Indie pick: The Library Café
Officially the oldest library in Sheffield, the Grade II-listed Attercliffe Library was given a new lease of life in back in October when American soul singer Aaron Casserly-Stewart, from the band The Sounds of Blackness, took on the venue and turned it into a café-cum-jazz venue. We grabbed director Justin Brooks to find out more…
How did the Library Cafe come about?
After researching areas in the city we realised that the east end of Sheffield, in particular Attercliffe, has a large amount of development happening over the next three years. The Olympic Legacy Park, Hallam University, Sheffield Sharks to name but a few. After speaking with a property developer and the director of Spaces Sheffield, we were made aware of what was Sheffield’s oldest library, dating back to 1894. After falling in love with the place we thought it would make a great live music venue and we felt compelled to bring this historic building back to life.
How has the reaction been since opening?
We’ve had a very good reaction and gained a lot of support from local businesses and the general public!
What is particularly special about this building for you?
The history around how this building served the community and its original features has been the main attraction for wanting to redevelop the space. Having been through a period of decline, the area is now improving greatly thanks to the development of the Olympic Legacy Park and subsequent opening of new businesses in the area. We felt the east end of Sheffield was a great place to combine live music and food in an iconic space!
It’s certainly a striking place. What’s your favourite aspect of the venue?
The entrance hall is stunning, with the original doors, windows and the mosaic flooring that was created when the library was built back in the late 1800s. The original librarian’s glass-windowed office made for a perfect kitchen too!
Any plans for the future?
Our vision at The Library is to provide a unique setting for diners and music lovers. We strive to create a vibrant and relaxed atmosphere featuring local, national and international acts of the jazz, soul and swing genres.
The Library Cafe
10 Leeds Road
Sheffield S9 3TY