A landmark Jewellery Quarter pub is being given a new lease of life with a Deep South-inspired venture.
The Church Inn in Great Hampton Street is being rejuvenated thanks to a partnership between Birmingham’s Soul Food Project and Everards Brewery.
The pub’s new licensee is Carl Finn, 28, who founded the Soul Food Project, and will be offering up the cuisine of America’s Deep South, with a twist.
The Hockley pub, which Everards has bought from Admiral Taverns, will have a new function room, roof garden and a refreshed interior as part of the £500,000 investment, which will create 10 jobs.
Mr Finn said: “Alongside the real ale hand-pumps, I’m installing a cocktail station, and we’ll serve American-style Soul Food with African, French, Spanish and Southern American influences.”
Mr Finn said while the new pub will draw inspiration from foreign climes, he wanted it to remain a hub for the Jewellery Quarter community.
He said: “I want the pub to be a community hub, part of the social fabric of the area. People are choosing to live in the Jewellery Quarter – it’s not a completely transient area like the city centre – and I want the Church to become part of people’s daily lives.
“We’ll serve real ales, fine wines and good quality food. This is a long-term project – I want to build a business that I can hand down to my kids.”
Mr Finn also runs Soul Food Sound System, based at the Hare and Hounds in Kings Heath, plus a pop-up restaurant, Secret Dining Society, which puts on events throughout the city.
The new pub was designed by Jewellery Quarter-based Newman Gauge and building work is being carried out by Wedge-Wood Construction of Aldridge.
The work also includes a function room for private parties and the occasional live music session.
The redevelopment at the Church Inn is part of a wider partnership effort from Leicestershire-based Everards, which was also behind last year’s opening of Loaf Community Bakery and Cookery School in Pershore Road, Stirchley.
The brewery runs a Project Artisan scheme which teams up with up-and-coming food and drink businesses. Through the scheme, the brewery buys a property, works with a handpicked partner to redevelop it, and then puts the tenant in a refreshed building, and offers business support.
“Everards is looking to grow its representation in Birmingham,” said the firm’s business development manager Mike Brown.
“And with Loaf already a success, the Church Inn will be a pub where we can hang our hat and say this is an Everards site, with the idea that other pubs in Birmingham will maybe follow.”
The Church Inn is set to reopen this month.