What the expert says: "With the level of investment that has gone into Birmingham, we have seen a huge increase in the level of operators with very different offerings.
"London is a very saturated market, which has made it hard for independents to set up shop. Birmingham has a similar market to London of young professionals with disposable income, but the rents are decidedly cheaper and it’s not far from London for operators that can’t afford to start out in the capital.
"Meanwhile, Living Ventures, which started out in Manchester, has recently added an Alchemist site to the city. It offers something completely different by creating more of an ‘experience’ in the Grand Hotel. Plus the company has added a site for the Gusto chain next door to that. That works for people who don’t mind spending £8 on a cocktail because it is an experience just going there.
"It’s more important now than ever for operators to offer a different experience altogether. There are a lot of different things going on and operators are having to diversify to attract consumers. On top of that, operators have been looking into units that have a different class of use or a different type of space simply because it is incredibly competitive.
"A lot of operators which have moved into the centre are former brewers that have developed a concept to put their own products into a unit. For example, Purity Brewery has now got a unit called Purecraft
Bars, which puts emphasis on offering a diverse range of their own products.
"We have seen a huge amount of investment going into Birmingham and that has had an effect on the city’s appeal to pub and bar operators and I think that is set to stay."
- Josh Sullivan, Business agent for Christie & Co in Birmingham
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