This may come as shock news to regular readers of the blog but it appears as though Solihull has finally got a ‘craft’ bar.
It has of course already got The White Swan and with ‘Spoons now serving a decent pint of Punk IPA alongside The Flute And Flagon then it’s not a complete craft desert.
(Carling in the relegation zone…not a chance in Solihull)
However, it’s not had a real chalk board/league table kind of craft bar so I thought I’d visit the latest addition to the town the 247 – Tap And Tandoor B91 3DX.
It’s that new it’s not yet managed to find its way onto the whatpub website but it is housed in the former Saddlers Arms, on the busy Warwick Road.
The Saddlers was dying a slow death so it was no surprise when it finally bit the dust and it had been lying derelict for a while until it rose like a phoenix from the flames in its current guise as a self-proclaimed Indian gastro pub.
There’s definitely been a huge upsurge of boozers being run by British Asians in Brum and it’s great to see and, at 6pm on a Monday, it is clear to see the formula for success that appeared to be eluding the Saddlers is in place.
Aside from me, there was only one other person who appeared to be just drinking and was in bar blocking mode before moving on. The rest of the pub was surprisingly full and there was a great mix of people of all ages and genders and with sky sports and cricket on view then I reckon this place has tapped into a market.
There was a bloke with a female compantion at the bar with a suitcase ordering food and drink and, I kid you not, he spent the best part of two mintues just rubbing his partner’s backside! Nothing discreet either but rigorous rubbing like he was trying to wind a toddler!
(not the backside rubbing man!)
I had a very good pint of Gamma Ray (Beavertown) but it was an eye-watering £5.50 a pint (ouch)
(good, but is it £5.50 good?)
and a Saucery (Magic Rock) at £4.50 to follow up meant an average of a fiver a pint..
…The beer was good but blimey, it was expensive.
Any bars that aren’t ‘fun pubs’ in Solihull centre have got to be a welcome addition whilst there was a high turnover of people in here for a Monday evening. I guess there is still a novelty factor as it’s only recently opened, but the food looked good and the barman took the time to say “enjoy your day” as I was leaving and it even had Hall & Oates on in the background to keep any punters of a certain age happy!
I’d definitely visit again and I’d be intrigued to see this place on a Sunday afternoon in November when Birmingham are playing Villa if it’s live on Sky Sports but the strategy of a roughly a fiver a pint means most of your football punters will probably be in The Masons Arms.
Bye Bye to a Solihull institution in The Saddlers and hello to the future…as long as I can afford it, I don’t mind it at all.