Derelict Sheffield public toilet to be turned into upmarket city centre riverside cafe

The site of the new Two Rivers Cafe.
The site of the new Two Rivers Cafe.

A derelict Sheffield public toilet is to be converted into an upmarket city centre riverside cafe.

The Two Rivers Cafe is set to take shape inside the former Victorian public loos in Blonk Street which have lain empty and disused for several decades.

The toilet block in Blonk Street is being turned into a cafe.

The toilet block in Blonk Street is being turned into a cafe.

The scheme involves includes cantilevered balconies over the rivers Don and Sheaf where the two meet in the Castlegate area of the city centre.

North Yorkshire-based construction company Sutcliffe Construction has been appointed to carry out the conversion of the toilet block into a two storey cafe,

The venue, named because of its unique location between two Grade 2 listed bridges, sits directly above the meeting point of the Rivers Don and Sheaf and work is already under way.

Sutcliffe Construction managing director, James Sutcliffe said: “The Two Rivers Cafe is a fantastic project that requires highly specialised skills from restoring masonry to integrating

James Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe Construction.

James Sutcliffe of Sutcliffe Construction.

complex steelworks such as the cantilevered balconies into an historic building - and all on a tight city centre site with restricted access requiring extensive highways and pavement permits.

"Our experience of historic building projects has given us the expertise required to give Sheffield’s historic quarter a new landmark that will be a talking point for years to come and another great reason to visit.”

Work has already started on the site with exterior stones removed and carefully numbered so they can be put back in exactly the right place and steel works will begin this month.

All the steelwork is being manufactured in Sutcliffe’s own steel fabrication plant and a special crane will be used on site to enable construction.

The building will be finished in April.

Sutcliffe Construction’s project manager, David Stocks, said it was the company’s previous partnership with ABA Architecture & Interiors and experience of complex projects that won the


He said: “We have known ABA for over 20 years and completed many complicated projects, in city centre locations with very little working space and usually on tight schedules.”

Owner and director of ABA Architecture & Interiors, Anthony Beever said: “The Two Rivers project is small but complex with difficult site constraints and an unusual design. But with Sutcliffe Construction demonstrating the same commitment and approach to this project that they did to the previous one, we have no doubt the shell construction will be completed this month to allow fit-out to start.”