The Victorians completely erased the Georgian buildings that surrounded St Philips and much of what can be seen today in the Colmore area is of the Victorian era.
Whilst the stunning Snow Hill station was demolished many years ago, the centre-piece of Colmore Row still has to be the magnificent Grand Hotel. There is much interest and development in the Colmore Row area and to celebrate this, Hortons Estates have renovated The Grand to it’s full splendour, with a hotel operator, restaurant and bar.
Colmore Row is now a new hot destination in the city for drinkers and diners.
Great Western Arcade runs alongside St Philips Square and has some fab establishments such as Sushi Passion, Loki Wine and the Good Intent pub – where all the profits go to a new charity each month.
Italian tapas restaurant and cocktail bar Fuso overlooks the square, as does the impressive Old Joint stock with it's high ceilings, hidden theatre and ales on tap and if you fancy a coffee then 200 Degrees is the perfect spot to while away the hours.
Colmore Row itself has some fantastic bars and restaurants too such as The Alchemist cocktail bar, Gaucho and Fazenda for steaks, and bars such as Dirty Martini, The Colmore, Henman & Cooper and the little known Speakeasy underneath The Liquor Store clothes shop.
Things are certainly on the up, literally.. with the brand new Colmore Skyscraper which is being built. The 100m + tower will have a lantern skybar and restaurant with jaw dropping views far across the West Midlands due to its high location.
Colmore Row isn't just about food & drink though! Founded by the Birmingham artist Reuben Colley, the Reuben Colley Fine Art Gallery is an independent art gallery which occupies a superbly converted space in what was originally the Union Club, the building dates from 1870. The artists represented by RCFA work in a wide range of genres, from abstraction to hyper-realism. RCFA presents work of outstanding quality in a relaxed and welcoming gallery space. There are some excellent clothes shops too, such as Liquor Store, Up & Running, Crockett & Jones and Loake Shoemakers.
A good meeting place, Colmore Row has Snow Hill train Station at the far end, with a tram stop too, connecting the area with the Black Country, New Street Station and Broad Street/Central Library, not to mention the frequent bus services which stop here.
Without doubt this trendy up and coming district of the city centre is worth a few hours of any visitors time, from fine architecture, to a busy nightlife, art, culture and shopping, make sure it's on your list of places to see when in Birmingham.