Hofbrauhaus security of the ’70s become unlikely cover stars
Few parties were bigger than the nightly ones thrown by the Hofbrauhaus in ’70s Sheffield – and they needed a security line-up to match!
Now a chance photo find has seen the burly gents becoming the cover stars of the newly re-published ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Sheffield‘.
Are you in the photo? What are your memories of the venue where you danced on the tables and drank out of two-pint German Stein glasses.
People came from miles around for “a really rollicking Bavarian style night out” and the beer came direct from Germany.
Hofbrauhaus offered its own in-house Oompah band and other drinking-marathon-style entertainment.
There was even a yearly Miss Hofbrau competition.
Orrett Hanson had one of the fastest rises through the ranks in the history of seventies nightlife.
He started as a glass collector just a few weeks after opening in 1973. He was then duly promoted to bouncer, head doorman and ended up as bar manager for the lifetime of the venue and onwards as it became Dingwells in the 1980s.
The place was a massive success from the day it opened.
Orrett Hanson: “We’d have up to 900 people in there. I used to book the parties in and I’d allocate them to their seats on arrival. We’d have anything up to 100 people in any one party.
“The entertainment was the Oompah band with a DJ in-between. The Oompah band would come on twice a night and everyone would dance on the tables.
“The DJ would play Tamla Motown and disco music whilst the band stuck to German music. The band went down well – it was a real novelty.
“Thursday, Friday and Saturday were our big nights – the rest of the week was steady. Many people would go straight to the Penny Farthing next door afterwards.”
Coaches would arrive from all around the region: parties from Leeds, Bradford and Nottingham would be common. It was part of the Hofbrauhaus chain, with others in Hull, Blackpool and other Stein swilling strongholds.
Doorman Stuart Smith said they ended up having to ban stag parties as things regularly got out of hand.
He said: “When we got trouble we really got it. If you came with a party of 25 you got in cheaper, but parties regularly fought each other. We ended up stopping stag parties and only allowed mixed parties.”
Hofbrauhaus entertainment wasn’t always based on the picture postcard feel of the sweeping Bavarian Alps.
- Read more about the Hofbrauhaus in our re-published ‘Dirty Stop Out’s Guide to 1970s Sheffield’