A Birmingham entrepreneur has fired the latest salvo in the city’s “steak wars” by opening a restaurant specialising in rare breed beef.
The revamped New Inn steak and ale house in Harborne will be the sixth bar and eatery in the growing Bitters ‘n’ Twisted empire run by former accountant Matt Scriven.
Mr Scriven, whose eclectic portfolio includes a traditional pub, a gin bar and a South American cantina, hopes to tap into British diners’ rekindled love affair with steakhouses, a style of restaurant he believes is under-represented in quality terms in Birmingham.
All New Inn’s steaks, and the beef for Sunday roasts, will be sourced from organic Longhorn cattle, reared on natural grassland and dry aged for 28 days.
The steaks will be cooked on a charcoal grill to give them a “smoky” edge.
In an interview with the Birmingham Post, Mr Scriven dismissed chain enterprises such as Marco Pierre White Steakhouse, at the Cube, and Miller & Carter, at the Mailbox, and said there was a dearth of good independent restaurants serving premium sirloin, fillet and rump.
Public appetite for steak is resurgent and Macdonald Burlington Hotel in the city recently launched a Scottish Steak Club restaurant.
The New Inn in Vivian Road is due to open on April 27 and will offer a “quirky contemporary lodge feel”.
The design work has been carried out by Jewellery Quarter-based Spencer Swinden (who worked on The Plough in Harborne).
The old, boxy pub has been opened up and will feature tartan seating, copper table tops and wallpaper by Vivienne Westwood and Mulberry.
Mr Scriven said he wanted to create the design equivalent of “comfort eating” and did not want to copy the success of neighbourhood pubs such as The Junction and The Plough.
“We are going for a more old-fashioned quirkiness. There will be plates on the walls and rare breed cattle magazines in frames,” said Mr Scriven.