Cometh the hour, cometh the quarter
All new and all in the JQ
Within two beautiful blocks of the Jewellery Quarter, four newbies have launched in less than three weeks—the most recent popping the bubbly looking stuff at 6pm yesterday by way of launch party. Add to this welcome quadruplet recent openers Saint Pauls House, Artisan Alchemy, Nozomi, Upstairs Downstairs and summer is looking a lot like the JQ's season. Summer's still an actual thing that happens, right?
The Pig & Tail; website
12-13 Albion Street, opened June 11
Since time immemorial (the late nineties), the Grade-II Listed George & Dragon has stood all crumbly, vacant and sad looking. On the corner of Albion Street (next to those flats we've all inadvertently had a night cap at), the team behind the Pickled Piglet have rescued the building's facade with small plates, brunch, roasts and craft beers. Open seven days, top of our must try list is the sweet corn fritters with streaky bacon and maple syrup (£7).
The Button Factory; website
25 Frederick Street, opened June 20
Taking over Vertu's sun God of a terrace, The Button Factory's looking big on food of the grilled variety. With a Moroccan feel to the open kitchen, sous-chef Josh is recommending the rose harissa marinated spring chicken, with pomegranate molasses and preserved lemons (£13), which, like many of the mains, is finished off on British charcoals to encourage a deep, smoky flavour.
Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery; website
48 Frederick Street, opened June 6
First things first, it's a gallery. But it's also a cocktail bar. It sells diamonds; it serves tapas; it's got antique watches and every drop of its wine is imported from Spain (as is the vast majority of its ingredients and staff). Confused? Don't be. This is the moment when concepts previously confined to Chelsea's King's Road emerged in Brum. Expect DJs and a dressed up crowd come Saturday nights, as well as tapas served seven days.
1000 Trades; website
16 Frederick Street, opened June 11
Reinventing the site of a Caribbean restaurant that became a sporadically open cocktail bar, 1000 Trades has got craft beers by the flagon-full. With a spirits list curated by Aman at 40 St Pauls as well as the beginning of the revival of boxed wines, this evening the team is offering 20% off if you take part in Brum's official unofficial referendum exit poll. Chilli Dog Dogs are on food.
One to watch: Otto
15 Caroline Street, opens mid-July
There aren't many openings for which we'd consider an entire office move. But ever since The Eight Foot Grocer told us about their plans to open a pizzeria next to the team's current digs, Caroline Street has become our target destination. Expect a choice of eight, wood-fired sourdough pizzas, costing around £6 to £9, with charcuterie from Wenlock Edge Farm, craft beer and softies from Square Root.
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