Issue 138
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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. Open 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 the people behind 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.
Otto (one to watch)
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.


Between exhibitions, fairs and commissions, it's been a few years since Brum-based artist, Rachel Tighe, created a painting capturing her home turf. "I have a new found love and perspective on the city of Birmingham lately and having some time last month, I thought I would tweet and ask people what they would like to see me paint. I went from there." Gas Street Basin is an original acrylic on a box frame canvas that measures 3ft x 2ft. As Rachel only ever works in originals, the bright and lively scape is a complete one off, and yours for £795. Based on people's suggestions it looks like there's more city art on the way. "I'm hoping to capture more areas, such as Ikon in spring, Moseley, and other viewpoints of Gas Street. Also, with its ever changing architecture, I plan to do another cityscape to document Brum's development." Watched space this consider.


We're giving away a pair of passes to the Local Drinks Market, because it just seems like the right thing to do. As well as getting access to drops including the botanical wonderment which is Stratford Gin and Hockley Tonic (by 40 St Pauls), the winners get a seat at any — and indeed all — of the specially incepted masterclasses taking place on June 25. Grow your Own G&T with Langleys & Kitchen School, do cocktails and canapes Wilderness-style and get the right amount merry with James Bowker of The Edgbaston, who will be divulging his recipes for cocktails which go a little easier on the boozeageing than the typical. From £10 to £18 for a seat, they're all free to you. If you win that is. Competition this way. Tickets & info


The Godfather is a good film. Independence Day: Resurgence is not – but it is an entertaining one if you’re within that age window where the first film gets the nostalgia flowing. After the aliens’ initial invasion, humanity has had 20 years to prepare for their return, however, they come back in far greater force than before – and if you were in any doubt what kind of film this is, when a character asks what part of the Atlantic the alien ship is over, the answer is, ‘All of it’. The younger generation of the cast is bland and the destruction of half the earth goes weirdly unremarked, but returning pros like Jeff Goldblum and Bill Pullman sell the hokum, and there’s enough Nineties nostalgia for a thousand Buzzfeed lists. Times & trailer
Venue: Peel & Stone Harborne, 374 High Street, B17 9RP; website
Choice: Peanut butter & jelly grilled sandwich (£5) Chooser: Happiness

Across a 36 hour period, every meal we ate involved Peel & Stone's new Harbone edition. Starting off with the sort of croissant that will have Parisians buying one-way flights (assuming that's still allowed), almond, pistachio and luscious, buttery pastry converged in all the right ways. A simple sourdough-based lunch preceded Harborne's answer to a bierkeller. For underneath the bakery, the almost rudely talented team have been developing a super-secret home for a spectacular selection of draft and bottled beers — think everything from Belgium's Le Chouffe to Bristol's Left Handed Giant. Playing equal fiddle, there's a food menu on which to graze. The lamb meatballs (£8) and Cuban Sandwich with mojo marinated pork shoulder (£8.50), were both up there but it was the PB&J grilled sandwich that was ear-marked for 'sharesies' that had us squabbling for scraps. Times. Book.
  • What are you doing on May 12, 2017? Tickets for Brian Cox at the Barclaycard Arena went on sale yesterday at 10am and will set you back from about £35. There might still be a couple left
  • It's that age old problem. You need a whole black, and a whole white truffle but no one in Brum stocks them. Introducing Anderson & Hill's latest product line, setting you back £50 a go
  • Book now: Proper LOLZY times are to be found at The Old Rep on December 3. Tickets for Stephen K Amos are £16 and will do you the inconvenience of selling out
  • Want to be part of Bham Heritage Week? The deadline's tomorrow, and here's the form
  • Tahini is popping up at the Custard Factory for seven courses of Greek and Persian cuisine. Their first run has sold out but they've just released sittings on 14, 15, 16 July. £35. Call 07983 442 432
  • Rufus Wainright is doing his thing at Symphony Hall on July 15. Tickets are from £41.25. GO
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"I've been playing the take back control drinking game during the ITV debate and it's going to take me some time to take back control." - Professor Brian Cox
WORDS: Katy Drohan, Andrew Lowry

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