How The Fat Cat Started

The Fat Cat History

The building currently known as The Fat Cat was completed in the year 1850 and began life as a public house known as ‘The Alma’, possibly because it is located at No 23 Alma Street. The Alma later became a hotel.

After many years under the ownership of the large brewery, The Alma was put up for auction in 1981. It was purchased on 29th July by Dave Wickett and Bruce Bentley and opened as The Fat Cat on 21st August 1981. The idea was to provide an alternative to the pubs owned by the big breweries, which at the time dominated the City. A range of beers was introduced that were new to the area. Prominence was given to beer from small independent breweries, and a guest beer policy was introduced, the first ever in Sheffield, which allowed a wide range of choice. The Fat Cat became the first outlet in the Sheffield for beers such as Fullers, Boddingtons, Greene King, Marstons, Theakstons and Timothy Taylors. Traditional scrumpy and unusual bottled beers were also introduced.

At the opening the first pint was officially pulled by the Sheffield footballing icon, Derek Dooley.A no smoking room was introduced, the first in the area. Open fires were reintroduced for winter, and it was decided to have no music, fruit machines or other electronic games or machines. Home cooking was introduced with a menu that always has a choice for those wanting meat, fish, vegetarian, and vegan or gluten free food.

Dave Wickett bought out Bruce Bentley in December 1989.

A brewery was built in the beer garden in 1990 and first brewed in September of that year.


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