Dating back to 1901, inspired by nearby Aston Hall, there are few more iconic pubs in Birmingham than The Bartons Arms. Sitting in the heart of Aston, the Grade II* Listed building is hard to miss and, during its heydays, it welcomed the likes of Laurel and Hardy and Charlie Chaplin. Steven Knight and Ozzy Osbourne are reportedly fans too.
Sadly, however, the legendary pub closed suddenly yesterday (January 31) due to running costs – blaming rising food, heating, lighting and employment costs. Boasting one of the most beautiful pub interiors in the country – blending carved wood, tilework, stained glass and wrought iron – as well as a Thai restaurant on the premises. The Bartons Arms was one of a kind and will be sorely missed.
“A rise in running costs has sadly made the Barton Arms unviable and it is with a heavy heart that we have made this decision,” said a spokesperson for the Red Pub Company, the current leaseholder. “The costs of heating, lighting and power combined with the higher costs of employing people and general food cost increases have meant that the business is no longer viable; so with immediate effect we’ve shut the doors.”
Beloved by Brummies and beyond, it was even named one of the best pubs in the UK on more than one occasion, by the likes of the Guardian and CAMRA. So is this really the end of The Bartons Arms? Quite possibly. We’ve lost equally iconic pubs in the West Midlands in recent years to greater and lesser fanfare. But, we’ve also seen numerous community pubs saved from the brink of loss too.
The Red Pub Company hopes there is a future for the pub too, but suggests it won’t be involved. “Hopefully there will be some better news for you to report soon however that is currently beyond my control,” they added. We’re praying a buyer will step in a save this landmark pub.