It’s too rare we have good news about Birmingham’s hospitality scene these days. Too often are we hearing about another closure of a legendary Brummie institution. But today is not like those days. Because the award-winning cocktail bar, 40 St Paul’s in Jewellery Quarter, has been prevented from closing. All thanks to the local bartender community!
When owner Amanjot Singh Johal suffered a broken ankle – unable to work and in need of surgery – he feared this was the end of 40 St Pauls. But, after reaching out to local bartenders and owners, the community in Birmingham has rallied around Aman to ensure its survival.
Giving up time and expertise, some of Birmingham’s best bartenders are throwing their support behind 40 St Paul. According to Amanjot, hundreds of people have offered to help, with everything from glass collecting to three-day takeovers and one-off events. Each weekend, until Aman is better, a new bartender will takeover the bar with their own unique theme.
“Having barely survived the pandemic I was looking forward to a more stable year in 2022 before breaking my ankle, which proved to be a traumatic experience that nearly closed my business,” said Amanjot. “Sadly, my ankle never healed properly and I’m about to have a second operation, meaning 8 weeks in a wheelchair or on crutches.”
“As a small bar, this would have closed me for that period and I would never have come back from it. Devastated at the thought, I reached out to the community of bars and people in the city who between them have come together to help me survive by giving up their time to keep me open and able to pay bills whilst I’m recovering from this harrowing experience.”
The first takeover with The Gintleman’s Carl Hawkins offered tastings combining gin cocktails with storytelling. In coming weeks guests can expect takeovers from the likes of Passing Fancies, plus local drinks heroes such as Toby Heap and Julian Rose-Gibbs. The aim is to make it feel like a festival of the Birmingham bar scene, showing off the lively, unique and independent hospitality scene.
“When Amanjot asked for help it was a no-brainer we’d support him during this tough time,” said Tommy Matthews , who co-owns Passing Fancies. “As an industry, the more we work together the more we thrive. We approached other local hospitality professionals with the aim of turning a negative into a positive. Birmingham responded with overwhelming kindness, and the upcoming pop ups and events will help turn a sad situation into something great for the city.”
You can keep up-to-date will al the takeovers at 40 St Paul’s Instagram page here.