Much like the story goes this might end up as a piece in two parts, the first being the fact that this is rather a great bar. Not so much a hidden away gem, as a place that you’d be unlikely to stumble upon, unless you worked in the area. That means that you are [...]
This is one of the few places in Birmingham that bills itself as a cocktail bar (and rock and roll bar). It’s certainly a bit different from what some people might believe a cocktail bar should look like with its funky interior, and rock&roll vibe.
Though a quick look at the bar, and of the menu show you one thing. Cocktails are the main thing on the menu, sure there are some bottle and draft beers – but well you may not receive the warmest of welcome if that’s all you are after.
London, a place that just screams BUSY at you. So it was with surprise that when I first ventured into Rules and asked the doorman if I could visit the bar, that I found myself alone with my server being Brian, the bar manager. [No Doorman? Just pop inside and ask.]
Whilst my first visit may have been on a drizzly Tuesday afternoon, the place is literally a stones throw from the main hubris of Covent Garden Plaza. Had I stumbled upon a secret place, or was I going to be let down – I wasn’t too sure. The reason for the visit, I asked the simple question of ‘Where do you think the best cocktail bar in central London is?’, something that could be a divisive question; afterall everyone has their favourites. A variety of responses came back, but Rules Cocktail Bar was one of the closest places to me and most common answers, from a lot of people I respect.
I can’t remember exactly how I came to know of this bar, but it’s name had floated around through my ‘research’ of nice places to drink, and there were quite a few good reviews of it. Though I was no closer to knowing what it’s called. . .surely it can’t just be called ’69 Colebrooke Row’.
I was wrong, my receipt calls the place ‘The Bar With No Name’ and even though I knew what road it was on, and what to look out for (a lantern with the number 69 on it). I still had stood outside on the street for two minutes, having to doubleback on myself before I realised that the place I had assumed was empty, had life. If you do go looking for this place, don’t expect it to jump out to you. It blends into the backstreets, which is exactly what it tries to achieve.
The other evening, on the way home from dinner I was walking past The Vaults, spotted the bright red door, and thought a little Martini to finish the night off would be a good plan.
It may have been this moment, in retrospect where it all went wrong, but wrong in a good way as I’ll explain. The Vaults has been open for a while, but it had been a long time since my last visit where we had spotted that some of the staff were good at making cocktails.
Nuvo, 11 Brindley Place, Birmingham
It’s always good to see more bars opening, especially those that are literally moments away from my doorstep and seem to promise a good cocktail.
At first glance it feels like Nuvo might be onto a real winner, it’s early days (open for three days so far) and no doubt will take a while before the place beds in.