Issue 329
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Can you hear that, Birmingham? That's the distant clatter of shutters going up. It's the clink of a key in the door, chairs being removed from tables. Lights plink-plink-plinking as they flicker on. Brum's hospitality sector is, sort of, open for business this Saturday. Care to join it? Some people are champing at the bit, some are taking their time. Nobody's right, nobody's wrong. But we're all agreed that supporting our venues is vital. As such, we're dedicating this week's main feature to both those who are opening and those are keeping us watered and fed at home. Reader, in the words of Jeff Goldblum in Independence Day, "do your stuff, do your thing, take ' out, take 'em down?" 
In terms of desire to get open few can trump Custard Factory-based Stag who will be serving beers through their new custom built beer hatch into the CF's courtyard from 12.01am to 3am, Saturday. Keen but not that keen? They'll then be doing hatch beers (or coffee) from 10am Saturday. The barber-cum-bar-cum-coffee house even has haircut availability on Sunday, July 5, ticking all Gov guidelines.
City Arcadians Tilt have spent lockdown undergoing a top-to-toe refurb. They'll be celebrating Independence Day the American way, with eight US beers on tap and six more in cans. The gaffer is all giddy over a series of three brews from Cincinnati's Urban Artefact. Woodbreaker is their black cherry lemonade Midwest fruit tart. And if that's not enough of a mouthful, there's Reese's Pieces Bundt cake (£3).  
HK reopens Saturday, but not as you know it. With a swank new look including booth seating (pictured, top) they're also launching their entirely new bar menu which includes pig belly tacos (£4 each), Orkney scallop with gazpacho press and back fat (£12.50) and the pictured chicken thigh skewer, cucumber and sesame pickle (£8). Tasting menus still available in the restaurant. Book
From the people who brought you Rudy's Pizza and taking over Digbeth's old 'Air' nightclub (as well as 4000sq ft of the adjacent car park), comes Zumhof Biergarten. Expect a range of Bavarian and Czech lagers as well as local stars like Digbrew and Purity. The food hut will offer bratwursts and burgers alongside Rudys Neapolitan joy discs. Expect live music when restrictions are lifted. Opens 4pm Sat.
Aktar Islam's Argentine steak venture, Pulperia, was the youngest pre-lockdown Brum launch, so there's a good chance you didn't get to go before Boris put a giant key in the nation's door. They're coming out of their corner swinging, introducing Finnish beef steaks to the menu for the first time. Crowned 'best beef in the world, 2018' think deep flavour and creamy fat as a result of its six to nine year age. More  
Okay, so this one isn't exactly 4th of July, more like 14th of July, but it's very much a 'book now' sort of a deal. Gareth Ward, head chef of the best restaurant we've ever been to, Ynyshir, will be cooking his new signature katsu curry amongst Hampton Manor’s green houses and their new Smoke House. It's £75 per person including a glass of Nyetimber. Call 01675446080
Kings Heath's Early Bird Bakery are launching a full afternoon tea for delivery or collection, this weekend. Bookings are live on their website now and it's £35 for two people. Veg options are available, but we've gone all gooey over the espresso rubbed slow-cooked beef brisket, BBQ sauce, slaw and brioche buns. Sparkling booze also available. Book
Speaking of Early Bird, their website is where you'll find Fire + Rice. This is hawt-lookin' Asian-inspired meals from Caneat alumni and founder of Women in Hospitality, Chloe Qureshi, and Brum chef, cookery teacher and pop-up pro Lap-fai Lee. The home curry pack (northern Thai Burmese style pork belly curry, anyone?) is £30 for two people. Book 
Pizza pioneers Poli are doing click and collect from their Kings Heath home. A new menu goes live on their website every Monday at 7pm with collections every Friday evening or Saturday afternoon. Pizzas are cooked in their woodfired oven for a quick seven-minute reheat. Changing menu of sides and desserts, too. More
Stirchley-based Eat Vietnam's web shop is now open. Reserve your slot for a Friday or Saturday collection. Bún cha is on the menu for meatball heads, as is bún chay for the vegans. And if south Brum isn't your direction they have a slot at the (currently) JQ-based Digbeth Dining Club for collection, too. Panko chicken curry 'n' errythaaang. 
Hold on to your cats stat fans, 80% of cheese sold in the UK is cheddar. We know because we've been on Loki's wine Zoom, a weekly wine and cheese tasting, the next one of which is Saturday. It's £65 for three bottles of wine (we did it alone) and three cheeses delivered. Theme this week is summer. Phil from Loki is joined by Will from Anderson & Hill and an American guy who grows wine in Turkey. Book
Brindleyplace beacon of hope and cult-following classic, Ju Ju's, will launch their collection service on July 10. Booking can be made from July 8 and your quickest way of doing that is through their mailing list. Their fish and chips and 'not fish and chips' — a funky fried halloumi number — are among the top dishes, while their fisherman’s pie is also a ‘reheat at home’ menu option. More 


We're not saying that we've put on weight during lockdown, but what we are saying is the old laptop is now more of a gut-top. Please help then, Birmingham’s first city running tour, Run of a Kind. Based on walking tours but — and here's the twist — running, you'll be guided around Brum sights on a 10k leisurely. It's the brainchild of Moseleyite Lucy Canham, who discovered the concept in London and has since completed run tours in 20 different countries over six continents. How? She works as cabin crew. “I’ve wanted to set this up for a while," says Lucy "but as I suppose with many dreams, we often don’t find the time to make them a reality. I suddenly found myself grounded in more ways than one. I’ve had time to strategise and structure the business, as well as study for and write the tours.” The first run takes place July 13 and will take in The Bull, Centenary Square, The JQ, Digbeth, the Gay Village and loads more. Runs will be limited to five joggers from up to five households, plus the guide, in line with guidelines. Priced at £15 (including finishing snack and drink), book here and follow Run of a Kind on Insta, Twitter or Facebook.
Birmingham Indian Film Festival are screening Mississippi Masala for free, all day today. Starring a young Denzel and Sarita Choudhury, it explores issues of race and privilege as an Indian woman falls in love with an African American man. Big time relevant.
City superstars Stan’s Cafe (not a cafe, but a performing arts group, confusingly) have launched Stan’s Internet Cafe. It includes performances streamed from performers’ homes, short films and podcasts.
Keen to have a nosy into some of Moseley's best gardens? 'Moseley in Bloom' is this year called 'Moseley in Zoom' — all the prettiness of 'Bloom' and none of the standing around talking about what's going to happen to the old Pottery & Pieces.

Cotteridge Park annual music and craft festival Cocomad is going online for this year, July 4. You buy the cider, they'll do the ents. Details 

"Running: Side effects may include sweating, euphoria, and general awesomeness."

Barbara Cartland 

(Naaaah just kidding. It's a jogging proverb)

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WORDS: Tom Cullen

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