Pig and Tail – Historic city centre pub reborn
A historic Grade II listed Birmingham pub – one of the oldest in the city – has been saved and dramatically transformed into a stunning new bar and eatery – after years of dereliction and neglect.
The new Pig and Tail – originally The George and Dragon dating back to the 1850s – is located in Albion Street, in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter.
The new venue is owned by husband and wife team Mark and Chrissy Rafferty, who also run the widely acclaimed Pickled Piglet restaurant in Gas Street. They created the interior design for The Pig and Tail themselves.
The new pub is located on the ground floor of the three-storey building, with apartments for a different client being created on the floors above.
Mark Rafferty said: “We were drawn by the character of the building and felt that it was something we could really work with and that would draw people to it.
“When we took over the building, it was very dilapidated and derelict with no roof and no floors, some windows were missing and some of the walls weren’t intact. Luckily the landlord Asha Projects worked together with us and assisted greatly with the renovation.”
Working within planning constraints imposed by the building’s Grade II listed status, renovation works included the installation of new walls, new floors and ceilings, re-wiring, new plumbing, re-roofing and re-decoration, as well as a wide variety of repairs. As many of the original features as possible were retained, including doors and some windows. New stained glass windows were installed in a design in keeping with the pub’s historic nature.
Internally, the design features stained wooden floors and exposed brickwork, giving a contemporary look, complimented by bright coloured leather bench seating and leather armchairs, French chandeliers, and works by local artists on the walls. The overall colour scheme is in light pastels.
A new bar has been installed with antique brass beer hand pulls and feature bespoke copper pipe lighting above.
A new, more eco-friendly induction kitchen has also been installed to prepare the pub’s menu of small Mediterranean style plates, sharing platters and cheese boards.
An enclosed courtyard with brick walls and bright coloured seating and tables has also been created at the rear of the building with plans to spend more money and time on in the new year.
The Pig and Tail specialises in offering numerous craft beers on tap, with an emphasis on seeking out highly localised, unique brews including American hops, fruit beers and wheat beers – as well as a wide variety of gins with unusual garnishes and tonics. Wines are also available by the bottle and glass.
The cocktail menu is changed regularly with an emphasis again on unusual ingredients along with classics by request.
The menu includes small meat, fish and vegetarian plates, including rare breed pork and chicken, pastry, bacon and sweetcorn relish, potted hot smoked salmon, gherkins and wafers, sweet pea and mint risotto balls. The bar treat menu includes Parmesan and truffle popcorn, Smoked almonds, Paprika flavoured pork crackling and Candied curried and bacon cashews.
“Business has grown week on week and we have been amazed by all the local support, with many people happy to see the old pub brought back to life. We are very pleased with the outcome.”
Seven 9 Signs
Seven 9 Signs create bespoke, hand painted signage utilising traditional sign painting and gilding techniques in order to meet and exceed customers’ expectations. The company provides services to some truly outstanding projects and regularly works with designers, developers, independent customers and restaurateurs.
Past projects for Seven 9 Signs include Barclaycard Arena for the NEC, Concord House for Elevate Property Group, Monday MoCo, Rainbow Venues, Tilt and The Dark Horse, amongst others. Most recently, Seven 9 Signs has been involved with The Pig and Tail for Mark Rafferty.
Jim Kerr, Seven 9 Signs, commented:
“Having provided signs for Mark’s other establishment, The Pickled Piglet, I already knew we shared an appreciation for quality and craftsmanship. Mark’s eye for detail and respect for the building during the restoration highlighted the fact that this project required traditional hand-painted signage.
“It was an honour to hand-paint the signage directly on to the building and I look forward to seeing it for many years to come.”
Seven 9 Signs work closely with local craftsmen to offer bespoke fabrication. On The Pig & Tail, Seven 9 Signs worked with neighbouring metal work specialists to fabricate the venue’s bespoke swing sign brackets.
“At Seven 9 Signs, we pride ourselves on our ability to combine traditional techniques and craftsmanship with both heritage and contemporary design. We can provide high quality signage solutions for any project.”