The Hallamshire Hotel opened in West Street in the middle of the nineteenth century, but it was more than 100 years later that it became a rite of passage for countless Sheffield bands.
In the 1950s its upstairs room was home to the Sheffield Recreation Brass Band (later the City of Sheffield Band), who rehearsed there until the late 1970s. It was around this time that the pub itself was becoming popular with a younger generation of drinkers on a well-trodden bar crawl known as the West Street Run started at the Stone House and ended at the Hallamshire Hotel.
The jazz boom of the 1950s (traditional and modern) also saw Club 55 set up on a fairly permanent basis at the Hallamshire Hotel, with a house band led by pianist Fred Boaden. Club 55's successor, billed as Sheffield's first modern jazz venue, was Club Basie at the Black Swan on Snig Hill (see the Boardwalk).
The 1980s was arguably the pub's heyday, as young music lovers met there before heading further along West Street to nightclub The Limit. Upstairs at the Hallamshire Hotel, bands from across Sheffield's punk, post-punk and new wave scenes would perform, many of them playing their debut shows there. Local acts who played included Don Valley and The Rotherhides, Elektracloud, Fuck City Shitters, Haze, In The Nursery, The Nihilistics, Party Day, The Plague Dogs, Xerox Girls and, later, Richard Hawley's band Lovebirds. Bands on the national touring circuit, such as indie icons Inspiral Carpets and anarcho-punks Conflict, also performed there.
Pulp played the Hallamshire Hotel several times in the early 1980s and the earliest known live recording of the band was made there in 1984. Jarvis Cocker claimed during an interview that year that the Sheffield music scene was dead, citing difficulties the Hallamshire Hotel had in getting a music licence as a factor. But the pub would continue putting on gigs well into the 1990s.
In 1994, artist Martin F Bedford founded community arts project The Loft with Chris Cooper, Keith Lauchlan, Jimmy Stone and J Baki, and the group began booking bands for the Hallamshire Hotel. Their nights, held under the name Off Our Heads And In Your Face, were individually themed and the pub's decor was made to match. Gigs were also put on by members of hardcore punk band Self-Inflicted.
By the end of the 1990s The Loft had disbanded and the Hallamshire Hotel no longer had the same reputation as a vibrant hub of local live music.
The building became a pizzeria, BRB, in 2002 and has remained a restaurant in one form or another ever since.