Restaurant finally sees the light after 3-year nightmare Scaffolding outside Opus comes down
ONE of Birmingham’s top restaurants can finally see the light after a three-year nightmare surrounded by scaffolding.
The final poles which hid Opus, in Cornwall Street, have finally been taken down after what seemed like an age for staff and owners.
Protective hoardings had obliterated the giant Opus sign in the heart of the business quarter since 2015.
The saga began almost three years ago when a glass panel fell out of the offices above, luckily on a Saturday morning when the area was quiet.
Remedial work was originally meant to last 12 weeks, with specialist contractors brought in from Clearline in Newcastle.
But even as recently as July, Opus had no indication of when the scaffolding might be removed.
The work meant reduced natural light for the restaurant and pedestrians walking underneath often had to brave water from work going on above.
Opus is run by business partners Ann Tonks and Irene Allan who said they were left with no choice but to stay positive throughout the ordeal. Ms Allan said: “The scaffolding was there for six weeks short of three years. It has been a very challenging period, but we have survived thanks to not sitting on our laurels. “We ran a really good campaign to make sure that people still knew we were here and we also have extremely loyal customers. “We just had to put our heads down, get on with it and think of it as positive, not a negative.” She added: “I have to say that the Clearline guys have been absolutely lovely throughout and could have not have been nicer. “We are confident that all is now well – the building above has been triple tested.” With the Lightwell apartments project across the road also covered in scaffolding, the whole street resembled a building site.
But there is now considerable light at the end of the tunnel as the whole area is set to return to normal before Christmas.The Lightwell scaffolding should be cleared away by early November.
Other local food destinations affected by the disruption have included Bon Bon sandwich shop, Purnell’s Michelin-starred restaurant and Zen Metro.
Despite neighbouring restaurants opening all the time – including Gusto, Gaucho, The Alchemist and The Ivy, and Tattu in Barwick Street, and Fazenda in Church Street coming soon – Ms Allan is now confident about the future.
“We have weathered the storm extremely well and everything is looking very positive going forward,” she said.
“We’ll be getting a new canopy for the front door next week.”
> Window cleaners tackle the impressive Opus window after it was hidden for three years by scaffolding
> The Opus restaurant window beneath scaffolding, in Cornwall Street
> Irene Allan