Blog post

Places to visit in Derby that you've never thought of

By Sam Chikowore - 7 September 2021

Coming out of lockdown there is a lot of socio-economic re-building to be done, a lot of small businesses to support. Here is my own list of places that you definitely need to know about.
So, you’re either a returning student coming back into your second or third year or you’re new and absolutely buzzing to discover some new spots that you and your mates can meet up at and blow off some steam. You may be thinking to yourself that you’ve been around the circuit, and you’ve seen all that Derby has to offer. Well, I’m here to debunk that myth. I can assure you that Derby has a few nooks and crannies that are hiding some choice alternative venues that may well become your new favourites.


Founded by University of Derby alumni, Derby’s finest alcohol-free bar came onto the scene with an unapologetic bang of seeking to re-invent Derby’s nightlife. The alcohol-free bar’s mission is simple. Going out on the town doesn't mean needing to have alcohol on tap to socialise. YADA bar comes as an alternative for those who don't drink or are trying to cut down on their alcohol intake.
As socialising re-emerges post-lockdown, there seems to be a shift towards a more health-conscious society looking for sustainable optionsYADA Bar offers a wide range of sustainably-sourced and produced beverages including: alcohol-free wines, spirits, cocktails, and alcohol-free beer on draught. The bar also offers kombucha, which has a wide range of health benefits and is sustainably produced.
YADA and its supplier and brewery partners also engage the local community to empower marginalised people and help provide them with work opportunities
Open Friday and Saturday: 5 -11pm, with an online store that provides dry runs!

The Maypole

An artist’s haven! The Maypole Bar is a pub and theatre that has a strong focus and drive to bring back the arts into the Derby entertainment sceneProviding an arts centre and venue for live music, there is contagious energy emanating from this hideout that's tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city
The Maypole hosts spoken word events, dance classes, and “Wellness Wednesday” workshops (where various societal issues are talking points).“Soulful Sundays” serve up authentic Caribbean dishes and have also been popular in the area. The pub's location puts it in close proximity to the halls of residence, making it an ideal spot to pop in for a chill session or the first stop on a night of adventure.
They also offer spaces to let for societies to rent out for any events they may need to run.

ROFL Comedy Club

They say laughter is the best medicine, and ROFL may just be what the doctor has prescribed. Get ready for rib-cracking laughs and jokes that are going to make you cry with laughter. The ROFL comedy club hosts a wide range of top comedians from all over the country. From improv nights to comedians hosting their specials, this is the quintessential reflection of the fast-growing Derby comedy scene.
ROFL comedy club is hosted within Bar Social, a cocktail bar that serves all the wackiest and wildest concoctions one can think ofIt proves to be a great night out for those trying to break out the norm of hitting the club or pub, something to switch up the cycle and see what else there is on offer.

A-Styles Barber

Not so much a venue that provides entertainment, but more of a life hack that I have found has been much more lenient on my wallet. Let’s face it, to go out you got to feel good. To feel good, you got to look good. A-Styles is a very reasonably priced hair barbershop with excellent customer service. If you’re looking to line up that beard, they've got you. For every gent, there is nothing that matches the “post-trim confidence” (yes that’s a thing!).
Being well-groomed for a reasonable price is a combination most people are always on the lookout for. With pre-booked appointments, there is no need to agonisingly wait for your turn on a Saturday morning, just show up, get your trim and hit the streets! It's a hidden gem that caters to all hair types and is very reasonably priced. 

About the author

Sam standing next to a mountain wearing a red anorak.

Sam Chikowore
Business Management and Geology student at the University of Derby

Business Management and Geology student at the University of Derby. I also work part-time as a Marketing Representative for the University.