Colmore Row restaurant Jailbird has suddenly closed.
It is understood that staff were informed of the sudden closure by restaurant bosses when they returned to work after Christmas.
The stunning eatery and bar housed in a Grade II-listed former bank had been open for less than eight months.
Lasan Group CEO Jabbar Khan told BirminghamLive: “It’s been a particularly difficult 2018 for many businesses and Lasan Group has decided to focus our attention elsewhere.
“Regrettably we’ve decided to call it a day on Jailbird. There is nothing more to add at this time.”
Described as an ‘upscale New York inspired steak and seafood restaurant and bar’, Jailbird opened in May 2018 replacing lobster and beer place Nosh and Quaff.
Both restaurants were owned by the Lasan Group. The company, headed up by Jabbar Khan, also owns Lasan near St Paul’s Square, Raja Monkey in Hall Green and the Fiesta del Asado restaurants in Hagley Road and Solihull.
Lasan Group also previously owned Izza Pizza in Selfridges, which it closed in February 2018.
At the time of Jailbird’s launch, Lasan Group’s Jabbar Khan said: “This is a brand new restaurant. Expect a cosmopolitan vibe where you can escape from the humdrum and get the New York state of mind.”
Nosh and Quaff had undergone extensive refurbishment to be rebranded as Jailbird.
The restaurant has received generally positive reviews on TripAdvisor.
However recent ones look less favourable.
Janina from Cannock, reviewing it in December, wrote: “Went here with friends, only four of us. We ordered a bottle of wine to be told, we don’t have that one so of course then you have to order a more expensive one.
“My friends wanted ribs platter on the special menu that the waitress gave us but then told us, they hadn’t got them either. Not a great start.
“My husband and I had the steak and seafood platter that was £52. The steak was cooked well nice and juicy and we had a few king prawns but not much else really for the price.
“Other meals were nicely cooked but nothing exceptional for the price. Restaurant is stylish but won’t be returning as much better places to eat for your money.”
Tobe 80 criticised the service and state of the toilets in a review posted in December.
“The food was ok, nothing to shout home about but good enough not to moan, but maybe not good enough to go back.
The service lets the place down to be fair and the toilets are awful.
“Being a bloke that doesn’t bother me too much, but both our female guests made a comment about the state of the toilets. Ok for a drink, but puts you off to be eating.”
The restaurant area was moved upstairs so diners could enjoy views overlooking Victoria Square.
Downstairs, the previously small bar was substantially swankier – in a bid to encourage more people to stop by for a drink.
But the drastic changes and overhaul were not enough to save Jailbird.
Its previous incarnation Nosh & Quaff, specialising in lobsters, burgers and hot dogs, opened in July 2015 after a £1 million refit.
One of the most beautiful restaurants in Birmingham, thanks to its Grade II listed building status, was hugely popular but in the year before its closure, reportedly suffered from lack of passing trade.
In August 2017 Aktar Islam who was then the chef director of Lasan Group, said the restaurant was too ‘hidden’.
He said: “The building is not allowed to stand out as a place for evening entertainment and any signage we want to put up has to go inside because the place is listed.
“We are trying to brighten up the building and anything we do would be done so tastefully.”
Lasan’s former chef director Aktar Islam left the group in 2017 and went on to set up his own ventures.
The Saturday Kitchen chef owns Opheem and Legna in Summer Row.