Birmingham nightlife business continues to improve

Strong Saturday for bars and businesses in Westside.

Bar and restaurant managers on Birmingham’s Golden Mile have praised customers for acting responsibly as they reported a promising second Saturday of opening after lockdown.

Just a week after restrictions were eased and bars and venues were allowed to reopen, managers say customers are returning to enjoy the atmosphere around Broad Street and BrindleyPlace.

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said he was delighted to see orderly queues outside venues, indicating that businesses were fully booked and in demand: “It was very encouraging to see that most of our venues were at capacity or close to it. Walking around Westside, I was left in no doubt that Birmingham is back in business.”

Dan Wilson, general manager of The Canal House, thanked customers for booking and behaving responsibly. “The response we’ve had has been brilliant,” said Dan. “We were full all day yesterday and it was a really nice atmosphere. The customers were amazing and I’d like to thank everyone who turned up and behaved responsibly.

“People have responded really well to our new measures. We have a one-way system in place and paper menus that can be thrown away after each use. All our staff wear masks or face shields and we are encouraging customers to order via our app.”

Steve Emmison, at Velvet Music Rooms, said the venue was restricted to 130 customers at any one time because of the need for social distancing, but that they had welcomed up to 350 people throughout the day and that at peak times they were full.

He commented: “We’re pleased with Saturday – we’re off to a very good start. We’re only operating table service at the moment and at peak times there were no seats available. We were absolutely full.

“Customer and staff safety are paramount and we’re all working very hard to make sure everyone is safe and comfortable. We’ve got table service only at the moment, with screens at the bar and between our distanced tables, and our customers are going where they are sent.

“When we explain the new rules they follow them, and if anyone forgets we quickly remind them and they’re happy to do their bit.”