Penistone Cafés

Penistone offers an interesting and expanding range of cafés, each with their own particular features, as an important social focus for the community and perhaps a welcome respite from shopping. They also draw into Penistone some stray supermarket shoppers who might otherwise not be bothered to explore. Penistone Church also has monthly 'Open Doors' lunches and coffee mornings on Market Days and most Saturday mornings. Here is a brief roundup, as of January 2015.

For more information about local facilities, please take time to look at Visit Penistone's, High Street section, which also has a full list of eating and drinking on its Cafés and Restaurants page.

Historical Café Changes
Board outside Cafe CremeGoing way back into the 1960s, Green Kleens was a Milk Bar and, further down Sheffield Road, there was presumably a good reason for the red-brick building near the viaduct to be called 'the coffee shop'. That has gone now, replaced by chequered houses, teetering on the ridge. Then little changed until Saddler's Café (now Ward's chippie) opened in the 1980s. Gregg's/Hagenbachs also had a café in the 1990s but not for long and not where Greggs is now. The old (and always very cold) Fieldsend's greengrocer eventually became a café but it changed hands something like three times in the 1990s, before its final incarnation as Carolina's Italian Café and Delicatessen. Then it became the 'Cinnamon Spice' Indian restaurant/take-away.

The Vicarage Tea Room by the old Post Office was very popular until it closed for no obvious reason around 2008-9. Most of its breakfast trade moved to the Rose & Crown but that also fizzled out over time, with the pub changing hands several times. Then the R & C closed down. However, Penistone was not short of places to eat in.

The current café line-up (described in the section below) came along almost in a pack. First was SK's Café in 2009, followed by The Loft in 2010 and The Arthouse in 2011. Julie's caravan near St Mary's Street roundabout closed and moved into the Trans-Pennine Café in September 2011, later renamed Julie's Café. In July 2012, SK's Café closed for a while to change hands and to be refurbished and re-opened as Café Crème, in a different style. In fact it very quickly changed hands again but kept the name. The 'Vintage Tea Room' appeared next to J&B Antiques Shop and owned by the same people (now closed).

In October 2013, Gregg's Bakery had a major refurbishment. It had been purely a shop or take-away before that. They installed tables and chairs for customers to take their usual produce and drinks in cartons but, unlike other cafés, they were not required to install a toilet.

Café Generation opened on Sat. 5th April 2014 and actually provided the refreshments on the 'Penistone1' official launch. In 2016, they acquired a drinks licence and went on to hold occasional live music evenings. In Sept/Oct 2015, the Arthouse Café also obtained a drinks licence. In 2016, Café Crème intended to improve their kitchen but could not proceed until a neighbouring building made a modification which impinged on the work. Unlike a special Greggs exemption(!), Café Crème was required to install a toilet. Other improvements to Cafe Creme are held up by the need for some plumbing at the next premises.

In late 2016, the former Dolphin Fish and Chip shop was extensively renovated, to be re-launched in 2017 as The Three Fryers in a shiny new shop. Unfortunately, in October 2017 the 'Vintage Tea Room' and in November 2017 the adjacent J&B Antiques Shop both closed down (associated with each other) after running for four years. The story went that their rents had been greatly increased to the point of making the businesses unviable. In August 2018, the Arthouse Café changed hands for the second time. One of the three people running the new enterprise is Laura Quinn-Hughes.

2018 Thoughts
This is speculative at the moment (Spring 2018) but there is talk of the former Antiques Shop and HSBC Bank being turned into a bistro, which would be a mix of bar and café. The former JT Smith's furniture shop is also being worked on to be turned into a new business.

Penistone Town Centre Cafés and Tearooms (W = WiFi)
  1. Julie's Café (Trans-Pennine Trail)
  2. Proposed Restaurant (Coal Drops)
  3. Generations Café (Penistone1) W
  4. Vintage Tearoom (Church Street)
  5. The Arthouse Café (Church Street) W
  6. The Loft (by the Market Cruck Barn) W
  7. The Café (Saddler's Café)
  8. Gregg's Café (High Street) W
  9. Café Cremè (High Street) W
  10. Penistone Church - Coffee Mornings
    and Market day Dinners
Town Centre Map

Another café (or possibly a restaurant) that is a very long time in gestation is intended for the listed Coal Drops. The plans specifically state they will not provide hot take-aways. See planning Application Form pdf, BMBC Planning, 2013/0563.

Jack's Notes for a Good Eatery
Cafe Life - Not clickableSome simple suggestions for a better customer experience. Here's what I think and I hope you agree.

Trust me, Penistone's Bush Telegraph ensures the locals will know where to find good service and food - and where to avoid.

Bistro in the Barn
This one on Lee Lane seemingly popped up out of nowhere, perhaps in 2016. Not a café but 'Bistro in the Barn' is a restaurant at Hazlehead in the grounds of Hazlehead Hall, off Lee Lane, Millhouse Green. They say: 'Bistro in the Barn: gluten-free restaurant and one of the best places to eat. Our ethos is... locally-sourced, home cooked, tasty food.'

Hazlehead Hall is also an Equestrian Centre. In the days of the Civil War, Haslehead Hall (as it was then spelled) was the home of Captain Adam Eyre. Hazlehead is not spelled 'Hazelhead', as it does not derive from hazel; a common mistake nonetheless. The restaurant is in a renovated 400-year-old barn but is barely advertised. Perhaps 'word of mouth' is enough. If so, that would be high recommendation. The menu looks wonderful, if a bit on the dear side, but I really must try it out.

Opening Hours, Wednesday to Saturday, 5pm to Late, Sundays, Noon to 4pm.
Gluten free and Vegetarian options available.
For bookings or more information, call 76 5700 or Email:
Address: Hazlehead Hall, Lee Lane, Millhouse Green, S36 9NN. See Bistro in the Barn and Facebook.

Café Crème
Penistone Mug from Hallmark Card ShopThis café is ideally placed on Penistone High Street and has a relaxed, family atmosphere. It is a chatty place with some regulars but is also a welcoming place for the new faces who call in every day. The café is clean and tidy and service is always reasonably quick and efficient.

This is the end shop on the High Street which started as SK's Café in 2009, which was named after the first tenants, Sue and Kelly. Following on, Lee did a great job as the chatty front man who kept the customers entertained with jokes and even an occasional impromptu GK quiz. After an injury, it became increasingly difficult for him to keep going and, after about three years, it had to close in 2012.

After a refurbishment, the café re-opened Friday 7th September 2012 under Joanne Walker but quickly changed hands in late October 2012 to Karen Tyas (in the pictures below) with help from her mum Janet, daughter Molly, son George and others joining in from time to time. Sometimes Karen's auntie Vickie helps out. Improvements took place in 2013, with WiFi, redecorating, new curtains and new signage at the front. A new website and Facebook page went live in 2014 and the front section was re-arranged in April 2015, with new tables, stools, high shelves and a lick of paint.

Its menu is based on good quality home-made dishes and cakes. They do cooked breakfasts, soup, paninis, fresh sandwiches, home-made cakes, snacks, hot lunches, afternoon tea and take-out food. There is enough vegetarian choice and they are willing to allow variations to menu items to accommodate difficult people like me. They also do gluten-free and wheat-free food. Most of the menu can also be done as a take-away, along with hot and cold drinks.

Cafe CremeCafe CremeKarenCafe Creme

From April 2014, as a new direction, Café Cremè started opening late once a month for Tapas Evenings. They can now also supply wine or a small range of alcoholic drinks with a meal but do not yet have a full drinks licence. As of 2015 the toilet facilities are being improved.

Also a Theatre?
Well, not quite but, as a one-off, a small play called 'Twelve Miles North of Sheffield' was scheduled for Sunday 14th June 2015, the Mayor's Parade day. They have run a few other extra-curriculum activities, such as: a sewing and knitting circle, cake decorating sessions, children's craft sessions, baking classes, poetry evenings, a 5th Anniversary Special and more.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Thursday, 8.30am to 4pm,
Friday, 8.30am to 3.30pm,
Saturday, 9.30am to 3.30pm,
Closed on Sunday.

Café Cremè - Facebook
9 High Street, Penistone, Call 01226 76 6118.
To order Birthday Cakes, Christening Cakes, etc. (gluten/wheat-free available), call in, call the number or Email

The Arthouse Café and Delicatessen
This popular café was opened in July 2011 by Frances Greenwood (nee Barkworth at the time) and proved to be a great success. In January 2015, it was taken over by Paul Winterburn and Jane Dunning who also kept it going in the same style. Now, in August 2018, the café has changed hands again. One of the three people running the new enterprise is Laura Quinn-Hughes. See Facebook.

In good weather, this café has a particular advantage over most of the others: it has outside tables with a pleasant view of Penistone Church and with birds singing in the trees opposite. If there is a wedding going on, you might also benefit from the pleasant peal of the church bells. There are usually people around on the street who are likely to say hello. You can watch cyclists and cars from here going the wrong way up this one-way street. Service is friendly and pleasant and the place is quite free from riff-raff (excepting perhaps my visits). The room is clean, bright and modern, with Wi-fi for customers and gentle ambient music. Although the front door is up some steps, there is also wheelchair access to the rear of the building. Omelettes are now on the menu.

In the Beginning
Going back to the start, the lease had been obtained on 20th January 2011 and work could begin on turning an ordinary dwelling (next to Hackett's florist on Church Street) into an unusual café. The ArtHouse Café opened 3rd July 2011 (there's a sign hanging inside with the date on) and it introduced Penistone to a new style of café and a new experience as a combined delicatessen, art gallery and café. The walls are adorned by art (for sale) from local artists and arty, hanging nick-nacks here and there. It has continued in that style ever since.

In January 2012, the café and its proprietor Frances Barkworth were featured in the Yorkshire Life magazine. Their Twitter said: 'An Art-Cafe in Penistone, Proud to promote Handmade, Artisan, Unique and Delicious Products. Laid Back and friendly - come and see us!' However, it is changing hands in 2015. On 18th January, proprietor Frances Barkworth will hand it over to the new owners, local couple Paul Winterburn and Jane Dunning. They are going to keep things the same as before, with artwork for sale, a similar menu and will keep the same staff etc.

These photos were taken soon after it opened in 2011. The second picture shows Frances smiling pleasantly whilst perhaps trying to avoid the camera. Her dad Paul often works in the café. He thinks that his picture looks something like a Lowry ('Matchstick Men'). Well, they do say that the camera never lies. Unless it's mine, of course. The glass cabinet normally has specialist cheeses and other foods but it was being re-stocked at the time.

The ArthouseSweet LadyArthouseArthouse Interior

A range of locally-produced jams, honey, chutneys and marmalades is available and some buns and cakes are baked on the premises. The menu has some veggie choices and can be found on their website. Upon request, they can make a decent mug of builder's tea and their toast and marmalade is well up to standard. Their mugs are about the right size for a lad who likes his tea although actual builders might be a rare sight in here. Their Veggie breakfasts and Greek salads are also very good.

The café provides 'Delicious home-baked scones and cakes, light lunches, a full range of coffee and locally-made ice-cream (by the yummy scoop)'. The highly acclaimed Yummy Yorkshire Ice-cream Co. provides the ices. I can recommend the liquorice flavour. On the vegetarian side, I can recommend their feta, apple and walnut in a granary stick, with a cole-slaw salad. Very tasty.

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday, 9am to 5pm,
Sunday, 11am to 4pm.
Breakfasts served before noon. They also do a range of take-aways.
Breakfast sandwiches take-aways are available before noon.
They will also hold private functions in the evening when they would otherwise be closed.

Winter Opening Times
9am to 4pm, Sundays 11am to 4pm.

The Arthouse, also on Facebook.
3a Church Street, Penistone, S36 6AR. Email: café, Tel: 01226 805 122.

First Anniversary 2012
This was under the previous owner, Frances Barkworth, but it has been retained on this page as a little bit of local history. Here we see the staff marvelously dressed up for their first anniversary, July 2012. There was also a nun somewhere in the kitchen. Fran is the tiger in the middle picture.

Arthouse cafe anniversary Arthouse cafe anniversary Arthouse cafe anniversary

Changes in 2015
Sunday 18th January 2015 was the last day when Frances Barkworth was proprietor of the Arthouse Café, as she handed over to Paul Winterburn and Jane Dunning, with a distinct lump in her throat. The new owners keep to the familiar style, with artwork on view and for sale and a similar menu.

Frances is such a nice lass and I'm sure that all of her customers, including me, miss her a lot. She is justly very proud to have created and maintained this lovely Café business in Penistone. Frances thanked the customers and offered her best wishes for 2015. The new proprietors have some interesting plans coming up which are unlikely to change the essential nature of the business.

The Loft Coffee Shop
This coffee shop opened in 2010 on Back Lane near the market place, during a time of great disruption when the Market Barn was being built but soon settled down. It is in a good location for the Market Barn and 'Penistone 1' offices nearby. It is adjacent to a ladies' hairdresser shop and is accessed up the steps.

There are two sides to the coffee bar; with padded armchairs and low tables at one side and high tables with 'Christine Keeler' chairs at the other side. (Who, over a certain age, will ever forget a certain picture of one of those chairs). There is also a kind of bar with high stools near the counter.

The Loft coffee barThe Loft gable end
Back Lane
The LoftThe LoftThe Loft

This café is a treat for the nose, with the smell of fresh coffee and occasional scented wafts from the ladies' hairdresser below. They have a wide range of coffees or you can try Chai Latte, which isn't a coffee at all - it's a delicious cinnamon tea. They also have a nice selection of home-made buns. If you ask nicely you might get beans on toast even although it isn't on the menu.

A review on the 'Yelp' site says:
'Very impressed with the coffee and the cake selection is a joy. I am a regular even though I live 10 miles away. highly recommended.'

Their Facebook says:
'A modern, friendly coffee experience in the heart of Penistone where you can relax and unwind in comfortable surroundings and sample all the delights we have to offer.'

Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday - 9am till 5pm
Sunday - 10am till 3pm

The Loft Coffee Shop,
The Old Stables, Back Lane, S36 6BZ.
Tel 01226 379 196

The Café - The former 'Saddler's Café
More accurately, it is Ward's Café and Chip Shop, right in the middle of Penistone on the corner of Shrewsbury Road. It has been a fish and chip shop for aeons of time serving that great British delight of Fish & Chips and all the extras.

Following on from Bert Saville, the fish and chip shop continued under Edrick (actually Cedrick) Foster and his then wife Ann for eight years or so during which time he opened the 'Saddlers Café' in the early 1980s. Edrick sold the business to the Yates family in 1983, then moved on to the Stanhope Arms (now closed) at Dunford Bridge and kept it as a gastro-pub. Various domestic matters intervened and the Stanhope eventually closed.

The Yates family continued with the chip shop and café until January 2003, when Nicola Ward and her husband took over. In fact, as Nicola is one of the Yates family, she can claim to have worked in the shop for more than thirty years. The café kept its name as the 'Saddlers Café' until fairly recent times when the signage on most of the town centre shops were re-painted or replaced. Then it was became 'The Café.'

ChipsSaddler's CafeWardsChipshop Cafe

Take-away menu items are also available in the café but there are other items which include toast, full English breakfasts and you can actually get a bowl of porridge. I often call in for 'Egg, Chips & Peas with Bread & Butter', which might give away who is writing this.

These interior shots are from 2010 and out of date now that the plastic chairs have been replaced with better ones. I would call it slightly cramped but it adds to the fun and the customers are mostly local people who are happy to engage in conversation. This café and chip shop is handy for the bus shelter around the corner and the public toilet is next door. Given its location, one can buy fish & chips and eat them outside a pub with a pint of beer. I call that 'very civilised'. Tel 76 6026.

Julie's Café
Julie French's catering caravan off St Mary's Street had a long history but eventually blossomed into a proper café nearby. Its location might explain the occasional waft of bacon buttie that a keen nose might detect when walking in the area. It was a new build and opened in September 2011, with plenty of parking space and located right next to the Trans-Pennine Trail near 'It's For Hire' and Cycle Penistone. Also, it is only a short walk from Tesco, St Mary's Street roundabout and the Penistone 1 development.

Going through the door, the take-out and kitchen side is on the left and the sit-down café is to the right, with a toilet door in between. The café room is light and spacious and decorated with pictures which are for sale. Julie's attractive daughter is shown in the picture below.

Julie's CafeJulie's CafeJulie's CafeJulie's Cafe

They do full English breakfasts and a range of hot and cold food, to sit in or to take out, all at very affordable prices. They also do meat, mash and veg types of meal. A particular delight is their home-made scones with jam and clotted cream with a nice mug of tea or coffee. As they are cheap anyway, I think it is particularly important to add a tip.

This café gains some passing trade from walkers, cyclists and horse-riders but it has regular customers from the roadside caravan days. They now have a bicycle rack and outdoor tables, which will be handy for people hiring and returning bikes next door and for the car wash next to it.

Update for 2015
Please note that Julies now opens on some Sundays 10am to 2pm during the summer months to cater for visitors to the Trans-Pennine Trail. See Julie's on Facebook.

Gregg's - Not Quite a Café
In October 2013, Gregg's (bakers) had a major refurbishment and new shop layout; putting the counter at the back of the shop rather than down the left side. Along came a set of tables and chairs for customers to enjoy their products. They didn't do plated, cooked meals like other local eateries but that might change. For now, it is drinks in cartons, sandwiches and wrapped foods. That serves the 'quick foods' purpose but often leads to some very bad parking near or on the pedestrian crossing by customers of them and the Post Office next door.

High StreetGreggs

Unlike all of the other cafe's Greggs has not been required to install a lavatory but that might stem from there previously being a cafe on that location, so it might not have qualified as 'change of use'. From August 2014, Gregg's advertised Wireless Internet, using 'the Cloud'. Review website 'Yelp' says: 'A fine pie shop, if a little cramped inside.' As a newcomer to the Penistone café scene, it is surprising that they were not required to provide a customer toilet, unlike others.

Generations Café and Bistro
Formerly called Café Generations, it was re-named 'Generations Café and Bistro' in the Autumn of 2014, with new signage outside. This café is in the Penistone1 development on St Mary's Street. It is run by mother and daughter team Karen Waddington and Danniella Ghous with other family members and hired staff, providing home-cooked dishes in their brand-new café using locally-sourced produce. It is licenced for beers and wines, etc. (with meals) and has Bistro and Tapas evenings "with a proper chef".

The first picture below shows the café interior on the opening day of the new 'Penistone 1' development, Weds 2nd April 2014. The development started as 'The Gateway'. The second picture shows the proprietor Karen serving a customer at the counter, a few days after opening. The third picture shows a new mural on the wall, which encompasses some features from our countryside. The business card scan is not 'clickable'. The long picture shows the Gateway Building as in March 2014. The new café is the white-rendered shop left of the yellow car.

Interior of Cafe GenerationsCounter viewMuriel
Gateway - 'Number One'Business Card

It is bright, warm, spacious and has good WiFi. The clientéle is very varied. There are about thirteen tables mostly of medium height but there are some high tables near the window at one side and a low coffee table with sofa on the other. In nice weather there are a couple of tables outside.

Penistone Mug from Hallmark Card ShopUnlike other local cafés, this one has a great deal of room and is a particularly good venue for larger groups such as for business conferences in Penistone1, birthday parties or possibly even funeral parties, although parking is limited nearby. The large Tesco car park is five minutes walk away.

The menu has a wide range of coffee and teas, including good old Yorkshire Tea for dedicated tea-drinkers like me and they are now licenced to sell beers, ciders, wines, etc. with a meal. There is a scattering of 'V's on the menus for people like me (and students) and the kitchen can adjust menu items to suit the customer, where it is reasonable to do.

Opening Hours - From 24th March 2018:
Breakfast items available until 11.30am.
Monday - 9.30am to 4pm;
Tuesday to Thursday - 9.30am to 9pm (Teatime Specials from 5pm to 8pm)
Friday and Saturday - 9.30am to 5pm;
Sunday - 10am to 4pm.

Watch for special events such as live music, Tapas Evenings and more.
Tel: 76 1583, Mobile: 07780 292 727,
Website: Generations Café Bar.
Also on Facebook

Windmill Nursery Coffee Bar
Not strictly in Penistone but as it is near the Royd Moor wind turbines, it is close enough for a short car ride. There are around a dozen tables of two or four seats each and you place your order at the counter. This can be a surprisingly busy place and a great favourite of cyclists and walkers. There's a Garden Centre shop next to the Coffee Bar which is good for such as plant food, weed chemicals, humane slug repellent, insect sprays, pots and garden ornaments.

Prices are very reasonable. The menu includes such as sandwiches, toasties and jacket potatoes. Also soft drinks, tea and the usual wide range of coffee styles. I can recommend their mushroom omelette, which can arrive with either beans or salad. They are open for breakfasts (not sure when) in the morning and close at 4.30pm, with the last hot food orders at 4pm. It might be best to arrive before 12.30pm, to beat the rush. Find them on Facebook.

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