Fagan’s Sheffield: Regulars takeover historic pub after long-time owners retire

Nine regulars of historic Sheffield pub Fagan’s, have banded together to take over its ownership following the previous landlords’ retirement after 37 years.

Tom and Barbara Boulding warned in September 2022 that they would be leaving the role but it wasn’t until 30 January that they announced their official retirement in a Facebook post.

The post said: “We would like to thank everybody for all your support over the last 37 years, it’s time now to retire and pass on the baton.

“It hasn’t been an easy decision but you’ll have noticed we are not getting any younger and felt we could not take another 10 year lease. Please support whoever takes over the helm and we’ll see you here for more music and the quiz.”

James O’Hara and eight other regulars of Fagan’s pub, on Broad Lane, all decided to work together to take over ownership of the pub after finding out the lease was up for sale.

Mr O’Hara, who co-owns several other bars in the city with another new Fagan’s manager James Hill, said: “I think we all just thought that it would be a real shame if whoever took it on didn’t kind of keep it very similar to what it was. Because it’s a bit of a piece of Sheffield’s history really.” 

The nine owners consist of veteran bar managers Mr O’Hara and Mr Hill, Mr O’Hara’s brother Tom, local painter and decorator David House, designer Ben Pickup, Warp Film executives Mark Herbert and Niall Shamma, Ian Stayner and Arctic Monkeys drummer Matt Helders. While the pub is currently closed, the new owners have already taken over the management of the space.

The group, who have dubbed themselves the ‘Fellowship of Fagan’s’, only decided in January to take over the pub, just weeks before Mr and Mrs Boulding’s final goodbye.

A former student in Sheffield and long-time Fagan’s regular Ruairí Mac An Dhéaghanaigh, said on social media: “Without a shadow of a doubt the best pub in Yorkshire, and maybe England.

“It wasn’t hallowed ground, but the stewardship of Tom and Barbara Boulding, as well as the excellent pints of Tetley’s Live in Cask. I cannot put into words the warmth and love I feel for that back room off Broad Lane, and all those who frequented it.”

The new managers are set to re-open the pub on Thursday, March 9.

Written by Chloe Scofield

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