Excluding the city centre, Birmingham has a small yet burgeoning portfolio of cool areas, which are worthy of a night out. Most people will have either heard of, or been to: The Jewelery Quarter, Digbeth, Kings Heath, Moseley, Edgbaston and Harborne. However, there’s a new cat on the scene and she’s starting to purr, or growl depending on your perspective?!
It may be news to some, that Stirchley, in south Birmingham, is the ‘latest place to be seen’. Slowly building a cool and independent reputation over recent years, it is now a worthy destination for a night on the tiles.
My recent suggestion to a former police officer, that Stirchley is the next big thing, was met with “it’s a shit hole, only times I went to Stirchley was to drag someone out of a pub”, or a fonder recollection of an elderly chap I met in the Bull’s Head Bishopsgate Street, explained he grew up in Stirchley and told me stories of how he and his siblings would have to pay thrupence to use the public wash room, and how he was banned from the swimming baths by the one armed lifeguard. Well.. those were the days! Not any more though, this is the new hip and cool Stirchley (it was never that bad from my memory).
Whilst not fully formed, the signs of this suburb’s hipster (i do hate that word) slight gentrification is picking up pace and well, you really should give it a try. Easy access from Bourneville Train Station or the Pershore Road. So without further ado, here’s our tasty picks of Stirchers.
Attic Brew Co.
Tucked away, on a quiet unsuspecting street in Stirchley, exists vegan friendly Attic Brew Co. Literally a stones throw from Bournville train station, Attic Brew Co. has been carefully honing its in-house brewing techniques whilst quenching the thirst of many an inquisitive Brummie since November 2018. Everyone is welcome with a great selection of beers, wines, spirits and ciders to choose from. Attic Brew Co. is dog friendly and under 18s are welcome until 6 o’clock. There’s ample seating inside this converted warehouse, with a street food vendor in the courtyard, and various DJs, live music and art events taking place most weekends – expect a wide mix of punters from far and wide. Open Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
29B Mary Vale Rd, Birmingham B30 2DA, UK
Couch is a modern, stylish neighbourhood Cocktail Bar specialising in timeless concept handcrafted cocktail menus, inspired by music. Each completely original drink is based on a different song and musician from Kurt Cobain to Kenny Rogers. Guests can also enjoy a select wine list and Negroni on tap. The staff will guide you through the 15 cocktails inspired by their favourite musicians, there’s a small hidden beer garden too – all happening inside a cosy, laid back and comfortable setting.
1466 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2NT
Caneat is a funky little cafe on the Pershore Rd which started out in 2017. Known for creating the best egg dishes in Brum, this forward thinking establishment offers a simple yet inspiringly delicious menu. From Thai Tea Malt Loaf & Cultured Butter to Braised Borlotti, Green Sauce & Toasted Sourdough. The menu changes each week with a whole host of tasty baked treats including big scones, fancy cakes and tea – Caneat offer some of the best cakes in the city. Ask about their garden project and cancake bakery.
1397 Pershore road, Stirchley High Street, Birmingham B30 2JR
Cork & Cage
Cork & Cage is a neighbourhood bar and eatery (that term neighbourhood seems to be a theme in Stirchley right now). A small but lovely bar with contemporary Turkish food and coffee from şımarık. Enjoy a constantly rotating selection of lambic, wild and sour beer on tap and in bottle, real cider, natural wine and small batch spirits with an emphasis on quality and independent production.
1373 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2JR
Birmingham Brewing Company
Birmingham Brewing Company was established in November 2016 with the aim of providing high quality, locally brewed beer. This multi-award winning vegan Real Ale and Craft Beer Brewery is located on a trading estate. The brewery uses water from the Welsh Mountains, traditional British floor malted Barley and the freshest hops creating distinctive beers and flavours for all to enjoy. The bar also serves natural wine, locally sourced cider, spirits and soft drinks with rotating streetfood. Children and dogs welcome – all beers are vegan and gluten free. The Brewery Tap Room is open Friday and Saturday evenings.
Unit 17 Stirchley Trading Estate, Birmingham, B30 2PF
With well established roots in Brum’s dance music and fashion scene, owner Ming, set up Eat Vietnam, as a pop up providing fab Vietnamese food for Loaf Bakery, The Plough Harborne, Fusca (Warwick), The Lord Clifden, Faculty Coffee, Practise Pizzeria at DigBrew and Bone Head (and a DJ at Digbeth Dining Club). Now a Stirchley resident, Eat Vietnam cooks iconic Vietnamese cuisine with a twist from their compact eatery, delivering traditional flavours using the freshest ingredients. A simple selection on the menu but everything is cooked to perfection – the pork belly is to die for!
1422 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2PH
The grade 2 listed British Oak is an iconic pub. Built in its current form in 1926 and discerningly refurbished, many of its outstanding features have now been revealed in all their former glory. The oak fireplaces that were once covered in dark paint have now been restored and polished so that the warmth of the original wood brings atmosphere and drama to each of the 5 rooms, all of which have been redecorated in a style that is in keeping with the tradition of this great pub, but given a modern contemporary feel. Possibly one of the largest beer gardens in Birmingham.
1364 Pershore Rd, Birmingham, B30 2XS
GlassHouse Beer co
GlassHouse Beer co, is a hop forward nano-brewery straight outta’ Kings Heath and now located in Stirchley, with strong family roots in the area. GlassHouse Beer co began trading in May 2017. Since that time the brewery has released 26 beers and collaborated with UK breweries including; Green Duck, Twisted Barrel, Burning Soul, Odyssey and DEYA. The tap room is open Fridays and Saturdays – look out for street food pop ups too.
Unit 6B Waterside Business Park, 1649-1652 Pershore Road, B30 3DR
The Wildcat Tap
Once described as Birmingham’s smallest pub, The Wildcat Tap moved to new larger premises with a cool design by 2GDesign (same guys who designed Chakana & Nocturnal Animals). This mini-mecca micro-pub of craft beer offers a friendly and relaxed environment in the bosom of Stirchley. Expect a constantly changing roster of craft cask and keg ales – open every day.
1381-1383, Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2JR
Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse
Alicia’s Micro Bakehouse first began by baking real sourdough loaves before applying their new found skills to pizza, taking great pride in letting time do her thing! The pizza dough has a good 24-48 hours to develop. Every pizza/ loaf Alicia’s make embodies a passion and enthusiasm for artisan methods and delicious food.
1377 Pershore rd, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2JR
Loaf has existed as a food-based social enterprise on Stirchley High Street since 2012. The team run a community bakery and cookery school, bringing back traditional kitchen skills with a focus on sourdough and other artisan breads. Apart from various cool food pop ups, they do a wicked lunch menu which changes regularly, but to give an idea, as this goes to press the Roast Cauliflower, pickled red cabbage, stuffing and Mozzarella pizza or Salt beef on challah with Mustard and pickles and Roast Parsnips, walnut and stilton sourdough pizza… all sound divine!
1421 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2JL
Artefact is an artist-led community art gallery, workspace & bar, in Stirchley. Supporting artistic development and engaging the public with a programme of free exhibitions, workshops and talks. Artefact engage the public with an arts programme combined with an exhibition space, community organised events and social gatherings, such as pub quizzes, gig nights and films screenings – open Wednesday to Saturday.
1464 Pershore Road, Stirchley, Birmingham, B30 2NT
Akrams provide the finest in Kashmiri cuisine on the Pershore Road. All of the food is hand made using the quality ingredients to produce some delicious dishes. From Tandoori specialities to traditional Baltis and Biryanis Akrams hits the spot every time. Ask about their super sized naan breads.
1526 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2NW
Stirchley Wines & Spirits
Stirchley Wines & Spirits are striving for something different, enriching lives with a wide and varied selection, from craft beer and real ale, to fine wines and a unmatched selection of spirits. Established in 1979, Stirchley Wines have built up a highly regarded and reputable business, which is very much part of the local community. Winner of many awards, and an ideal place to pick up a bottle before heading for a balti.
1535-1537 Pershore Rd, Birmingham B30 2JH
Words by Nick Byng for Grapevine Brum with the assistance of Ollie ‘Yardbird’ Lloyd & Helen Sephton.