I’ve been meaning to go to Bar Opus ever since they announced the opening. I really have no excuse; I’ve enjoyed trips to their two sister venues and it’s round the corner from work, but yet somehow it was still on the ‘to visit’ list. So when Yelp Birmingham announced they were doing a cocktail event there – I asked very nicely if I could go along.
Two Snowhill, where Bar Opus is located, is an impressive building and the tall skyscraper feel is echoed in the venue. It’s lofty and open plan with the bar and kitchen both open to curious customers. Open from 7.30am for breakfast, I can imagine it’s an ideal place to go for a breakfast meeting, although they also serve light lunches and bar plates at other times of the day so it’s got every culinary mealtime covered.
For Yelp’s Cocktail Opus (love the pun), we were graciously given a drink on arrival and a chance to catch up, before being treated to a gin cocktail masterclass by Langley’s brand ambassador, Carl Hawkins. Carl helped found, and managed, the gin paradise that is The Jekyll & Hyde so it was clear that he knew his stuff and having seen Carl perform (honestly, it’s the only word for it, he’s a true showman), I knew we were in for a treat. Balancing the story of gin’s evolution can be as tricky as balancing a cocktail, but Carl kept it humorous, interesting and full of things to taste, including a couple of cocktails; the classic Collins, which we made ourselves and contained rhubarb syrup; a Spanish-style G&T made by people who knew what they were doing; and finally we were presented with a twist on a White Lady – a carbonated version which was incredibly moreish.
Once we were suitably merry from all the gin it was time for some food. Having dined at both Opus on Cornwall St and Cafe Opus in the Ikon Gallery my expectations were high and whilst I didn’t get to try a massive range it was good. The fish cakes covered in sesame seeds were lovely and light and weren’t stingy on the fish and whilst the burgers weren’t my favourite in the city they were pretty decent.
Sadly I had to skip off after that, although it would’ve been lovely to stay and check out their bar more, and order something from the menu. But on our way out we were presented with Opus privilege cards, which is a great excuse to go back – and I certainly intend to!
Disclosure: I was invited to Yelp’s Cocktail Opus free of charge in exchange for writing something on Yelp about the event. Rightly so Yelp are pretty keen on people being honest about their experiences and don’t require you to write anything positive unless you actually believe it. Which I can totally get behind. Thanks to Vicky, community manager for Yelp Birmingham for the invite.