Bar is right on track with perfect pairings
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