Birmingham hospitality firms hope to revive after-works drinks culture


Birmingham's hospitality sector says office staff are continuing to pass up the chance of after-work drinks more than five months after the end of the last Covid lockdown.

Emerging out of the pandemic, the rise of hybrid working - splitting working time between the office and home - has spelt trouble for pubs and bars, which would normally be the place for workers to unwind.

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But businesses are working on ways to revive the post-works drinks culture.

"The business district now is almost empty", said Paul Brazier, the head of marketing for Purecraft Bar and Kitchen.

Based in Waterloo Street, opposite the famous "Floozy in the Jacuzzi" fountain, the bar has seen the hustle and bustle that was once part the city centre become more muted.

"There's hardly any office workers around so it feels like a lot of people now are working in the office Monday to Thursday then taking the opportunity to work from home on Fridays, which is impacting us quite considerably," he said.

"Over the weekends, the late-night drinkers are no longer around, people are leaving the city a lot earlier now versus what we would have seen in 2019 and before.

"We're also seeing less bar or pub hopping.

"The bar and hospitality part of the business district is crucial to the success of Birmingham, without it, it would be probably a bit of a ghost town."

Figures collected by the Office of National Statistics back up Mr Brazier's observations.

In December, spending in pubs, restaurants and entertainment was still down on pre-pandemic levels as money spent at supermarkets on eating in rose.

This drop in the lead up to Christmas had a huge impact on trade for The Lost Found in Bennetts Hill.


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