Taking it to The Limit one more time…

Kevan Johnson, who wants to open a new Limit
Kevan Johnson, who wants to open a new Limit

THE name and spirit of one of Sheffield city centre’s most celebrated music venues is due to be revived later this year.

Plans have been submitted to the council to convert the ground floor of an office block facing Furnival Square roundabout into a bar called The Limit – 20 years after the original place in West Street was closed.

Caroline, Kate, Mel & Claire enjoying the Limit Bash

Caroline, Kate, Mel & Claire enjoying the Limit Bash

Behind the venture is Kevan Johnson, who was one of the partners in the legendary West Street venue, which was renowned for attracting top up-and-coming bands between 1978 and 1991.

The same type of music – featuring the likes of Madness, The Specials, Pulp, Human League, ABC and David Bowie – will be played in the new location, although it will be recorded.

There will be a small dance floor, although it is expected that bands will perform occasionally.

Food, including breakfasts, and drink will be served throughout the day and night and a small outdoor area is planned.

Pulp at The Limit Club.

Pulp at The Limit Club.

The capacity of the new Limit is planned to be 240, which compares with 350 in West Street.

“Everything is in place but we are waiting for planning and licensing,” said Kevan, who has run the Priory Lodge Hotel in Nether Edge for six years.

“It is going to be somewhere to have a decent drink and a dance. There was nothing better than the music of the 80s and it will feature the music that made The Limit famous. It is going to be a music venue but not a live music venue.”

Provisional opening, subject to council approval, is being set for September.

Already the council has granted permission for similar 24-hour operations that have not come to fruition in the former AEU building, once the home of Sheffield Careers Service.

The original Limit, in the basement of a now demolished building, hosted everybody from Def Leppard to U2, Simple Minds to Robert Plant, and played a key part in emergence of Sheffield’s electro bands.

Its enduring appeal is demonstrated by occasional reunions at the Casbah, formerly the Wapentake, in Wellington Street, that have attracted Limit regulars from Sheffield and much further afield, and the success of Neil Anderson’s book, Take It To The Limit, reflecting on the venue’s history.

“Everywhere you go, people are asking when is there going to be a venue where people of my age can go,” said Kevan. “There are very few in our city. We hope to make this a place for any age which is safe.”

Architect Philip Moore, of Cordonier Escafeld, who used to go to The Limit, said the aim was to recreate the atmosphere of the old place in a better environment, contrasting with the “pokey” nature of the original. It was a venue that was “still much talked about”.

Paul Williams, of Towers Investments, which owns the building, said: “It’s good news at a time when there is so much doom and gloom. It will create jobs and it will bring back a bit of history.”

Neil Anderson said: “People travelled from all over the country for the reunions. I was amazed. It was such an iconic venue and I hope this will become the same.”