(Issue 109)
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Déjà vu is the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. Déjà vu is the illusion of having previously experienced something actually being encountered for the first time. And for as long as ace places keep opening, expanding and popping-up around Brum, we're going to keep telling you about them. Keep telling you about them. Keep telling you about them.
The Cuban Embassy at The Bull's Head, 23 St Mary's Row, Moseley, B13 8HW
So new they haven't quite had time to rebrand the exterior, the next epoch in the life of this Moseley stalwart has begun. The Cuban Embassy has a cocktail list boasting truly gargantuan amounts of rum and a menu jam-packed with Caribbean kicks. Drinks-wise, start with the Floridita Daiquiri, a blended lime-based refresher which is served as it would be in the cradle of the daiquiri, Havana's El Floridita. And expect plenty of Latin beats - musicians have been flown across continents to take up a residency, which will see at least four nights of live music every week.
Next Door & Shelf Life at The Plough, 21 High St, Harborne, B17 9NT
Getting a table at The Plough between the hours of 4pm on a Friday and 10pm on a Sunday is a task requiring guile, skill and a move we're calling the ATL (the aggressive table linger). But with the opening of its sparklingly new extension, Next Door, the Harbone hero is giving you forty more chances to bag a seat, as well as introducing a dedicated pizza kitchen and bar showcasing the team's artisan whiskies. Shelf Life (pictured) is The Plough's new micro-store. Expect deli gear and condiments as well as classic vinyls and plenty of drink-based reading material.
The Sky Bar, Resorts World, Pendigo Way, B40 1PU
Cooler than an emperor penguin's belly, this new venue atop Resorts World may not have a stunning view of Manhattan, but it's got an interior to match any high-end Big Apple bar. There's a chef's table limited to six people which surrounds a Teriyaki and Yakitori grill and behind the scenes, we're told, is a chef who has been tempted to the West Midlands from Michelin-starred London restaurant Hakkasan. The bar is staffed by top mixologists too, one of which has come direct from Gingers and served us a Martini as dirty as any we've had at Glynn Purnell's outpost. Menu
112 Social, Custard Factory, Gibb Street, Digbeth, B9 4AA
If the prospect of entering a central shopping centre this side of January is mildly terrifying, there's a rather convivial alternative involving craft beer, board games and pies. 112 Social is a pop-up bar, gallery and - conveniently enough - seller of affordable art (prints start at £12.99), as well as the Chrimbo gear you really want care of Provide. Artwork is the job of Brum-based online platform, Artobox, while Pietanic are taking care of all that you could possibly hunger for, as long as you hunger for pies. Fox six weeks. Until midnight, Thursdays to Saturdays.


You’d be hard-pressed to find a more interesting dude than Marlon Brando, and you’d be hard-pressed to find a better documentary portrait of him than this. He was seriously dyslexic, so recorded hours of tapes of himself reminiscing in preparation for an autobiography that never got written. This material, along with moments of self-hypnosis, forms the basis for this career-spanning doc, which includes some terrific moments of Brando just being Brando: his chatting up of a female journalist is one of the funniest things you’ll ever see. Some may carp that the involvement of the Brando estate means this is uncomplicatedly adulatory, but with a subject who was one of the twentieth century’s most culturally significant figures, who needs a hatchet job? Times & Trailer


"This is art in truly bad taste. It is art with a big brain. It is the art of our time at its most poignant, beautiful and vile" (Jonathan Jones in The Guardian). Enter the harrowing world of Mat Collishaw and All Things Fall (pictured), a giant, depraved zoetrope, depicting the slaughter of infants ordered by King Herod. When motorised, the three dimensional behemoth creates a depraved optical illusion, which becomes more jilted as the structure slows to a haunting tableau. Showing at New Art Gallery in Walsall, Collishaw has produced a separate installation for Brum's library. In Camera is created around a series of crime scene negatives made for Birmingham's police during the 1930s and 1940s, the scenes glow in the darkness, as if lit for forensic analysis. Until January 10.


On November 28, 1931, the Pavilion Cinema opened in Stirchley. Precisely eighty-four years later, Flatpack Festival are screening one of the biggest hits from that year - Charlie Chaplin’s City Lights - in Stirchley Baths' new cinema room. Released when talkies were commonplace, Chaplin took a gamble on the film by persisting with silent comedy but it was a gamble that paid dividends, as the picture was received as warmly as a pair of fur-lined slippers on Christmas Day. An ideal intro for those new to silent film, sustenance will be available care of the new cafe at Stirchley Baths. And if you can't make it along to the showing, there's an exhibition of Stirchley-based artists celebrating all things swimming bath-related (so swimming and baths) which you can check out at P Café until December 23. Register to secure your free spot for City Lights, showing at 11am on November 28.
Venue: Buffalo & Rye, 11 Bennett's Hill, Birmingham, B2 5RS, website
Choice: Slow smoked pulled pork bun (£7) Chooser: Founder of B'n'T

We were among the very first to pronounce the death of pulled pork, but in Buffalo & Rye there's something of an American resurrection afoot. Dry rubbed and marinated in a proudly guarded creation of the chef's imagining, the Aubrey Allen pork shoulder is left to sit for 24 hours before being smoked for a minimum of a further 12. Served up in a bun from Thirteen's bakehouse, with house 'slaw and the definition of the right amount of Kansas City BBQ sauce, there was complete unanimity at our table - for its smoky, crunchy, piquanty goodness, the pulled pork is the pick. By the people behind Bodega (next door) and Island Bar, from whom Buffalo's bar manager has been acquired, speak to Ed for all things booze-related. Picking between the hard shakes, stonking array of bourbon-based possiblities and laid back craft beers can be a challenge. Food. Drinks.
  • The Prince of Wales in Moseley has asked for your help to stay in business. Oblige them?
  • Join the peaty-side, with an evening of six seriously smoky drams from across the globe. If there's nothing from Islay, we want our money back. Nov 26 at the Welly. Tickets
  • Everyman is warming Brum up for The Force Awakens with a series of late night sci-fi movies. On Saturdays at 11pm, we'll be at Alien on Nov 28 and Total Recall on Dec 12. More
  • Our Godmother met Sue Perkins and said she was really nice. You too can meet the master of Bake Off smut at Foyles on November 26. More
  • Get your Chrismas puds (you are having a Christmas pud?) care of Peel & Stone. Last orders November 22
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"You should dream more. Reality in our century is not something to be faced" - Graham Greene, Our Man in Havana
WORDS: Katy DrohanAndrew LowryTom Cullen
IMAGES: Tom Bird (Sky Bar), Jack Spicer Adams (Buffalo & Rye), Todd Whit/Mat Collishaw/Blain Southern/New Art Gallery Walsall (All Things Fall)

I CHOOSE Birmingham, Unit 317, Zellig, Gibb Street, Birmingham, B9 4AA

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