After a night on the town (Remember The Limit?) you’ll need something to eat and line the stomach, preferably something really greasy.
For many years the most famous late-night/early morning eatery in the city was an unassuming little blue van at Neepsend which was frequented by a mix of club revellers, taxi drivers, shift workers and police officers taking a break.
Long before the likes of 24-hour McDonalds, choices for post-club eating were limited and Greasy Vera’s filled that gap.
Situated on waste ground by the cement works on Mowbray Street before moving behind the old petrol station between Pitsmoor Road and Chatham Street, the old Austin van was converted into a burger van of sorts, run by a friendly husband and wife team. In later years an additional portacabin-type box was added on site.
One vivid memory for many will be the now legendary ‘Chegg Burger’, a cheese and egg topped burger that was seemingly only available at Greasy Vera’s van and made the ultimate post-drinks fodder.
Rumour has it that following performing at The Fiesta (pre-Roxy), managers used to take artists to Greasy Vera’s for a bite to eat. Apparently, the likes of Gene Pitney could be spotted by the blue van snacking on bacon butties in the early hours of the morning.
The popular makeshift food hut eventually closed after several decades and the portacabin was stolen (yes, you read that right - someone nicked a portacabin!). There were plans in the mid-2000s to reopen, sadly vandals stopped any chance of that happening following arson and theft attacks.
The site of Greasy Vera's was left derelict and overgrown for many years with a vandalised closed-up cabin standing where the van once was and fly-tipping leaving the concrete strewn with old mattresses and various rubbish bags.
However, development has started on the site with hundreds of apartments and studios to take the place of the old petrol station and cement works.
A version of this article was originally written for and published at Social Sheffield / We Love Sheffield magazine.
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