I have lived in around Stirchley for most of my life. Over the past 5 years or so, it’s been great to see the slow evolution of the ‘High Street’ going from a place that was somewhere to go via, to becoming a destination. The moment I realised that you could have a full night out in Stirchley, with wine, cocktails, beer and a wide range of sit in food. That was a great moment.
A standard Saturday afternoon for me has always consisted of heading out and finding new pubs or restaurants wherever that may be. Birmingham has always been fun enough to use as a social playground. Whether it be Digbeth, the canals, Hockley, Kings Heath, the JQ, Moseley or Harborne, there is always a brand new place to try somewhere, or an old one that I haven’t found yet. I’ll talk to anyone and always try and get their story. My insta page has always been about a punters experience at pubs and restaurants. I like to stay fairly anonymous and let the venues or businesses hold the focus. It’s all about them.
Lockdown has meant that everyone has had to focus on their local area, and I am no different. It has shown us all that local is best. Less travel means less fuel, and a more developed sense of community. For me, it has really highlighted that local independent businesses are incredibly important to the social, economic and cultural make up of an area. The way things are going on Stirchley at the moment, we have that in bundles. The fact that pop ups have done so well over the past few months shows what a melting pot Stirchley has become.
I first noticed Stirchley gaining traction when Liam opened the first Wildcat. We would all squeeze in and by the end of the night, you were best friends with everyone in there. This was in tandem with Jonny and Dale (and also Kieran back then) at Artefact (previously the P Cafe). Between the two of them, there was a real buzz emerging. I know other places had started to pop up, but for me, this was where the social part of Stirchley re-emerged.
Now there are three breweries (and associated taps), micro pubs, a fantastic cocktail bar, reimagined pubs, various exciting cafes, new and established restaurants, merch stores, multiple bakeries, green grocer, and plenty more.
I spoke to a chap on the steps by the community office this morning and he had ventured to the area for the first time in years and said he will make it his new favourite place. (Of course I made sure he could make that decision by talking him through the hot spots ) He said I should tell more people about what is great in Stirchley. I thought ‘if only he knew’….