Venue: The Loft, 143 Bromsgrove Street, B5 6RD; website
Chances are beer and being outside don't occupy the top two slots on your January agenda, which makes what we're about to say characteristically terrible timing. Following a major refurb The Loft's beer garden has gone from good, to one of the very best in the city. Fortunately that slick fit-out has continued indoors making The Loft our new fave Gay Quarter bar, news which is jollified further by staff that are as warm as the glowing new decor. Food-wise we bit our thumb in the direction of a healthy start to 2017, by ordering no fewer than seven dishes, placing us in a position of authority to declare their buttermilk fried chicken burger with bacon jam and ranch mayo the crown prince of the spruced menu. Cocktails are a big deal and the Suck & Swallow (*Julian Clary look to camera*) is where ginthusiasts should be setting up shop, while a rum punch that they say is made to Rihanna's own recipe is a walloping great crowd-pleaser. Food menu / drinks menu
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