Birmingham Leisure

The Grapes – Hill Street/Lower Severn Street

The Grapes - Hill Street

The Grapes - Hill Street

A pub with a fairly inauspicious history was to be found on the corner of Hill Street and Lower Severn Street – a stones throw from the once nightclub Mecca of John Bright Street.

Whilst now a Select & Save store as seen above – this pub, built in 1966, provided my first taste of a rock nightclub scene in the mid-1908s when the top floor of the otherwise reserved for the white ankle sock, slip-on shoe wearing trendy brigade bar was given over to a late-license rock disco on Friday nights.  The top-floor was an absolute tip with a disintegrating dance floor and warm, weak beer and the dj-ing was undertaken by gravel-voiced Costermonger legend Tony – “here’s Paranoid by Black Sabbath” – Craig.

The last time I was there would have been New Year’s Eve 1986/7 on a night out when I spent the princely sum of £50.00 – and was fairly sober, giving an indication of the strength of the beer!  Fortunately, in early 1987 Edward’s Number 8 opened as a rock venue and the Grapes was superfluous to requirements.

Actually, I tell a lie, I did go in there several years later when it was called Mr Q’s or Hill Street Q’s, or some such combination and it was still a dump but by then a dump dominated by pool tables!


2 comments for “The Grapes – Hill Street/Lower Severn Street”

  1. I am very sorry to trouble you but I wonder if you could help me with a problem. I have a hobby of going in pubs of england (1800 so far)and I am trying to fill in the gaps i.e addresses etc.In 1978 a group of us from west yorkshire visited the n.e.c motor show and afterwards called at numerous pubs within 1/2 mile of birmingham new street station. The pubs being the parasol, the grapes, sentinels and the crown after a lot of time on the internet I traced the crown to station st.but the others I have drawn a blank presumably because they have closed but I still need an address to tidy the books. I have several addresses for the grapes i.e.belgrave rd.and hillst/lower severn st.are they 2 different pubs I do hope you can help me, thank you, rob

    Posted by rob holroyd | May 26, 2009, 4:54 pm
  2. I hope you find the info below of use:

    • The Grapes: the actual address was Hill Street I also mentioned Lower Severn Street so people would know exactly where it was as it was on the corner of Hill Street and Lower Severn Street. The building shown here was the pub but it has now been converted into a supermarket.
    • The Sentinels: this was on Suffolk Street Queensway near its junction with Holloway Head (opposite the entrance to the Alexandra Theatre) and closed many years ago (I think it’s a ‘gentleman’s club’ called Medusa now). It was named’ The Sentinels’ after the two 32-storey blocks of flats in whose shadows it lay which were nicknamed ‘the Sentinels’.
    • The Crown: you already know about
    • The Parasol: also on Hill Street and long-since closed

    Anything else you wish to know, I’ll do my best!

    Posted by Andy Doherty | May 30, 2009, 6:50 pm

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