I like food. I like Digbeth. And I like maps.
So top marks to The Ruin, who have unveiled a massive big map on the side of their wall showcasing some of their great neighbours – and having the guts to effectively point out where the competition is.
The map, a 16ft by 10ft graffiti-style map, created by local artist as Andy Mills (also known as Title, apparently, because I am not cool enough to know these things) points out twelve of Digbeth’s best independent places to eat and drink. Commissioned by The Ruin’s owner, Richard Hughes, it’s an ode to Digbeth with its realism-meets-traditional graffiti-style embodying the industrial-past and cool, new future of one of Birmingham’s favourite suburbs. I mean, I like a lot of Birmingham suburbs but Digbeth is definitely in the list of one of the good ones. Even if it is severely lacking in cash-points.
The Digbeth Dozen title refers to twelve independent and unique neighbours, unsurprisingly in Digbeth, and includes The Anchor pub on Bradford Street; Ghetto Golf, The Mockingbird Cinema & Kitchen, Clink and Kanteen, all in the Custard Factory; new kid on the block Dig Brew Co’s brewery and taproom on River Street; Digbeth Dining Club, which everyone should really know about by now; Tucked away tapas joint Rico Libre; Birmingham’s oldest pub, The Old Crown; The Spotted Dog on Alcester Street; and Baked in Brick which is due to open in May – and of course, The Ruin itself. It’s an incredibly strong list of places, with pretty much something for everyone, and showing that whilst Digbeth might look a bit like it’s knocking around waiting for HS2, it’s actually a hive of activity, you just have to know where to look – which is where a map comes in pretty bloody handy. Someone really should make some nice postcards of this thing so we can put them in tourist information.
The Ruin’s owner, Richard Hughes has this to say about the map; “Since opening The Ruin, Digbeth in September 2017, its been exciting to get to know our neighbours in the area and to check out each unique spot to eat, drink or socialise in. From Spanish tapas with a Brummie twist to delicious vegetarian brunches, 18 holes of crazy golf to blockbuster and arthouse film screenings, and new craft beer spaces as well as traditional city boozers, the Digbeth Dozen offering really is as varied as it gets in this exciting and creative quarter. We wanted to mark the exciting new period in the area’s history – and what better way than with an exclusive mural-style map to help people find their way!?”
If you’re not familiar, The Ruin is situated on the corner of Floodgate Street and Little Ann Street in Digbeth. Some readers may be familiar with this Grade II listed building formerly known as The Eagle, Horan’s Tavern and The Floodgate Tavern. Offering local ales, coffee roasted in nearby Shropshire, and a heart European menu using regional ingredients, The Ruin also has a packed listings of events including live music, DJ sets and open mic. It’s basically what you want in a modern pub – and pretty spot on for Digbeth.