Great First Date Bars in Birmingham, UK

Knickerbocker cocktail
Knickerbocker cocktail | © 18/81
Photo of Richard Franks
Freelance Travel & Music Writer25 September 2018

Looking for somewhere a little different than the average bars in Birmingham? Keep reading.

Birmingham’s nightlife scene is thriving, and with such an eclectic, diverse and attractive array of new and established bars, clubs and hangouts, it’s easy to see why. Whether you’re after a sophisticated cocktail bar, a laid-back boozer or something completely off kilter, the UK’s second city has it all. Here’s our pick of the best first-date bars in Birmingham.

The Canal House

Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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The Canal House pub, Birmingham
The Canal House pub, Birmingham | © The Canal House

Inspired by iconic engineer James Brindley, this canal-side pub has one of the largest selections of drinks in the city. The Canal House sees the team behind The Botanist branch further out into Birmingham with this 18th-century-inspired pub and restaurant, complete with study, drawing room, various lounges and Brindley’s Brewing Room.

Bacchus Bar

Bar, Pub, Pub Grub, $$$
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One of the more unique offerings in the city, Bacchus Bar is a hidden gem right where you’d least expect it. Turn off from New Street, one of the oldest streets in Birmingham, and head underground into this Greek-inspired hangout complete with character, busts, pottery and paintings everywhere you turn. Think Hogwarts meets Ancient Greece.

Bourne & Co

Cocktail Bar, Contemporary, Pub Grub, $$$
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Patriota cocktail
Patriota cocktail | © Bourne & Co.
Step back into the 1920s with this prohibition-era style bar just a stone’s throw from Birmingham’s lively John Bright Street. Expect intimacy in this laid-back vintage bar with exposed brick walls and a real focus on serving up classic cocktails in their own quirky style. Bourne & Co is perfect if you want to venture somewhere mysterious with a real focus on mixology.

18/81

Cocktail Bar, Contemporary
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Knickerbocker cocktail
Knickerbocker cocktail | © 18/81

One of the city’s newest cocktail bars, 18/81 is the brainchild of Independent Birmingham founder Joe Schuppler and leading city bartender Robert Wood. Part of the fun is actually finding 18/81; it’s hidden away on Thorp Street, and visitors must find the unmarked doorbell and ring it to be granted entry. You and your date will then be able to enjoy an eclectic mix of luxury pre-batched cocktails, which are perfect as they mean less time waiting, more time talking.

Serve

Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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Can’t keep that competitive side away from a date? Serve is one of the most unique bars in Birmingham. At this underground ping-pong bar in the city centre, you can either impress your date or embarrass yourself with your ping-pong skills (or lack of). After you’re done playing, DJs will keep the vibes going until the early hours.

The Cosy Club

Bar, Contemporary, $$$
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The Cosy Club, Birmingham
The Cosy Club, Birmingham | © The Cosy Club

As the name suggests, kicking back and relaxing is on the cards at The Cosy Club. With a regal facade and a vintage interior, this is the place to be if you want to impress your date without breaking the bank. Furthermore, Cosy Club’s menu is based around quintessentially British items, such as the Earl’s Breakfast (Earl Grey) or Cherry Bakewell cocktails. Its walls are full of quirky material, such as vintage Victorian-style artwork and taxidermy, if you’re looking for a way to break the ice.

The Edgbaston Hotel

Hotel Restaurant, Contemporary
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The Edgbaston Cocktail Lounge
The Edgbaston Cocktail Lounge | © The Edgbaston

To make an extra-special impression, you may want to head to The Edgbaston. This boutique hotel and cocktail lounge boasts some of the country’s most recognised bartenders and mixologists, including Thomas Matthews, recent winner of Emerging Bar Tender of the Year at the 2018 Class Bar Awards. If you fancy pushing the boat out, The Edgbaston’s award-winning team also host cocktail masterclasses.

Lane7

Bowling Alley
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Lanes 5 and 6 – Lane7 Birmingham
Lanes 5 and 6 | © Lane7 Birmingham

Last but not least is Lane7, a stylish bar that revolves around a contemporary version of everyone’s favourite childhood game. Perfect for breaking the ice, this multipurpose venue is home to luxury walnut bowling lanes, beer pong, retro arcade machines and some of the best cocktails in town. Break the norm and take your first date here – they’ll love it.

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