It might not seem like the ideal time to be opening a boozer but there are still plelnty of good news stories.
However, one of the unlikeliest is taking place in Dickens Heath whereby Birmingham City’s former physio is opening a Micropub on the site of a former William Hill bookies in the village.
Neil McDiarmid was at the mecca of football when the likes of Robbie Savage, Christophe Dugarry, David Dunn, Mikael Forssell and Geoff Horsfield were pushing Blues to a top ten finish in the Premier League.
However, he’s now going to open The Ale Hub Venue on September 17th in what is pretty much a real ale desert so there is plenty of scope for punters.
To be fair, I could imagine the Horse having a couple of Neck Oils or Ubu’s and Peter Enckleman will be sure of a warm welcome if he ever drops in!
Another place that is still a relative newbie is 596 – The Hole in the Wall DE3 9GH in the centre of Mickleover, a Derby suburb.
It actually opened on March 12, 2020 which was about one week prior to full lockdown, but they built up a good local following with takeaways and are now back in full swing.
It’s owned by Derby Brewing Company and is on the site of the former Nat West Bank…when I rolled up on a Thursday night it felt positively cosmopolitan.
A balmy summer’s evening with The Nag’s Head opposite – read here – also full with punters outside meant it felt like, well like you weren’t in Mickleover if I’m honest.
That’s a bit harsh as Mickleover is a decent solid suburb with the city’s highest placed non-league team (Mickleover Sports) and a decent array of shops in the centre as well as a Bass House – read here – and another old school boozer, The Vine – read here.
However, to be fair to DBC, they spotted a niche in the market and it looks like this place is here to stay.
I grabbed a table outside as they were full inside and the barman came out and asked me to order through the app. He came back about three minutes later as it was still ‘loading’ on my android phone.
He could probably sense the Nags Head was drawing me in so happily took my order of Hole Lotta Love (Derby Brewing Company) which was a very decent pint and hit the spot.
A couple of punters engaged in a bit of banter when I took the obligatory picture and it was a happy, chilled place. Not a lot else to report beyond a new pub bucking the trend and apparently thriving and with even Dickens Heath getting in on the act then maybe, just maybe, the future for pubs is looking a little rosier.