Back street local boozers on the outskirts of Solihull are always far better than any pub in Solihull and that has always been the case.
Back in the eighties and nineties and my youthful drinking days then Olton, Shirley, Knowle Elmdon Heath, Cheswick Green, Maypole, Solihull Lodge and Yardley were all a better bet for a lively laugh than Solihull town centre.
There are still quite a few survivors from that era, but also plenty of pubs that have bitten the dust or some that have reinvented themselves – like The Red House.
This is tucked away on Hermitage Road not too far from estate pubs such as The Greville Arms and The Damson (or Golden Acres) as it was known and a stone’s throw from the massive Jaguar Land Rover plant.
(map to confuse Russ – pub is on the site of the red marker…)
So, with the history lesson done, I thought it was time to turn back the clock and seek out The Red House…as it was once known.
It has finally reopened post covid and it is nice to see Marston’s/Banks’s Thwaites getting on the act and promoting it as a desi pub known as 584 – The Flying Elephant B91 2LP
Apparently it reopened in February but I can’t imagine it flew out of the blocks so it is re reinventing itself if you like.
Some of the best pubs in Brum and the Black Country have been reborn as independent Desi pubs and I can thoroughly recommend The Vine in West Bromwich – read it here – whilst other renowned pubs in Brum such as The Hen and Chickens and The New Soho Tavern have thrived with entrepreneurs revamping them.
I’m not suite sure a chain pub where, according to the whatpub gubbins, the “food is both British and Indian, though with a Kenyan twist; cooked over wood rather than in clay ovens, and using Kenyan-style spices and flavours,” is quite the same.
So, just after opening at about ten past three on Saturday I looked into the Red House and it has bene transformed into mostly tables set up for eating but it still had a pint of Original (Thwaites) on cask and it was fantastic.
Not only was it fantastic, and almost certainly the first out of the traps, it came in at the princely sum of £2.50 without any Rishi bonus!
Two lads outside were deep in conversation and necking their Carling whilst the bar staff/waiters inside were polite but these are strange times to be launching what is almost a brand new pub in the backstreets of Solihull.
It’s a bold move by Thwaites as The Red House was always a no nonsense backstreet local and they must have spotted a niche in the market.
As long as punters can still go in and just drink – there didn’t appear to be a problem with that as I could sit anywhere I wanted – then hopefully more punters will be coming in on their magic carpet to drink at the Flying Elephant.