If you’ve been down the clubbing centre of Birmingham recently, you may have noticed 6 on Broad Street has disappeared and has instead been replaced by Rosies, Broad Streets newest Super Club. Wifey and I were invited to pop down and have a preview prior to opening tomorrow (with their launch party hosted by DJs Scott Mills & Chris Stark off of that Radio 1).
Owners Stonegate Pub Company have sunk £1 million into the refit to split the venue into five themed rooms over two floors.
Downstairs is the Montana bar with a large cocktail menu of Martinis and Mojitos with exposed lighting and bare woods giving it a rustic, relaxed feel, and streetfood style stuffed crust pizza on sale throughout the afternoon and into the evening.
Perhaps the biggest room upstairs is DAO (A Chinese proverb for the way). It takes it’s inspiration from a combination of Las Vegas and Pan Asian influence with an Asian inspired cocktail menu and LED “chopstick lighting”.
For those who like their clubbing a little more nostalgic there’s Retro with neon paint a light up dance-floor and a cheese filled party playlist.
Playing R&B will be The Vault which we sneaked into as it’s getting ready for its big showing tomorrow night and there’ll be hidden ‘VIP Bourbon booth’s overlooking the DJ and dancefloor.
And the final room is the Laundrette, a speakeasy bar with the illusion of being a laundry with a touch of quirky character and even a roof terrace to look out over the city skyline.
With one of the biggest investments in Stonegate Pub Co’s history they’re hoping to show their dedication to Birmingham’s clubbing scene and look out for more happenings over the weekend.
Disclaimer: For this preview evening, I was a guest of Stonegate Pub Co. & Lucre PR, wifey and I enjoyed a couple of complimentary cocktails and got a goody bag to take home. This provides no bias to the post.
This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
Davenports. that’s a name a lot of Brummies will remember (and a hell of a lot wont…). For nearly two centuries until the late 1980’s Davenports was the brewery of Birmingham, just off Broad Street, and their ‘Beer at Home’ slogan was known across the country.
It’s great to see the name come back (alongside sister brand Dares), with a planned 6 venues across Birmingham & The Black Country. The closest of which to me is The Bulls Head, just off Broad Street itself.
People may remember this pub as The City Tavern, but it’s been converted into a beautiful traditional pub, with plenty of classic features and nods to the history of the Davenports name across the venue.
Anyway, back on subject. The reason for this evening’s visit was an invite from Gerard, the Manager, who had invited myself and a colleague down for a bourbon or four in the company of Bulleit and Buffalo Trace Bourbon.
Before that, time for Mint Julep (mint leaf, bourbon (Buffalo Trace), sugar syrup, and crushed ice), a nice, clean and simple palate cleanser to prep the taste-buds, whilst we ensconced ourselves at the rear of the bar.
Out hosts for the evening were Gavin Jones and Matt East, covering Bulleit and Buffalo Trace bourbons respectively. and taking us on a journey through how Bourbon came to be, the rules around producing and the distinctiveness of each of the bourbons for tasting.
First up we were told both tales of how Ireland and Scotland both claim to have invented the oaky spirit. The Irish claiming to have learned it via the spice road and the distilling of perfume for men, whilst the Scots claim to have made it via accidentally fermenting grain in horse saddlebags. Whoever made it first is lost in the annals of history and much grumbling.
We then learnt about its birth in the US with the frontiersmen making moonshine through to the categories we know today. We also learned their varied categories of whisk(e)y such as Rye (at least 51% rye), Malt (at least 51% malted barley), Bourbon (at least 51% corn / maize), and Corn (at least 80% corn / maize), with bourbon and corn both requiring virgin oak barrels.
Our first neat drop of the evening was Bulleit Bourbon (65% corn 28% rye, 4% malted barley). revived in 1987, by Thomas E. Bulleit, Jr. Inspired by his great-great-grandfather Augustus Bulleit, who made a high-rye whiskey between 1830-1860. It has a high Rye content compared to most bourbons, allowing for a spicier finish than most bourbons, there was heady wood-smoke and peppery to begin then descending into an almost marmalade flavour, a very agreeable drop.
Next to taste, the Buffalo Trace, a Kentucky straight bourbon, and a well regarded, well rounded one at that. It’s aged 8 years, a rarity for a US bourbon, and rigorously checked by 14 tasters at the distillery (what a great job to have). The flavour could be described as smooth, and went down like velvet.
As we were mid way through it was time for a food breather:
Our sharing platter had spicy lamb burgers, bourbon glazed chicken wings, asian slaw and sweet potato fries. The lamb burgers were absolutely delicious, made with the same meat as their lamb koftas. The wings were slathered in a rich, sticky glaze and were deliciously tender inside. They were served with a refreshing mint and cucumber dip which i couldn’t stop dipping the crunchy (yes actually crunchy for a change) Sweet Potato Fries. It was a great sampler of their street food inspired menu , one which I’ll be back to revisit.
Back to the whisk(e)y. Our next dram was a Bulleit Rye. This ‘frontier’ whiskey is made with a 95% rye and 5% malted barley mash, and a winner of many gold medals. This whiskey pulled no punches in flavour,. deceptively soft to begin with it hits with an exceptionally oaky flavour and descends into a toffee / caramel flavour.
Our final neat whisk(e)y of the evening was an Eagle Rare, a premium blend from Buffalo Trace, aged 10 years, from carefully selected barrels. A very very complex, enigmatic and expressive flavour which I struggled to pull any individual notes out of, but overall, slightly sweet and spicy.
To round out the night we had a Buffalo Trace Old Fashioned, one of the most classic of whisk(e)y cocktails, and one that will earn your the wrath of many a bartender on a busy night if ordered in great quantities. Muddled in bitters and that zesty orange citrus burst, always a lovely way to take your whisk(e)y.
Post all this lovely Bourbon, Gerard was nice enough to have a sneaky peek at the upstairs suite, in the final touches currently. It’ll be hosting live music and relaxed dining and looks to be a gem of a location, and one I’ll be revisiting, I mean it’s almost a local…
Disclaimer: For this visit, I was a guest of Gerard and Davenports, this provides no bias to the post. This blog is my own personal opinion and strives to provide an independent view, promoting, enjoying and reviewing the range of exciting food and venues in and around Birmingham.
It’s Friday again and just before we were away for a weekend, it was time for more of Birmingham restaurants to our home.
As you may have read previously (cough, cough), Deliveroo supply a delivery service for a wide range of some of the best eateries in Brum: what I’d like to term a ‘restaurant concierge service’ providing ordering, payment and delivery services for some of Birmingham’s biggest independents with a few chains too.
This time, our choice was Rub Smokehouse, a Southern US BBQ style restaurant who’ve expanded from their original restaurant in Nottingham to Regency Wharf off Broad Street earlier this year.
We’ve heard the reputation of Rub for supplying large portions, so Wifey and I went for a main each and a side to share.
Like the last few times, ordering with Deliveroo is simple. Select your food and order time, the website keeps a running total whilst you tot up your total and adds a reasonable £2.50 for Deliveroo. There’s even space for a driver’s tip too if you’re feeling generous.
For starters, we went with the classic of Nachos to share, accompanied with sour cream, guacamole, pulled BBQ pork, Monterey Jack, salsa, cheese.
For mains, I fancied something a little different from a burger or ribs and chose a Reuben sandwich. Consisting of low & slow cooked beef brisket in special Jack Daniels BBQ gravy with Monterey Jack cheese, pickles and slaw on sourdough, to which I added extra bacon and American cheese.
Wifey went a little lighter with a Cobb Salad, which was pulled BBQ free range chicken, smoked bacon, egg, sweet pepper, tomato, avocado and blue cheese.
The order went in at 19:44pm and an ETA given of 20:30pm. In actual fact, the food arrived at 20:29pm so top marks on time prediction. A short mobile call from the driver and I was ready to meet him as he pulled up downstairs. When I arrived, I found our Deliveroo driver had come via pushbike! A quite smart and eco friendly for delivery.
Back upstairs, even though we were prewarned, Wifey and I weren’t expecting the size of the portions!
There was an issue, however, with my Reuben as the box was cardboard the gravy had breached the side and caused a bit of a mess:
I mentioned this on Twitter and got a quick response from the team, stating they’ll be looking into the packaging to prevent the same happening in the future.
The contents, however, we still mainly intact:
The brisket was well braised in the gravy and topped off with fries and slaw; the sourdough did seem to be missing, though.
Wifey’s cobb salad, equally as massive, was really nice with the sweetness of the pulled chicken offset with the pungent strength of the blue cheese. Wifey couldn’t handle the blue cheese so instead I pinched it and combined it with my Reuben (which was great, by the way).
We finished off with the starter, the nachos:
Oozing with guacamole , sour cream and salsa, the nachos had got a little bit soggy by the time we had got there but still tasted amazing.
Next time when we’re in the mood for a BIG appetite, we’ll have to make our way down to try the restaurant!
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