Jewellery Quarter boutique hotel plan and huge change for these three city food pubs

A 16-bed boutique hotel is to be built next door to The Button Factory in Birmingham’s historic Jewellery Quarter .

London-based Mosaic Pub & Dining already owns The Button Factory as well as The Distillery in Sheepcote Street.

The company has confirmed the hotel plans after buying three more city food pubs for a combined £1.3 million.

As BirminghamLive revealed earlier this week, Mosaic has acquired Edmunds Bar, The Rectory and The Queens Arms from B3 Bar Ltd, an independent company named after the postcode where they are all based.

The deal, which began three months ago and was completed on August 31, has seen Mosaic take on the The Rectory freehold and the other two sites as leasehold.

Even though the pubs were still trading as recently as mid-August, Mosaic Pub & Dining’s chief executive officer Peter McDonald said he was buying them under ‘vacant possession’.

Planned hotel: 26 Frederick Street as viewed from the Button Factory terrace next door

“I first spoke to the owner three or four months ago and we shook hands on the first day.

“He wanted to get out of the business and it has all gone through very quickly.

“The deal has cost £1.3 million but there will be a lot of extra investment needed on top of that.”

Edmunds Bar & Brewhouse - could be renamed
Edmunds Bar & Brewhouse – could be renamed

More than 20 jobs have currently been lost as a result of the closure of the three pubs with some employees calling BirminghamLive to vent their frustration at the speed of events.

One former barmaid said: “We have been put into debt because nobody with less than two years’ service is getting any redundancy.

“There were rumours of a sale a month ago but we didn’t have any concrete evidence.

The Queen's Arms, Newhall Street
The Queen’s Arms, Newhall Street

“We have just lost out jobs at short notice and there has been no compassion.”

Mr McDonald said he wasn’t responsible and expected to create 50 jobs across the three pub sites.

That would match the number of staff already working at The Distillery (20-25) and The Button Factory (30).

The Beat's Ranking Roger orders a drink at The Button Factory
The Beat’s Ranking Roger orders a drink at The Button Factory

“I have always increased the number of people working,” said Mr McDonald.

“The pubs we have bought were vacant possession.

“We have met the previous staff and have their details if we have suitable opportunities in the future because otherwise we have to go through agencies to find new staff.”

What will happen to Mosaic’s three new pubs?

Mr McDonald said: “We have refurbishments planned, with new menus, to refresh and finesse them.

“It’s difficult to work out how long it is going to take, but we hope to use local tradesmen.

“It’s really exciting because we’ve taken on three really good pubs.”

This is what Mr McDonald thinks of each one.

Commemorative medals on the front of the Queens Arms
Commemorative medals on the front of the Queens Arms

The Queens Arms

A traditional pub where we expect to serve pub classics with a toastie menu.

The (historic) signage outside is just incredible, really beautiful – so we want to play to the pub’s strengths.

We will definitely keep this pub’s name.

The Rectory
The Rectory

The Rectory

We want to keep its dedicated trade for lunch with sandwiches, great salads and eclectic dishes that should grasp everyone’s imagination.

Birmingham is very cosmopolitan so we will be using lots of spices.

We also have plans for the basement, but I can’t say what those are yet.

We will probably keep this pub’s name.

View across Newhall Street towards Edmunds Bar & Brewhouse
View across Newhall Street towards Edmunds Bar & Brewhouse

Edmunds

A great city boozer so we’ll be offering a menu that should appeal to city types.

There will be something for everyone with a great wine list and craft beers.

After work it will hopefully be the place to be – there are plans for a hotel across the road (Louisa Ryland House was sold to developers in 2014) so that will be great for us.

We will probably change this pub’s name.

Part of the derelict building at the back of the Button Factory
Part of the derelict building at the back of the Button Factory

Where will the boutique hotel be?

The dilapidated 1860s Grade II listed building next to the Button Factory was a former goldsmiths.

It was in late November 2017 when we first revealed that plans for the site had been submitted.

Documents accompanying the application said: “The public benefit of having this building brought back into active use after so long far outweighs any harm to the interior of the building necessary to effect that new use.

“The outbuilding, subsequently linked to the main building, is in an appalling state, to the point of being dangerous.”

Mr McDonald said: “It is very costly to bring these buildings back to the fore, but it’s worth it in the end.

“Here, we are having to knock down one wall ready to rebuild it with the same bricks, but it will be a really good, fun space we could use for anything from axe throwing to baseball cages.”

The Distillery in Sheepcote Street
The Distillery in Sheepcote Street

Why is Mosaic expanding so much in Birmingham?

“There is so much investment here and people coming that it is really taking its place as the second city,” said Mr McDonald.

“Everyone is realising what a great place Birmingham is.”

The Distillery

What is Mosaic Pub and Dining?

The company already employs some 400 staff at sites which are mostly in London and the south east with names like The Running Horse and The Case is Altered.

Other Midland sites currently include The Old Coffee Tavern in Warwick and The Fire Station in Cheltenham.

Mosaic’s website says: “Our pubs are the perfect place to enjoy a broad and interesting range of fantastic cask-conditioned and craft beers.

“From local brews to international talent, we provide an array of exceptional products from breweries throughout the UK and America.”

For more details about Mosaic Pub & Dining, visit its website here


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