A popular Birmingham burger restaurant has expanded with a stand-alone bar, Kilder. Mark Ludmon reports
After setting up burger restaurant Original Patty Men in Birmingham two-and-a-half years ago, Tom Maher and Scott O’Byrne have had such a hit that they have now added a bar. Located in an arch under Moor Street station in Digbeth, Kilder is much more than just an overflow for the 33-seater OPM, with its own identity, design and menus. “Not only do we get to expand our drinks and food offering but we get to create more of a destination for our customers, and it also helps the restaurant deal with the growing queues because people can grab a drink while they wait for their table,” Tom explains.
Kilder has a clean, crisp, sleek design with Scandinavian influences, created by Digbeth-based design agency Faber, a specialist in bars and restaurants. Subtle references to the bar’s location under the arches are made through wall tiling and a mix of classic and contemporary lighting, brass fittings and banquette seating. A soft palette of green and grey with pale wood furnishings brings much-needed light to the space which spills out onto a courtyard shared with the restaurant.
“We were trying to move on from the ubiquitous, grungy, industrial thing, which is perhaps the more obvious look to go for in a railway arch and is popular with independent operators because it’s relatively easy to achieve and is quite forgiving,” says Faber’s creative director, Tony Matters. “Recently there has been a shift away from this style towards a cleaner, look and feel – one that hits the right note between clinical and rustic, for a polished finish that still has warmth and character.”
The new bar expands on the restaurant’s craft beer offering, with a larger selection of bottles and cans as well as 15 beers on tap. They use a direct pour system, with a cold room directly behind the taps chilling all the stock down to 3C and reducing pipe runs which minimises waste. There are also premium ciders, spirits and a range of natural, organic and biodynamic wines available by the glass, by the bottle and on draught. Apart from a few dishes such as the popular grilled cheese sandwiches, the food offering is different from the restaurant, focusing on British cured meats, British cheeses and bar snacks such as pork pies and sausage rolls from Paddock Farm in the Cotswolds.
Kilder marks a new phase of growth for Tom and Scott who gave up their jobs in 2015 to take their part-time passion beyond Digbeth Dining Club events into Original Patty Men, their first permanent restaurant. After being named one of Birmingham’s top six restaurants in the 2018 Harden’s Guide, they now have a cool new bar to match.
Kilder, 5 Shaw’s Passage, Digbeth, Birmingham B5 5JG
Behind the scenes
Bespoke tables/benches: MJM Bespoke
Fixed seating: Pure CF, Bourne Furniture
Lighting: E2 Contract Lighting
Originally published in the July 2018 print edition of Bar magazine.