Bar is right on track with per­fect pair­ings

Solihull News - - EATING OUT -

BIRM­ING­HAM’S old­est wine mer­chant is putting a twist on traditional – by open­ing a trendy new bar.

Arch 13 has opened at the front of Con­nolly’s Wine Mer­chants in Liv­ery Street and is set to be the next cool hotspot.

The wine bar has more than 500 wines, 120 gins and count­less liquors and cock­tails at its fin­ger­tips. Re­vamp­ing the shop and cre­at­ing a wine bar ex­pe­ri­ence has been on the Con­nolly fam­ily’s radar for a while.

Owner Chris Con­nolly said: “We want Arch 13 to be a place you can kick off your shoes and feel com­fort­able. We want to be ac­ces­si­ble and not at all pre­ten­tious. It’s all about en­cour­ag­ing peo­ple to try some­thing new that they wouldn’t usu­ally con­sid­er­ing or­der­ing – without hav­ing to spend a for­tune.”

Arch 13 will be fronted by Chris’ 26- year- old daugh­ter Abi­gail, who is Birm­ing­ham’s only fe­male som­me­lier. She said: “Arch 13 is about unique wines, great cheese and meat, and per­fect pair­ings be­tween the two.”

The launch menu has a var­ied list of 23 wines, which start at £ 4 a glass, but this will con­stantly be evolv­ing.

Chris said: “The key to a good wine list isn’t length but va­ri­ety. We’ve been in the in­dus­try for years and have lots of ex­pe­ri­ence cre­at­ing menus now.

“There’s some great Por­tuguese wines. They’re easy drink­ing wines and of­fer a great taste for the price.”

Arch 13 has also launched with a range of Madeira wines that show­case vin­tage bot­tles dat­ing back to 1968.

Chris said: “Madeira wines seem to have gone out of fash­ion in the past few years.

“But these wines have such a great, dif­fer­ent taste. The staff loved them at our train­ing ses­sion. It’s more than pos­si­ble that peo­ple can pop in and try a Madeira from the year they were born.”

The fam­ily owned and run busi­ness has been un­der­neath the rail­way arches on Liv­ery Street since 1991.

How­ever this is the first time they have ven­tured into food.

The din­ing menu has a se­lec­tion of Bri­tish meat, in­clud­ing hand­carved mut­ton, veni­son salami and air- dried duck, and cheese boards sourced from Har­vey and Brock­less.

Chris said: “The menu is based largely around cold plates but we’ll have a hot meal on of­fer too each day.

“There’s around a dozen cheeses plus meat plat­ters.”

Just as much thought has been put into reimag­in­ing the space as the menus.

De­signed to show­case and cel­e­brate the lofty arches, Arch 13 will be light and airy by day and cosy, in­ti­mate and lit by can­dle­light in the evening.

Chris said: ‘‘ The shop has been utilised to fit the bar in. The de­sign is like a clas­sic wine bar but looks fan­tas­tic.”

Arch 13 wine bar will pair wine with great cheeses and meats

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