Broad Street nightspot making plans to welcome customers

How top independent bar is getting air flowing for 17th May reopening.

One of Birmingham’s top independent bars has fitted new concertina doors to help improve airflows as it prepares to reopen its interior to customers on Monday 1th7 May.

Velvet Music Rooms, on the golden mile of Broad Street, is also busily making sure that all its other COVID-19 health measures are in place, such as socially distanced tables, hand sanitisers and clear one-way walking signage.

Eilis Collins, who owns and runs Velvet with her sister Dani Hadley, said: “Even though we prided ourselves on the measures we brought in when we previously reopened last summer, we have re-jigged all of our tables and seating plans to create even more space.

“We have reduced our table capacity to make sure customers have that extra little room so they can feel even safer and more comfortable inside, and we’ve also introduced protective screens for bar staff. But in readiness for 17th May we are also investing quite a bit back into the bar. We are building a couple of extra concertina doors, like large glass windows, at the entrance so we can increase the airflow inside in the better weather.”

Velvet Music Rooms, which has retained all 18 staff throughout the pandemic, was able to create an outdoor space for customers when COVID restrictions were previously eased to allow outside guests on 12th April.

Ms Collins explained: “We erected three covers, like circus top tents, on the footpath outside to welcome back guests after lockdown.

“It has been really good, much better than we forecast. The first two weeks we were blessed with really good weather, and it’s still going well now even though it’s turned colder. Everyone is still quite keen to help in rebooting hospitality.”

Velvet Music Rooms, renowned for its live music, is planning a major celebration to mark the return of indoor dining and drinking.

Ms Collins said: “We are putting together an entertainments programme for that first weekend, 21st and 22nd May. We want to open with a lot of celebration so there will be live music on the Friday evening and we will also welcome back some of our resident DJs.”

And plans are also in hand to show the postponed Euro 2020 football championships this summer.

Ms Collins added: “We are really excited about the Euros and have put up lots of new screens around the venue, including outside.”

Mike Olley, general manager of Westside BID, said: “Everyone at Velvet Music Rooms has been so positive and enthusiastic throughout the lockdowns, always determined to be as creative as possible to keep their business going and their customers informed. Here at the BID we’ve been proud to support their efforts, and they really are a shining example of how a hospitality venue can survive COVID-19. We’re expecting them to be one of the busiest places to visit this spring and summer.”

Customers can book tables at Velvet Music Rooms here.