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    Here we go again

    Bureau’s gone
    Fressh has gone
    SmokeHaus and Rub have both gone
    So has Jailbird / Nosh & Quaff, despite the name change

    January is always a hard month for bars and restaurants. The overindulgence of December means some places cling on, buoyed up by the extra footfall, only to realise the game is over come the new calendar year. I’m not going to repeat the blog post I wrote calling on people to use their favourite places, because I think that should be abundantly clear now – if you like it, support it. Nor am I going to write a rant about why things like Dry January and “detoxes” are a bloody stupid idea.

    But it has left me thinking back on 2018, a year I despised for a great many reasons, none of which had much to do with the blog, but everything to do with why it has been pretty quiet around here.

    But 2018 wasn’t all bad. Sure, places trading off the street food craze, like Rub and Smokehaus, might’ve had a bad year, but street food royalty Digbeth Dining Club extended its opening, going to four days; alongside Baked in Brick finding their own permanent home; and of course the Andy Low ’n’ Slow’s kickstarter. Though we might’ve seen repetition of more of the same, the likes of home-grown talent have thrived, with Aktar Islam’s Opheem and Legna, and the provocateurs of the Birmingham hospitality scene opening Nocturnal Animals.

    Maybe more than most cities, Birmingham is changing – you only need to look at the sheer number of cranes in the sky, and building works in the city centre to figure that one out. Whilst it might see some places come and some places go, it’ll always be home. And there will always be new places to find.