Driven by a unique mix of developments, Southside has emerged as a vibrant quarter within Birmingham’s expanding city centre. Comprising of new restaurants, bars and clubs characterising the Southside’s Chinatown and Gay Village, the Arcadian Centre, the redeveloped Birmingham Hippodrome and Birmingham Royal Ballet complex, the Radisson Blu Hotel and O2 Academy, Southside is one of the most dynamic areas in the city.
The performing arts ranging from plays to ballet are popular attractions in Southside, due to the variety of theatres, bars and at spaces.
The Old Rep Theatre, opening in 1913, originally performing Twelve Night, has seen some of the most decorated actors including Michael Gambon, Laurence Oliver and Honour Blackman perform here. The Theatre was the original home of the Birmingham Repertory Theatre Company and during this time, the first ever modern dress Shakespeare production was performed. Currently the home of the Birmingham Stage Company, every year The Old Rep produces a family Christmas production for an extended run, including The Jungle Book and James and the Giant Peach.
The Theatre also stages shows some of Birmingham’s best amateur theatre companies including Birmingham Savoyards, Youth On Stage, Birmingham Youth Theatre, Stage 27, The Billesley Players, Argosy MTC and MCS Repertory Company as well as educational performances by Shakespeare Schools Festival, Birmingham School of Acting and BOA.
Established in 1993, the award-winning Glee Club presents regular comedy shows and live music.
With two live rooms and a pre-show Lounge bar, The Glee Club offers a distinctly intimate and welcoming show atmosphere that has seen some of the finest live artists perform to incredible audiences. Previous acts include Michael McIntyre, Lee Evans, Russell Howard, Peter Kay, Adele, Duffy, Feist, Supergrass and many more.
In the middle of Birmingham’s Gay Village, Missing, is a lively bar with a full dance floor and fantastic drink menu. DJ’s are hard at work during the week, and the weekend sees live acts and cabaret.
Alternatively, The Sunflower Lounge is one of Birmingham’s finest independent bars. With a wonderfully friendly atmosphere that oozes cool without being pretentious, the basement bar owes its success to its purist music policy: indie, rock, soul, 60s, blues, jazz, funk and ska.
As part of Birmingham’s Big City Plan, Birmingham City Council and Southside Business Improvement District (BID) are working on plans to create a vibrant and high-quality public square outside the Hippodrome Theatre and improve the streets.
In the final phase of redevelopment, the pedestrianised area outside the Hippodrome is being transformed into a high quality lively public space suitable for everyday use and special events. The square will create a new heart for Chinatown and will provide an enhanced setting for the Hippodrome and Back To Back Houses plus a gateway to the Gay Village. It will also transform pedestrian and cycling links between New Street Station and Birmingham Smithfield development.
Well known as one of the most diverse and creative areas of Birmingham, Southside BID supports a diverse range of businesses. The proposed plans will create a cultural heart for Southside to further promote the area, whilst celebrating and highlighting a huge range of local talent.
Not only will this be a great opportunity to attract new visitors and tourists to the Southside district, it will also increase dwell time and provide an exciting new space for events, festivals and entertainment to take place and act as a magnet to drive footfall.
The proposals include:
- High quality natural stone paving, suitable for pedestrians and cyclists, replaces the existing footway and old black top road.
- New lighting will be installed and old street clutter (e.g. poles from road signs) will be removed to create a new space for events in front of the Hippodrome.
- New trees will improve the look of the area and bring environmental benefits.
- The cycle route through the area will be retained, with a new central island on Hill Street to improve segregation from vehicles.
- Changes to taxi facilities.
Surrounding the various bars and theatres, Southside is home to some of the most pristine eateries. Ming Moon, is a grand and opulent celebration of food. Offering banquet-style Chinese cuisine, Ming Moon serves over 60 dishes of Pan Asian food including Cantonese, Northern Chinese, Sichuan, Thai, Japanese and Indian. Matched by their stylish red leather semi-circular booths, there’s live cooking from the open kitchen serving Teppanyaki, Dim Sum, Sushi, BBQ, Noodles, Congee, Vermicelli Roll, all topped off with a vast selection of desserts.
Browns Birmingham, expert chefs have updated a traditional afternoon tea experience to celebrate 45 years with a nod to all things British. From smoked haddock fishcake to a delicious mouth-watering scone, with a selection of mini deserts to follow, the elegant eatery, has plenty of choices.
Catering to the plan friendly clientele, Not Dogs, is a vegetarian fast food brand featuring Quorn favourites with a unique ‘No Dogs’ twist.
The biggest city in The Midland Engine, Birmingham, the fastest growing city in the UK, offers a fantastic opportunity to invest.