You’ve Got To Love A ‘Spoons: Birmingham

Often derided, there is no doubt that Spoons pubs are still some of the most popular in city centres.

The Twitterati often pan Wetherspoons and, to be fair to Tim Martin, he often sets himself up as a target.

However, when I popped into Brum earlier this week for a catch up with some pals, it was noticeable that 735 – The Briar Rose B2 5RE had more punters than any of the other four boozers I visited…and it was pre-midday!

Holiday rules apply for me, which meant I was allowed a pre 12 o’ clock pint and at about 11.30am, in this spoons on Bennetts Hill, there was a crackle in the air.

Like many of the pubs in this part of town, it was a former bank/insurance company building and this was once home to the Commercial Union Assurance.

It’s a short walk from New Street Station and, like all good pubs, attracts all sections of society.  Lattes, Breakfasts, Cask Ale, Lager and a general feelgood atmosphere and there is no denying the prices are an absolute winner.

I plumped for a pint of Abbot (Greene King) and even though the barmaid took me to the other end of the bar, where there was a special £2.39 price for Blues fans,  it was still remarkably good value in a city where every other pint was in excess of £4.

There was a time, and it may still be the case, where Wetherspoons were sneered at with their ‘cheap and cheerful’ approach but, there’s no politics on this blog and there were a decent amount of pukka punters in there not having a tot as well.

Still plenty of Hi Viz jackets and old boys having an early pint but this felt vibrant and more people getting stuck into the flat whites and food.

I reckon there the best part of a 100 punters in here pre midday and, for those of us who care, the Abbot was in great nick.  Yep, cask ale alive and kicking in the Second City at only £2.39 (£2.19 for Martin and other respected bloggers).

Four more Brum boozers to come but, of course, Brum doesn’t do Bass, so there will be a short interlude on Saturday for #NationalBassDay

14 thoughts on “You’ve Got To Love A ‘Spoons: Birmingham

  1. Are all these rules I hear about on these blogs codified anywhere? I want a rule book. If football and cricket can do it, drinkers certainly can.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I dislike Tim Martin quite strongly: his politics and employment attitudes don’t sit well with me, and as you say, he rather lines himself up for it. That said, he knows how to run pubs. I’ve found myself working in central Birmingham this week, and lunch one day was one of the other ‘spoons in town. No alcohol for us, but a reasonable meal and drink falling well below the expenses threshold fitted the bill. It’s never haute cuisine, but it’s usually decent enough and good value.

    You also can rely on the beer usually being fine, and in some places, it can be the only place you can guarantee a pint of cask in decent nick. That’s not the case in Brum, obviously.

    They also do support local breweries, so while there’s several things to dislike, it’s by no means all bad.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Spot on and in some places it feels like last man standing for cask
      Acocks Green is a good example and they’ve just rescued and revamped The Navigation in Kings Norton
      Does what it says on the tin and I do feel beyond the politics there was a bit of pub snobbery from the Brunning & Price brigade who aren’t keen on anyone who doesn’t fit their ideal pub punter 👍 this was the most eclectic mix I’ve seen outside of Solihull spoons!


  3. Great post Beermat, spot on about the pub (definitely the best Spoons in the city centre) and Wetherspoons in general. A cheap, well kept pint of cask in most instances. The pubs are busy from early morning to last orders so they must be doing something right.

    Just on my way back from St Andrews….the least said the better. I like points deductions as much as I like Wetherspoons!!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. That pic with the old fella on his own in the foreground and two lads in the back is typical Spoons. You get a real mix of folk in a Spoons, which is why I defend them.

    I’ll withhold judgement on Tim Martin. I value the thoughts of his staff more than the CAMRAs who hate them because of his politics or because they’re cheap.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Agree with all that. Ultimately I want to go into a pub that’s lively, sells decent cask (not essential) and has a mix of people in them
      Spoons do all of the above and the old boy was great as he spoke at length to a young lad who’d come for a job interview I think 👍

      Liked by 2 people

    1. I have to confess I’m visiting pubs less at present as genuinely can’t afford to buy pints at over £5 in Brum or close to £5 in a local😳😳 maybe I could just blog on spoons, social clubs and park benches near to supermarkets?
      I was at Bloomfield Road on Monday and total carnage

      Liked by 1 person

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