As a student in the 90s I wouldn’t have ventured here, but now it’s different....very welcoming with a good vibe. A bit boho!”Bragazzis Italian deli and shabby chic cafe renowned for its coffee, is nearby, as is Mr Pickles’ store of delights, featuring everything Yorkshire including fresh meat (they create their own cuts from whole carcasses). Owner Paul Widdowson said: “When we opened I was amazed at all the Americans, Canadians, Germans, Spanish and so on who came in.”