When Christopher Smith and Roy Pemberton came back from travelling in South America a couple of years ago they decided to set up an eatery inspired by the places they’d eaten in along the way.
“It was was Roy’s idea really,” says Christopher. “As we were travelling around we’d come across loads of cheap and cheerful cantinas where you’d always get great food. And every time we ended up talking to someone who we’d never have met otherwise. We thought, ‘Why not start something like that in Sheffield?’”
Four Corners is designed for customers to mingle. Long cantina-style tables give the place a sociable feel and the owners chat happily with the customers. Their journeys around the world are depicted in maps and photos that give the place a personal touch. The decor is fresh too: stripes of bright and punchy colour painted on the walls and shelves of baby cactuses all nod to South America. “We just splashed colour everywhere,“ says Christopher, “to make it stand out.”
Food acts as a talking point with a magpie menu that picks out canteen food favourites from across the world. It takes off from the Americas with Venezuelan pulled-pork arepas and US-style pancakes, with toppings of your choice (and, just for pancake day, they're offering unlimited pancakes for just a fiver), but stops off at other continents along the way. If you’re feeling hungry, we think the South Indian dish chicken sixty-five is a good option, or how about Italian-style gnocchi and meatballs. Unless it’s breakfast you’re after, in which case the Big Sur is a Californian twist on the full English.
The canteen sticks to cafe hours, closing by 5pm, so it’s all about breakfasts, lunchtimes and drinks. A decent selection of teas and speciality chais will see you well hydrated throughout the afternoon. And it uses Sheffield-based Twin Cafe coffee, which works hard to offer a better deal to coffee growers.
- Words by
- David Jackson