Publican Charlie McVeigh, Founder of Draft House, has recently acquired the legendary Birdcage Public House on Columbia Road Flower Market.
The pub – which served as a backdrop for many of the chilling happenings in the notorious Bodysnatchers trial of the 1830s – was on the brink of bankruptcy after a long period of decline but is now proving very popular with punters.
Draft House Birdcage opened its doors on the 30th November 2014 and is the sixth venue in the Draft House portfolio. In keeping with its sister sites, Birdcage sells the finest craft beers available with a selection that takes in beers from the USA, Belgium, Germany, the Czech Republic and of course the UK.
Draft House Founder, Charlie McVeigh said:
“As someone who has banged on for years about saving the pub, I am thrilled to actually save one myself on this historic market street. The building itself has been denuded of many of its original features – and we have restored it to its original glory as the key pub on the market.”
The recent restoration work at the pub has seen the interior revitalised, with a particular focus on the traditional Victorian ash-wood canopy bar, complete fluted columns, decorative moldings and niches. Tan leather banquettes line the 100-cover pub, which is lit by antique brass light fixtures and the pub has been hung with found artworks from Charlie’s collection.
Optics cocktails are served at Draft House Birdcage, created by Max Chater of Bump Caves – the radical new bar and distillery opened by Draft House earlier this year in Bermondsey. Optics cocktails, dispensed from traditional 3-litre pub optics bottles, include the Manhattan, BUMP Martini and BUMP Hi-Bye – all priced at just £5.
The restoration of the Birdcage is in keeping with the Draft House’s aim to retain the classic feel of pubs of yesteryear.
“Britain is full of public houses of all shapes, sizes and varieties, but I felt we’d lost something special in recent years from British life and I wanted to provide a place that recaptured my idea of the perfect public house.”
In true East End style, Draft House Birdcage serves up the classic combination of pie, mash and liquor, with all pies served with mushy marrowfat peas, and onion gravy. Diners can add scoops of steaming, buttery mash should they wish and all pies are hand-crafted and fully encased with short crust pastry.
Rounding out the fun at Draft House Birdcage is the weekly Saturday night knees-up which pays homage to the pub’s karaoke traditions, calling in Columbia Road’s favourite buskers to back up patrons’ renditions of old classics.
Draft House Birdcage is open Monday to Thursday 4pm until 11pm; Friday 4pm until midnight; Saturday 12pm until 1am; and Sunday 9am until 10:30pm.
For more information about Draft House Birdcage or any of the other venues in the Draft House portfolio, please visit: www.drafthouse.co.uk.