It looks daunting from the outside but once inside The Bull Ring Tavern redeems itself. Somewhat.
Is beauty skin deep? You feel you can’t get any lower on the rung of human existence than this pub which is a bit like Brum’s version of that dodgy boozer where Del Boy hangs out.
It’s an ominous dark red on the outside and sits on the corner opposite the church and next to the open-air Bull Ring Market. Inside it has a wooden central bar and a red patterned carpet and an almost continuous red leather banquette snaking its way around the outside of the room with tables, chairs and low stools dotted judiciously along its length. The ceiling is white and there are brass-fitted lampshades on the walls and a cash machine and a jukebox too.
The term ‘old man’s pub’ seems thoroughly appropriate here and no-one would disagree. At any given time the male ratio is high and it fills up with market workers when it opens at 10am. It's a real Brum pub.
The Food and Drink
On tap you’ve got Boddington’s, Carling, Guinness, Guinness Red, Strongbow, Banks’ Bitter and Chestnut Dark Mild, John Smith’s. In bottles you’ve got Budweiser, Holsten Pils, Fosters and Magners, as well as the array of WKDs. Wine is £1.80 for a 175ml glass and the only food is sandwiches (ham, cheese, corned beef) for £1.80 each.
The Last Word
Although it looks like you’re about to step willingly into Dante’s Inferno from the outside, its better within. And, for a dose of old school Brum character and market traders’ banter, you could do a lot worse than stepping inside the ring.