Trending food traders explain why they’re opening on Fargate in shipping containers


A group of local independent businesses will take center stage as occupants of a new £300,000 attraction in Sheffield city centre.

The new hub, made up of shipping containers, will be placed atop Fargate and will include food vendors, shops, restrooms, living walls, outdoor seating and a large screen.

Construction is currently underway in Leeds and it will be transported to Sheffield for finishing touches before opening in a few weeks.

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Steel Yard Kelham, a Sheffield-based shipping container specialist, is designing and installing the development in partnership with the council.

Funding comes from government grants, including the Get Britain Building Fund, which was secured through the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority.

It is hoped the new hub will help revitalize Sheffield’s high street which has recently fallen on hard times as shops leave town. This includes the famous John Lewis store in Sheffield which closed last year during the lockdown.

All companies supporting a unit from the hub are local independents, four of which have been confirmed so far and there is room for a few more.

So who are the Sheffield Independents taking on new attraction Fargate?

Get Wurst

Paul Melbourne of Get Wurst

Paul Melbourne and his wife Lindsay launched Get Wurst – the “home of German street food in Sheffield” – around five years ago after numerous trips to Berlin to taste currywurst.

They have interacted at festivals and events in and around Sheffield and are nearing the end of a year-long residency at Two Thirds Beer Company, on Abbeydale Road.

Mr Melbourne said they were keen to bring their full menu of currywurst, bratwurst, schnitzels, raclette chips and vegan options to the heart of the city centre.

“We are really excited to move into the new Steel Yard development and a downtown location,” he said. “I think the city seems to be buzzing again now and the development looks really exciting. There is a good mix of food and retail.

“I think when you say shipping container it sounds pretty basic, but when you’re inside you wouldn’t know you were in a shipping container with the way they are designed. They just look amazing. All the architect’s plans are magnificent.

“Because we do festivals and events, we’re used to trading from a food truck and having a festival and trading at food markets and the units are almost like shipping container units, so for us, it will not be so different from what we have already experienced.”

Speaking about the council’s wider plans to regenerate the city centre, Mr Melbourne said: ‘I think it’s quite exciting because obviously Covid has just killed the city centre, but it looks like over the last six months, the downtown area has really become thriving and buzzing. again and there are a lot of people.

“Fargate is the town center some parts are nice and some parts not so nice so I think by putting a bit of money and effort into things it can quite easily be turned into this place really animated.”


Yoki's Denny Song and Jay Park
Yoki’s Denny Song and Jay Park

Yoki plans to offer something a little different from its current neighboring location in Kommune, focusing on Korean street food, including corn dogs, tteokbokki and sushi.

Jay Park, Architect at Yoki, said: “We wanted to get into Sheffield’s food business to showcase authentic Korean cuisine. When we open on Fargate it will be a great opportunity to showcase all of our food.

Owner Denny Song added: “We’re really excited about this and with the location being in the heart of Sheffield, I’m very interested in everything that’s going on.

“It’s a great excitement. Opening a new restaurant or a new store is very difficult, there is a lot of preparation before it opens. »

Mr Park said the use of shipping containers has become very popular.

“So many people love it,” he said. “It’s something unique. It is easy to access and easy to manufacture, you can reuse the containers and that is why it is so popular not only in England but also in South Korea.

“That should be great. It is also a variant for the city.

“It’s a pretty small kitchen area but we’ll do our best.”


Reza Mir from Re-Owned
Reza Mir from Re-Owned

Reza Mir – who opened Re-Owned, a secondhand clothing store, in Steel Yard Kelham in October 2020 just before the second lockdown – is delighted to rock Steel Yard in the town centre.

He said: “We’re going to use it as a kind of pop-up shop to bring more people to Steel Yard because obviously the unit isn’t as big so it’s a good way to advertise for the shop we already have. It will be nice to have new customers who don’t know Steel Yard.

On the council’s plans to regenerate the city centre, he said: ‘It’s really good, it’s what Sheffield needs to get people back into the city centre.

“I grew up in Sheffield and saw it through things like Castle Market and Sheaf Market and everything changed. I love redevelopment and bringing independents into the centre. If all goes to plan , this should put Sheffield back on the map, where it should be.

“He will be a great asset to Fargate. People love the new concept of things being built out of containers with reusable materials, which works pretty well with my stuff – that’s what we love, sustainability.

“I always wanted to start my own business and it gave me more freedom for my family and more freedom to do things. I love the concept of used clothing, it’s something I’m passionate about.

Urban Pizza

Michael Hayes of Urban Pizza Co.
Michael Hayes of Urban Pizza Co.

Another company bringing a Steel Yard flavor to downtown is Urban Pizza Co, which specializes in creative pizzas.

It started as an addition to Urban Entertainment which offers drive-in cinemas and opened on the site with a table-service restaurant two years ago on the night of the first Covid-19 lockdown.

Owner Michael Hayes said: ‘It’s always been a passion of mine, I’m a foodie and Sheffield has some great pizzerias and restaurants, but there was something missing in the market to be more creative with what we wanted. enforce.

“When I first heard about it I was very excited, we were looking for something that would have a social environment. When we first heard about Steel Yard Kelham we were really interested in it, we were the first to open here, and as soon as we heard the plans for it, we wanted to be a part of it.

Speaking about the project, he said: “It is much needed, for Sheffield as a whole. I was born and brought up in Sheffield, I know that. I have had business downtown and over the past 20 years I have witnessed massive change and downturn in the downtown area.

“So it’s great that funds are being put into regeneration, I think we need to start getting people back into the city center again, but that can only happen if we have the right businesses there and we give it back. aesthetic.

“I’m really looking forward to seeing the mix we’ll have and the diverse crowds each company will bring. Everyone is unique in what they do and they are very well known companies. So I’m really looking forward to being a part of it.

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