Retro wallpaper and world music at The People’s Republic

Published: Monday 27th March 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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Last week saw the first anniversary of a very special place down Newland Avenue.

The People’s Republic brings something different to the local beer scene and is popular with all walks of life.

We spoke to Dave Rotheray, lead guitarist for The Beautiful South and one of the owners (pictured above), about how the pub was founded.

“I wanted to have something to do that I could be interested in and passionate about,” says Dave.

“I’ve always loved bars and pubs, and found the similarities and differences between them around the world a fascinating thing.”

Dave, along with fellow owners Bob Reid and Darren Sanderson, felt that Princes Avenue is already too developed, and Chanterlands Avenue isn’t developed enough, whereas Newland is firmly in-between.

They also wanted to attract students and locals so that they’d mix, making Newland Avenue the perfect location.

Dave tells us that this was very much how the nearby Grafton was in the early 90s, which is something that they wanted to bring back to the area.

As for the décor, if you’ve visited The People’s Republic already, you’ll know that the surroundings use a strong retro palette in brown, orange and yellow.

“I wanted to include bits of things from some of the memorable bars I’ve been to over my life,” explains Dave.

“Some of them don’t really match each other, some of them are in questionable taste, but it’s a melange of stuff that I like.”


Adding to this style, a lot of the features are based on various bars in Berlin in the late 2000s. With Dave’s daughter living there, he visits the city often and loves the atmosphere.

“We didn’t want it to be a hipster haven though,” he adds. “We definitely wanted it to be a pub, where you could bring your dog and enjoy a few drinks with mates.”

Another key element of The People’s Republic is the vinyl music that’s constantly playing. Dave tells us that this was always the plan.

“My favourite pub for vinyl is a place called Der Tier. They have a small shelf of albums and they put the cover of the one that’s playing on display.”

“We combined that with my affection for non-American and non-European bands. World music and world beer was the idea.”

Dave tells us that he really liked the idea of sitting in a pub in Hull drinking African beer while listening to African music. Ask anyone who has visited and we’re sure they’ll be inclined to agree.

Speaking of beers, The People’s Republic serves beverages from all continents – “except for Antarctica, unfortunately,” Dave points out, which is understandable.


Whilst there are craft ales, ciders and porters, the offerings from Asia and Africa are mainly in the form of lager.

The impressive beer and spirits menu proves especially popular during Bob’s Big Brain Quiz, which takes place every Sunday (excluding bank holidays) at 8pm.

“The quiz is the most fun night of the week for me,” says Dave.

“It’s hard but also quite silly. Last month we had a round about the human foot, a round about Belgium, a ‘celebrity cause of death’ round, a maths round, a round about cheese, it’s really varied.”

Unlike most pub quizzes, the biggest prize is for third place, so you have to watch the scores and maybe try to deliberately get some wrong in the final round.

To finish off, we asked Dave what his current favourites are at The People’s Republic:

“Right now, Viru lager from Estonia is my choice. It’s not expensive or rare or fancy, just a real nice straight lager. You need that sometimes.”

“My favourite album is by a Russian surf-punk horror band called Messer Chups. It’s called Voice of Zombierella.”

And as for my favourite crisp behind the bar, it’s usually the Golden Wonder Haggis, but I’m eating vegan at the moment so I’ve had to switch to salt ‘n’ vinegar Chipsticks.”

So if you’re looking for a range of beers, eclectic music and good people, visit The People’s Republic at 112 Newland Avenue. You can also visit their website to check out the latest bottled beers.

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Published: Monday 27th March 2017 by Rich Sutherland

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