Bradford’s original beer bar The Sparrow Bier Cafe on the city’s North Parade celebrates its landmark fifth birthday this weekend. There will be food, poetry, live music and beer, of course. The Sparrow was opened in 2011 by two passionate Bradfordians, Les Hall and Mark Husak, as a reaction to the lack of quality beer drinking options in the city centre. The bar was quickly recognised as one of the best craft beer bars in the country and has featured in the Campaign For Real Ale’s national Good Beer guide ever since.
The Sparrow’s weekend-long party starts this Friday with live music from local legend Mark Clayton and food from John Street Market’s Falafel2Go. Saturday will see local Italian restaurant Mama Mia’s presenting a special Neapolitan street food menu and DJs from local collective No Hands will be keeping the customers entertained with their party hits. Local poet and Sparrow regular Glyn Watkins will be performing on Sunday while Roswitha’s continental deli will be providing the food.
Les explains, “We wanted to invite the people who have been there from the start. Our early business meetings were held in Mama Mia’s and we’ve been buying our meats and deli produce from Roswitha’s since we opened. It’s great to have them along at our birthday.”
Two special limited edition birthday beers will also be available over the weekend brewed by the local Saltaire brewery and Northern Monk Brew Co.
“Saltaire Brewery helped us from day one. Their advice was invaluable. We held the launch party for Northern Monk a few years a go. Now they’re an internationally recognised brewery. These two breweries are important to us,” says Mark Husak.
The hand pumps and bottle fridges will see some of the staff’s favourite beers from the last five years.
The Sparrow has been credited for the rebirth of the night time economy on North Parade. They were the first bar to open on the street and the last five years has seen a resurgence of bars including Al’s Dime Bar and The Record Cafe.
Les Hall said, “Its great to see so many bars opening. When we opened up five years a go we hoped that others would follow suit. North Parade is now a destination with plenty of options. We are definitely a lot busier since the opening of the other bars as they are helping to bring more people to the area.”