Soul Food from Big Papa’s B.South

Out In Brum - Big Papas B South at the Sunflower Lounge - Cola Beef BrisketWe all know the feeling of waking up on a Saturday with a dry mouth and pounding head, and insisting that “the last pint was off”.  A sure fire solution to that rubbish feeling is a fry-up, and we always advocate brunch at JuJu’s for those afflicted with B.R.Y. (Booze Related Yuckiness).  The lads at Big Papa’s aren’t offering breakfast, but definitely offer food for the soul that will sort that griping stomach right out before you get back on it on a Saturday afternoon.

Think New Orleans southern flavours, spicy fruity chutneys, utterly crispy fried chicken, and unctuous slow cooked beef and pork.  Although they’re a street food venture, presently they have residency at The Sunflower Lounge on Smallbrook Queensway.  That venue isOut In Brum - Big Papas B South at the Sunflower Lounge - Buttermilk Fried Chicken no doubt familiar with many of you as it’s been serving up the best of indie live music for a decade.  It has been recently refurbished and while it’s lost none of its edgy charm it’s now somewhere you wouldn’t mind eating in!  The Sunflower lounge also take part in the Independent Birmingham card which gave us 10% off food and drink (check website for details, we’re not affiliated, we just happen to use it).  We went along for a Saturday lunch ahead of some afternoon shopping and drinking.

We knew the portions were large so skipped the starters, but on offer were blackened shrimp, spicy fried okra, and buttermilk hot wings, all £5.  The mains are served with two sides, all for £10.  I had the buttermilk fried chicken which was truly the crispiest most Out In Brum - Big Papas B South at the Sunflower Lounge - Sweet Potato Friessucculent bit of chicken I’ve ever had.  It was served with a lip tinglingly spicy mango chutney, coleslaw, and a lime wedge.  I had two carbtastic sides with mine though one would’ve been plenty for all but the most ravenous.  The sweet potato fries were the best I’ve ever had, golden and crisp on the outside, sweet and soft on the inside.  My other side of mac’n’cheese was a meal in itself – al dente large pasta tubes (maybe gomiti – there are too many pasta names to know them all) lightly coated in a rich cheese sauce topped with smoked paprika.  If that lot won’t sort a hangover out, nothing will.

The other main we tried was cola cooked pulled beef brisket on a brioche bun.  The sweet savoury flavour of the meat was delicious with the spicy fruit chutney and cool coleslaw.  If you’re hungry after all that lot then they offer some desserts including Mississippi mud pie, or blueberry pancakes – all a fiver.

For £20 here you can have three courses of great quality tasty grub.  I’m not really sure how places like Five Guys can be busy when this superb offering is just 5 minutes away.

Well done guys, I suspect there are more great dishes to come out of your kitchen.

Posted in Area: Central Shopping, Area: China Town, Area: City Centre, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Cuisine: US Southern Soul Food, Price: Cheap as Chips - Inexpensive, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Entertainment, Venue type: Pub | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Extravagance at The Edgbaston

Out In Brum - The Edgbaston - Downstairs Interior“A chauffeur in a uniform of robin’s-egg blue crossed  my lawn early that Saturday morning with a surprisingly formal note from his employer: the honour would be entirely Gatsby’s, it said, if I would attend his ‘little party’ that night”.  A Gatsby invitation it may not have been, coming as is usual nowadays via Twitter, but the feeling of pending extravagance was certainly apparent when we were invited to the launch of The Edgbaston’s first full menu.  We were to sample the six course taster menu, with matched cocktails.

The Edgbaston is still little known considering it’s been up and running for a while now – I see this not as a failing but as a reflection of its niche clientele who want to keep the byzantine 1920s glory to themselves.  Richly shining golds and blacks adorn every surface; coupes, flutes, and highballs are filled with smoking many-coloured cocktails.  From the understated frontage of the beautiful Georgian building to the chandeliers and Out In Brum - The Edgbaston - Upstairs Interiorcheckerboard tiles of the entrance hall, the place feels special.

Chef Ryan Swift has recently joined the team which completes the epicurean triumvirate for The Edgbaston – rooms, booze, and now food.  I’ll try and summarise their food offering, but like many places nowadays you may need a sliding rule and a spreadsheet.

In their fine dining setting they offer an a la carte menu, bar snacks, or taster menus.  For the taster menus there’s a 4 course (£40), or a 6 course (£60) taster menu which can be accompanied with either a cocktail flight (a cocktail with each course, £45 for the 4 course and £55 for the 6 course) or wine flight (£50 for the 4 course and £60 for the 6 course).  It’s pitched at about the same price point as other fine dining restaurants in Birmingham.  We’re not aware of another restaurant, anywhere, that offers a cocktail flight with food and we weren’t sure whether we’d be sozzled by the end of dinner, nor whether the pairings would work – needless to say, they absolutely did.  The cocktail manager, Robert, also ensured that the cocktail flight was within 1 alcoholic unit of the corresponding wine flight, so although you woOut In Brum - The Edgbaston - Smoked Eeln’t leave sober, you won’t fall unconscious during pudding either.

Down to the nitty gritty, the food!  While we waited at the bar we tried feather light earthy beetroot meringue with whipped goats cheese, and also salmon with baked lemon and cucumber pickle on rye bread.  Then on to the first of our six courses – Smoked Eel which was served with cubes of apple, apple and lovage purees, and a tube of eel mousse.  The eel was delicate and tender, and didn’t have that overly fishy taste that cOut In Brum - The Edgbaston - Foie Grasan ruin a meal.  I particularly liked the delicate mousse.

Our next course was Foie Gras, a personal favourite.  Served with texturally different pain d’epice toasts the buttery foie gras was also accompanied by Yorkshire rhubarb poached, jellied, and pureed.  This course was served with a Rhubarb and Raspberry cocktail with Ginger, that cut through the foie gras and lifted it.

Out In Brum - The Edgbaston - ScallopWe moved on to sweet hand dived scallops that were burnished from the pan.  Served with wafer thin slices of cauliflower, and dollops of caviar, and an unusual white chocolate sauce.  The cocktail for this plate was a Yuzu liqueur with fennel and lovage.  A very pretty plate, and luckily the other half has a shellfish allergy so I got to eat some of his too.  I think this was my favourite course of the night.

My favourite drink of the night though was the “Chateau Edgbaston” cocktail, served in a Out In Brum - The Edgbaston - Beef Sirloinlabelled red wine bottle and looking just like red wine this was a heady mixture of sloe gin, dubonnet and creme de cassis with an oak smoke.  It accompanied a filling beef sirloin with white onion and garlic, laid on a flat blanket of strongly flavoured beef.

We then had a pre-dessert of an “Edible Cocktail”.  This was a liquid nitrogen frozen block of cocktail.  I like theatre in my restaurants and the smoky look of dry ice cocktails and nitrogen frozen food.  I’m not sure though that eating nitrogen frozen stuff is for me!  I don’t think I get it.Out In Brum - The Edgbaston - Valhrona Chocolate

Our final course was Valrhona Chocolate with a Parma violet ice cream and cookie crumb.  The Parma violet was just right, and worked well with the deep chocolate flavours, it could’ve been so easy to overdo it.  This was matched with a Rubis (chocolate red wine) and espresso and wild berry cocktail.

Certainly a marathon not a sprint of a meal!  If you want that luxurious place for a evening of fine food and drink, then this is the place for you.  If it’s an extra special occassion splash out on one of their beautiful rooms and make a night of it, serious boyfriend/girlfriend points to be had!

Thanks to The Edgbaston for a wonderful evening.

See our reciprocity promise.

Posted in Area: Edgbaston, Area: Harborne, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: My eyes are watering - expensive, Venue type: Bar, Venue type: Cocktail Bar, Venue type: Restaurant, Venue type: Wine Bar | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Turners – New Year’s Eve – 10 Courses

Out In Brum - Turners - Sea BassSome people look at New Year’s Eve as a night to remain firmly on the sofa in front of Jules Holland. Not so us. It’s one of our favourite nights of the year, and we usually start researching it in August, and “research” really is the only verb that gets across the amount of effort that goes in to working out where we will be dining and drinking when Big Ben bongs twelve. Over the past couple of years we’ve greeted the New Year from One Horseguards hotel’s terrace opposite the London Eye, and from a hot tub with bottles of champagne in mid-Wales. This year we wanted to stay close to home but our go to restaurant, Adams, was closed. In fact lots of our normal places were closed – apparently chefs also like to celebrate on New Year’s.

Our most local Michelin starred venue, Turners in Harborne, was open so we booked there. We were not disappointed. The restaurant is nestled on Harborne High Street between some random shops and is best described as unassuming, a grey frontage with white moniker. The interior is cool and intimate, although I note they’ve had a refurb since we went, I am assuming they won’t have had a dramatic change in the interior décor and switched to rag-rolled Mexican.

We didn’t have the most auspicious start unfortunately as one of our group of four was fine until late afternoon and then became violently ill, I’ve christened the yuletide period in 2014 as #sickmas – everyone was ill at one point or another, including me. Graciously the Out In Brum - Turners - Curdrestaurant waived the cancellation fee, which given we couldn’t cancel the place until we got there they would have been well within their rights to charge. When we booked they were also brilliant about the fact that of the four of us, one had a dairy allergy, one had a nut allergy, and one had a shellfish allergy. I’m the easy one, and can confirm that catering a dinner party for those dietary requirements can be a bit of a pain.

Usually the restaurant offers á la carte as well as taster menus, but NYE is a special menu just for the evening, and this year as it’s coming near to its tenth anniversary there were nine courses, one for each year it has been open. Although if you include the “snacks” and mignardises there were eleven courses all in. We opted for the wine flight rather than having to pick and choose bottles for just the three of us. As it was rather an extensive menu, with wines to accompany each course, I thought I best give you the full menu with paired wines. Read it and drool.

Ox cheek doughnuts
Smoked haddock croquettes
Brown shrimp cracker, salmon, avocado, soy and coriander
Out In Brum - Turners - Snacks
Native Oyster, potato, horseradish, and caviar
+Pierre Gerbais Cuvee Reserve, Champagne
Out In Brum - Turners - Oyster
Duck liver
Smoked, variations of onion, thyme granite
+Carmes de Ruessec, Sauternes
Out In Brum - Turners - Duck Liver
+Marina Cvetic Trebbiano
Out In Brum - Turners - Squid
Baked, puree, broth, and Winter truffle
+Lucci, Sauvignon Blanc
Out In Brum - Turners - Celeriac
Sea Bass
Roast, sardine, feta, sea vegetables, and kohlrabi
+Saint Claire block 18, Sauvignon Blanc
Out In Brum - Turners - Sea Bass
Cep, salsify, and pine
+La Crema, Pinot Noir
Out In Brum - Turners - Venison
Billat Truffe
Creamed, quince, walnut and celery
+Les Clos de Paulill, Banyuls Rouge (I think, as this is the only one I was unsure about which wine we had).
Out In Brum - Turners - Cheese
Flavours of Beer
+Chateau Theulet, Monzbazillac
Out In Brum - Turners - Chocolate
Curd, black sesame and yoghurt
Out In Brum - Turners - Curd
Mignardises Out In Brum - Turners - Mignardises

It was all excellent, but if I rave about everything we’ll be here all day so I shall highlight those things I thought particularly exceptional. Firstly, the oyster. Served in the shell which had a sort of set potato and horseradish buttery terrine with a silky mouth-feel. Then on to the smoked duck liver, served with frozen thyme granita which really worked for me because I like the contrast of temperatures, and I like duck liver and thyme. The squid “carbonara” was a technical feat – foam as light as air with the cheesy intensity of parmesan covered thin ribbons of squid which was the “carbonara” (i.e. no pasta in this dish, just the squid) in a delicate sauce.

Out In Brum - Turners - VenisonThe celeriac is baked, whole, in a salt crust (I think) and was carved and plated at the table by the eponymous Chef Richard Turner. Table theatre like this really turns the evening in to an event. Theatre on its own isn’t enough though, the food has to be spot on, the celeriac was tasty and served with a glossy consommé and a decadent amount of shaved truffle.

Sea bass was served with a crackably crispy skin and snow white soft flesh. I love venison and it was served rare and tender, and I particularly liked the strong flavoured venison sausage.

I’m a big fan of French ordered menus, that is having cheese before the sweet, and the Billat Truffe was very nice ahead of the chocolate with flavours of beer which I could sit and eat all day. The last dish on the menu was Kalamanis, a cheese curd and yoghurt on a savoury sesame base. Then followed mignardises.Out In Brum - Turners - Mignardises

I don’t think you want to know how much it was, but it’s the same price as any other Michelin starred restaurant on New Year’s Eve. I’d thoroughly recommend it and I’m sure we’ll be trying it out over the coming year for lunch or dinner. Thanks to Chef Richard Turner and his team for some very memorable food.

Posted in Area: Harborne, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: My eyes are watering - expensive, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Epi at The Courtyard

Out In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - ExteriorWe’ve reviewed the food of Chef Nathan Eades before, having eaten at his pop-ups in The Kitchen Garden (review here) and The Pickled Piglet.  We’ve been meaning to try his more permanent home, Epi at The Courtyard, for a while and a couple of weeks ago we were invited to try the current lunch menu at his fine dining restaurant.  Being greedy we decided to upgrade to the five course taster menu instead, and added on several bottles of wine and a couple of gins.  There’s no such think as a free lunch when we’re around and feeling in the mood for a boozy one!

It’s probably a little further out than some of you would normally travel, but all I can say is it’s dead easy on the train to get to Bromsgrove (just 20 minutes from New Street Station and a 2 minute cab) and it’s such good value you’d be a fool to miss it (this is also true of The Bluebell).  You’ll find Epi down an alleyway off Bromsgrove High Street; the antique building is pretty and the dining rooms are cosy and inviting.

Professional and friendly staff seated us and we ordered a G&T while we perused the wineOut In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - Pig's Head Terrine list which had a good selection starting from £15 a bottle.  As we intended on not getting too tipsy we declined the wine flight and instead ordered first a bottle of Gavi (£22.50) to go with our first couple of courses.

First up was a Pig’s Head Terrine which was both piggy and heady (in both senses of the word), accompanied by a sweet apple puree and slices of apple.  Some restaurants spoil great food by serving it with Ikea cutlery and dinnerware, not so here, I think a lot of time goes in to deciding which type of plate should be used for which dish and consequently the finished article looks terrific.Out In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - Carrot

Next up was a “tasting of carrot”, with carrot prepared five ways – sweetly roasted, puréed, as a lightly spiced bhaji, ribboned and pickled, and finally a jus of green carrot over the top.  I like dishes that make an accompaniment the centre of attention.

Out In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - BeefThen to the main event – slow cooked short rib of beef.  Two words: de, licious.  The tender and strongly beefy ribs were served with a pomme purée and kale, with roasted swede (which is a much underused vegetable in my opinion, I really like it but hardly ever see it on a menu), and a beefy sauce which we had an extra jug of.  We had a bottle of red to go with this but I failed to note what it was.

To accompany dessert we decided on a frizzante Moscoto D’Asti Centeve (£22), which had Out In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - Chocolate
sweet pineapple and honey notes.  It went wonderfully with the first desert of buttery chocolate ganache with caramelised milk, and equally well with the next course of rhubarb, lemon curd, and spiced ginger cake.

While it may not be everyday dining, it’s a lovely place for a treat and excellent value.  The five course taster menu costs just £35, and I can’t think of anywhere else you could eat food this good for that amount of money.  For the hungry, Chef Nathan offers a seven course taster menu at £40, and for the not so hungry a three course menu at £29.  There are wine flights for each menu for those who want wine matched to each Out In Brum - Epi at The Courtyard - Rhubarbcourse (£20, £25, £30 respectively for three/five/seven courses).  They also offer lunch as two or three courses which cost £25 and £30 respectively.  They’re open for Valentine’s and I think that’s a perfect opportunity to spoil your loved one.

See our reciprocity promise.

Posted in Area: Out of Birmingham, Cuisine: English, Cuisine: Fine Dining, Cuisine: Modern Mixed, Price: Average, Venue type: Restaurant | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Bar Opus says ‘Oui’ to French cooking lesson

Birmingham foodies are being given a unique opportunity to join two of the city’s best chefs for a series of hands-on cookery classes at Bar Opus at One Snowhill.

Kicking off the culinary masterclasses, head chef Gareth Wayt and chef director David Colcombe will be taking a practical lesson on how to source and cook the popular French-inspired dish  Bouillabaisse including how to prepare freshly-caught Brixham Bay fish and shellfish and locally-grown vegetables, as well as creating the perfect saffron turned potatoes to accompany the dish.

GarethBAR OPUS Chefs Gareth Wayt and David Colcombe pic 1, who has been a chef with the Opus family since the age of 21, said: “For some, Saturday mornings are often spent lying in bed watching cookery programmes, but this is the perfect chance for food lovers, diners, or anyone who wants to improve their cooking skills to join us in our kitchen and learn the techniques that we use.”

The hour-long masterclasses, which are being held on Saturday 7th and 21st February between 11am and 12pm, are followed by a two-course specially prepared Bar Opus lunch, and are priced at £25 per person all inclusive. The series will run alongside a number of cocktail masterclasses, starting on Saturday 31st January, in which bar manager Sam Cross will be teaching how to mix cocktails like a professional.

Spaces are strictly limited. To book a ticket call Bar Opus on 0121 289 3939.

Our recent review of Bar Opus can be found here:

Posted in Area: City Centre, Area: Colmore Business District, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

21 Brummy New Openings in 2015

It’s January, it’s cold and miserable, and we’re all a bit skint, but 2015 promises some exciting things for Brum.  We’ve seen a few lists of new places that are opening, but think we’ve got a few more to add in to the pile that the twitterati have yet to mention!

Woktastic – Location to be announced.

As a victim of the Paradise Circus redevelopment, Ali and his team have been temporarily made homeless. Worry not though as they are due to return this year at a great new central location (being kept top secret for now, but we think it is a great spot). If you also know, shhhhhhh!  Ali wants it to be a surprise.  The new venue, we’re told, promises a more upmarket design but Ali assures us the chicken katsu curry will be as good as ever as he’s maintained his existing staff and is paying them whilst they await the new venue’s opening.

YakiNori – 2 locations. Grand Central and 2nd location TBA.

As if he isn’t busy enough, Ali has decided to open 2 additional venues this year. YakiNori is a Noodles, Sushi and Bento Bar and will be opening later in the year than Woktastic when Grand Central opens to the public (currently due September). There is also a second location outside of the city centre, although at the time of writing this venue is yet to be signed.

Fiddle & Bone – Sheepcote St & Canal side

Sherborne Wharf has taken over the  ‘Fiddle & Bone’ pub.  It is situated on Birmingham’s Sheepcote Street and alongside the canal.  They will also be running all of their other operations from the ‘Fiddle & Bone’ pub.  The promise is to be one of the city’s finest gastro pubs with delicious home cooked food, quality real ales and selected wines.  Live music and entertainment will breathe life back into this iconic waterside building for City Dwellers and boaters alike.

The Fiddle & Bone pub and Roundhouse arches will be sympathetically restored and refurbished in such a way to maintain its existing charm.  The exterior canal wall will be lowered and railings put to the same height as now to open up the view of the pub and Roundhouse arches from the canal side.

Marmalade – The Rep Theatre

With six hugely successful venues already spread across Birmingham, and a recent first foray out of the second city to Worcester with their popular South American Cantina brand of Bodega, Bitters ‘n’ Twisted have finally announced details of their newest venue and possibly their most ambitious yet.

Due to open in February 2015 in The Rep at Centenary Square, Matt and the team hope to succeed where Searcy’s didn’t by offering a totally different experience for the location.  Marmalade will be offering bistro style dining with pre-theatre menus being pitched at a pocket friendly £15.95 for 2 courses or £19.95 for 3 courses. Other promised options include bar snacks and light lunches and of course as it’s Bitters ‘n’ Twisted, there will obviously be a range of cocktails available as well as craft bottled beers, local ales and a selection of wines.

Full article can be found here

Everyman Cinema & Restaurant – Mailbox

Due to start taking bookings in February 2015, Everyman Mailbox will feature three custom built screens with the highest picture quality and the latest in digital projection, complete with a bar and foyer. All of their other locations offer restaurants and we have seen recruitment advertisements for chefs and kitchen staff so expect the same here. If the existing portfolio is anything to go by you can expect high quality pizzas and possibly burgers too.  But please don’t forget one of our very favourite places in Brum – The Elecctric Cinema (you can’t call yourself a Brummy if you’ve not been).

Big Papas B South at The Sunflower Lounge

One of the newest street food teams to appear in 2014 have proved they can take on the bigger boys by securing a permanent takeover of the kitchens of the made-over and re-launched Sunflower Lounge.

Whilst maintaining their presence at street food events and festivals, they guys are promising their repertoire of hearty southern soul food prepared from scratch. Expect to see dishes like Nashville Yardbird, Mac N Cheese with roasted butternut squash and poached egg, blackened pork chops, and southern fried catfish. You can also expect to see special offer nights like a cinema night with prices including food for 2 and the film. – Due to open January 21st.

Boston Tea Party – Moseley.

BTP are due to open their 3rd location in the city in Moseley this year. This joins the existing premises in Harborne and Corporation Street.

Le Bistrot Pierre – Gas Street.

Le Bistro Pierre promises to capture French culture and love of food. They offer provincial French cooking made with authentic, fresh ingredients, in a unique, relaxed atmosphere.  Established in 1994, they are a privately owned family of 12 bistros located all around Britain.

Cau – Brindley Place

With a menu embracing Buenos Aires’ cuisine, Cau offers a melting pot of comfort food inspired by Italy and Spain alongside the jewel in Argentina’s crown.  Steaks, burgers, and grill sandwiches are joined by a selection of other Argentine favourites.

Master & Margarita – Level 6 The Cube.

Master & Margarita is a new Lounge Bar and Restaurant serving authentic Indian cuisine “tapas style” in what is claimed will be a modern and mischievous designed decor.  Expect your usual wine and cocktails alongside the food

The Mailbox Tavern

Situated in the old Rosie O’Briens unit on John Bright Street. The Mailbox Tavern is due to open later this year and helps to continue the regeneration of what is quickly becoming a vibrant destination. The craft beer drinkers and jerk chicken eaters will, it appears, now have more mainstream venue goers to compete with.

Harvey Nichols – The Mailbox

With the completion of the Mailbox redevelopment due this year and Harvey Nichols moving to their new larger unit within it, this will also bring the opening of their new food offering. Remaining tight lipped at the moment the only clue is that it will be a “concept” restaurant (I swear if it’s another “gentlemen’s club with comfortable fire side chairs” I’ll scream).

Gas Street Social – The Mailbox

As the latest tenants of the vacated Bar Room Bar unit, Gas Street Social are promising us all modern European food with a changing seasonal menu alongside some top end cocktails, decent wines and good selection of local and international beers.

The Botanist – Temple Street

One of the many many brands from the Manchester stalwarts Living Ventures and the first foray back into Brum since their Living Room bar closed. Their most recognised brands to date probably include The Alchemist (one of our favourite hangouts in Manchester), Australasia, and Manchester House.  The Botanist menu offers a wide selection of home made favourites like scotch eggs alongside a wide selection of meats and salads to choose on their deli boards, as well as classic home comfort foods like fish & chips, pies and curry, and a range of dishes from the BBQ or rotisserie.   If the cocktails are anywhere near as good as The Alchemist then we expect good things here.

Amantia – Bennetts Hill

Spanish & Mediterranian food is the offering from the guys at Amantia.   With a proven background in the kitchens of San Carlo and Cucina Rustica, Andrea Retenaga and his wife Marta are going solo in this 80 cover venue.  Due to open near the ever popular Bodega in March, and with the new Cosy Club joining them, this looks like a great year for Bennetts Hill.

Praza by Pushkar – Hagley Road

Taking over the former Rose Muree restaurant on Hagley Road and after a six figure investment, Praza looks set to join the recent openings of The Highfield and The Edgbaston in really raising the game for Edgbaston in the battle for the foodies. Due to open spring.

130 Colmore Row

The latest and top secret venture from the Lasan team. Joining the successful three venues already bringing in great reviews, venue four promises great things. Aktar is keeping tight lipped about what we can expect and some of the rumours are very mouth watering indeed. I suspect we will see something different and new to Brum.

Slug & Lettuce – Harborne High Street.

Not really a lot to say about this. Normally I would not give the opening of a Slug & Lettuce much attention, but as it is replacing The Old Proverbial on the High Street, I for one think this is actually good news.

Cosy Club – Bennetts Hill.

So after months of speculation and rumour as to who had signed up for the former Midland Bank on Bennetts Hill, it has been revealed that The Loungers (of Arco Lounge, Loco Lounge etc) won the race.

ZiZi’s – Brindley Place

Another location for the growing Italian chain. A drinks licence application has been sought for 3 Brindley Place so we can expect this to join their Mailbox location in the City Centre.

So get saving the pennies and planning your nights out!

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Hail to the Bus Driver – The Drinks Bus Hits the Road

Hail to the bus driver,Out In Brum - The Drinks Bus - Front
bus driver, bus driver,
Hail to the bus driver,
bus driver-man.
He drinks and he smokes
and he tells dirty jokes.
Hail to the bus driver,
bus driver-man.

And that bus driver is of course Ahmed Kage, the man who has previously brought you Rib Nights and UK Burger Battle.  He now brings to you The Drinks Bus, an open top double decker 1977 Bristol bus that’s been fully converted to be a working bar.

Out In Brum - The Drinks Bus - In the sunThe bus comprises of a full dispensing bar downstairs with 20 taps (including real ale) along with a versatile open top deck. The top deck comes with its own separate bar area and wooden floor, with options of seating and tables. This can also be converted to a stage area for exclusive live performances.  The bus is available to hire fully stocked and staffed, or for dry hire, and will be making its way to events over the year so you can try a cocktail or real ale.

Spokesperson for The Drinks Bus, Ahmed Kage said “We can’t wait to get The Drinks Bus out on the road this year! It’s the ultimate bespoke bar for events and celebrations, with a great drink selection available and a fantastic open top area to enjoy this summer! Anyone who sees the bus is going to want to be on it!”Out In Brum - The Drinks Bus - Pumps

Further information on The Drinks Bus can be found at and you can follow on Twitter @thedrinksbus and on Facebook

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