250 applicants Hop to it for 12 jobs at real ale pub

Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian'Hepworth Beer launch at The Hop, Bank Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'PICTURE TAKEN ON WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL 2011

Picture: Lorne Campbell / Guzelian'Hepworth Beer launch at The Hop, Bank Street, Wakefield, West Yorkshire.'PICTURE TAKEN ON WEDNESDAY 20 APRIL 2011

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MORE than 250 people applied for one of 12 jobs at a Sheffield pub that opens to the public tomorrow (Friday).

They wanted to join the staff at The Hop real ale bar, which has been converted from a former Budgens supermarket in the plaza of West One in Fitzwilliam Street, near West Street.

With a capacity of 400, it is the third venture of its kind by Ossett Brewery, which has already opened Hops in Leeds and Wakefield in addition to its other pubs.

Operations manager Sarah Ellis said the company had expected to receive 20 to 30 applications for a job in Sheffield.

The company is offering a mixture of real ale, live music and food, especially pies, as part of a £300,000 development. For the time being, music will be performed at weekends by cover bands.

It opted to take a different tack in transforming a modern glass-fronted unit in West One, facing Devonshire Street.

“We saw the site and it clicked, although it’s very different from our other places where we have gone for old quirky buildings with a lot of character,” said Sarah.

Councillors imposed a closing time of 12.30pm in line with neighbouring premises.

It had been hoped to have the pub open in time for the Tramlines music festival last July but company ran into delays because of planning and licensing issues, largely as a result of the site being on the doorstep of hundreds of apartments in the West One complex. It says Sheffield’s rules are the strictest it has encountered.

The location is near bars and restaurants popular with students and other young people but the pub also aims to attract older customers with 11 hand-pulled beers and a range of continental lagers and wines.

The average age of existing Hop customers at weekends is 40.

The Hop concept came about in 2008 as collaboration between Ossett Brewery director Jamie Lawson, Mike Heaton, the drummer with Yorkshire indie band Embrace, and former Virgin Japan managing director, Mike Inman.