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Digbeth’s original Peaky Blinders pub to benefit from £750,000 refurbishment

28 June 2021

Building work starts next week on a major transformation of The Rainbow pub in Digbeth, renowned both for its association with the original Peaky Blinders in the 1890s and as a catalyst for Digbeth’s transformation into a creative quarter.  The £750,000 investment by Heineken owned Star Pubs & Bars1 and new local operators Nick Rendall and Trevean Anderson will see the pub, which has been closed for the last four years, transformed into a live entertainment-driven events venue.

The Rainbow will reopen in the summer once restrictions are lifted, creating 30 new jobs.

Larger than other pubs in the area, the plan is to reinstate The Rainbow as the leading live music pub in Digbeth.  It will be a place to drop in for a quick drink and bite to eat before moving on or to spend the whole night enjoying cocktails, live music, and dancing until the early morning.

Funds are being spent creating an atmospheric bar and dance area in the basement with a raised stage for gigs and a new state-of-art sound system.  On the ground floor, there will be a cocktail bar and lounge with a mix of booth and loose seating and a more Victorian look and feel.

The first floor is to become an arts focused events space showcasing local artists work and will be available for meetings and corporate launches.

The outside courtyard garden will seat 96 at colourful rustic tables and chairs and feature an urban art mural on the wall and atmospheric festoon lighting.

The menu at The Rainbow will include an exciting range of tacos and burgers with small plates and bar snacks for sharing.  Examples include the following choice of tacos and burgers:

Tacos

  • Crisp fried soft shell crab dusted with yuzu lemon, chipotle mayonnaise, roast sweet corn and cactus salsa
  • Corona beer marinated portabello mushroom black truffle cream cheese (vegan) crisp shallots, smashed avocado and pico de gallo salsa

Burgers 

  • The rainbow burger – Herefordshire wagyu beef patty with smoked mature cheddar burnt onion sauce topped with tempura onion rings, house pickle & heirloom tomato in a toasted brioche bun.
  • Jamaican jerk chicken, with refried black eye beans, mango tomato salsa and lemongrass and coconut mayonnaise in toasted cornbread bun.

Drinks wise, there will be craft beers such as Beavertown and Lagunitas and premium draught lagers such Birra Moretti as well as extensive premium gin, rum & wines.  There will also be a comprehensive well-balanced list of cocktails including classics, twists and new creations.

The Rainbow is Nick and Trevean’s second pub.  Their other is The Cuban Embassy in Moseley (formerly The Bull’s Head), which was inspired by Nick’s travels in Cuba and his passion for rum, live music and good food.

The Rainbow will host local and touring bands during the week, a rotation of 10 different popular local bands on a Friday and a house band on Saturday night.

A big screen will show muted sport most weeknights with key sporting events made a major occasion at the pub.

Says Nick: “I know The Rainbow pub of old, and like many others was a regular back when it first opened as a live music venue around 2003.  So, I leapt at the opportunity to take on the lease and reinstate it as Digbeth’s leading music pub.  We have got a great team to help us achieve this goal.  Jimmy Shaban, who previously ran The Victoria in the city centre, another entertainment driven live music pub, is the new General Manager.  Lisa Travis, who has been involved in the music industry all her life and was manager of The Prince of Wales in Cambridge Street, will be doing all our live bookings.  We can’t wait to open the doors and breathe life back into The Rainbow.  It has fallen on hard times in recent years and now needs some TLC.”

Says Paul Linton, Regional Operations Director, Star Pubs & Bars: “We’re delighted Nick and Trevean have taken on The Rainbow and wish them well with their plans.  They know the pub, the area, and the local music scene well and have a track record of turning around underperforming pubs.  The Rainbow will I am sure be as great a success as their other pub, the highly rated Cuban Embassy.”