The Eadon Lockwood Riddle Auction House building, next to Sheffield’s Cathedral, may well date to the estate agent’s early days as an auctioneers in the 1840s, and was run by them into the 1990s – when they quit. How many businesses can boast such a heritage these days I’m not sure but giving up on the building after 150 years shows a huge lack of imagination.
The building was obtained in 2001 by the Blue Moon cafe looking for somewhere larger after their initial Norfolk Row premises were proving too small.
I’m not a vegetarian myself but the cafe has a properly independent feel and we’re often in there for meetings, or a cup of tea, home made sugar free scone and a flick through the papers. The high ceiling and ornate decoration as well as many of the original features were saved during the change of use (including the original owner’s plaster lettering on the building’s facade) and I was interested to discover the work was all done by the same firm of architects who we used to help design and build our own home office some years ago (Mike Briercliffe if you’re in need of such services!).
The cafe also encourages left thinking in the city with large noticeboards and shelves full of flyers for any alternate event in the city. Another quirky touch which amuses first time visitors is the display of four clocks, marked up to tell the time in four neighbouring towns. I also like the fact that this is one of the very few corners of the city the council hasn’t either despoiled or allowed to be demolished.
The cafe was one of the first to support local artists and has shown art on their walls from day one. My turn comes this December when I’ll be putting on a display of recent prints, and it’s nice to be part of this steady rotation of work. More details to follow.