We try ‘proper’ cocktails in south Birmingham’s coolest bar with retro beats & bikes

Chas Mann Motorcycles on The Green in Kings Norton is one of the oldest businesses in Birmingham

There was a time in south Birmingham, if you fancied a night out - but didn’t want to go into town - you were left with three serious options.

These were Moseley, Kings Heath or Harborne. But times have changed. The Independent Republic of Stirchley arrived and all of a sudden, many locals looked at each other with pleasant surprise, and said: “You can have a night out in Stirchley!”

With live music in the British Oak, the expertly crafted beers at the Attic Brew Co and Birmingham Brew Co and the stylish cocktails in Couch the area has continued to go from success to success with Stir Stores, Bar Ikigai and more opening up.

The independent scene spread to Cotteridge with Red Beer’d and also to Birmingham’s medieval village at The Green in Kings Norton as the Chas Mann motorcycle shop started to serve coffees, food and drink - and live music.

The shop has been on The Green for decades and is renowned among biker circles - and its new hospitality offering is winning it a whole new selection of fans. The venue has recently started to serve cocktails - and these aren’t just any cocktails - they’re ‘proper’ cocktails, with a perfect combination of alcohol and mixers.

All too often you can order a cocktail in some city bars and get a glass full of ice and sugary syrup, but there’s no worries about that in the Chas Mann bar which has downstairs and upstairs venues.

There’s a selection of classic options to choose from in the bar upstairs, including espresso martini, pina colada, long island iced tea, porn star martini.

We visited on a Wednesday night and the bar was pleasantly busy - but not overcrowded. There’s a really cool retro vibe downstairs and upstairs with classic memorabilia for bikes, scooters, music and more. Often there’s live music downstairs, and sometimes there’s a DJ upstairs - and if not, there’s always some great music playing.The 1970s hit Kung Fu Fighting raised a few smiles along with others during our visit.

We ordered a couple of espresso martinis which were fabulous. The coffee packed a real punch with a vodka kick. Just the right temperature with a smooth as velvet taste.

They were so good we decided to try another. This time we ordered a porn star martini and long island iced tea. Both were perfect quality cocktails - the porn star martini was so fresh and sharp, with a generous portion of prosecco alongside the main drink. The Long Island Iced tea was refreshing, without being too boozy, zinging with cola and spirits.

It was a lovely mid-week treat, ideal to enjoy in a neighbourhood bar. Who needs town!

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