Last week we went to the opening of the Birmingham branch of Be At One which has opened up on Piccadilly Arcade (it’s not really in the arcade as such, but it does extend beneath it I guess and the enterance is just opposite New Street Station). Be At One started up in Battersea Rise at the end of May 1998 and has proved a big success with Be At Ones popping up all over England (and even into Wales).
We did like the wide ranging menu and the fact that you could choose just the sort of drink you wanted. There was so much choice and I would imagine most people would find their favourite on the list. You can choose by the main spirit used, by the type of glass, etc. The menu contains about 100 different drinks, so there should be something for everyone. I’m amazed how the staff managed to create so many cocktails, seemingly without using any guides or crib notes. Hubby and I tried a range of cocktails from the menu and thoroughly enjoyed them all.
On the downside, the service was a little slow, not because the staff weren’t working hard, in fact you can see how fast they are working from the blurred hands in the picture below. I think on a less busy night, it would be less of an issue. Also there are seats around the bar, which is great when it’s quite quiet and it made the bar look inviting, but they get in the way a bit if the bar is busy and people want to get served. Also, there was rather a lot of ice left in some cases – the picture above is of a finished drink – now, obviously with a tall drink like this you expect a lot of ice to be left behind and you want that ice there so it’s good and cold, but I think one or two of the drinks went a little overboard.
I love the way that Be At One have made use of this fairly unpromising basement space and it’s great to see businesses sprouting up near Grand Central, which is providing a new focus for the city. The bar is a great place to hang out and I think we’d look to visit again perhaps before or after dinner at a restaurant.