Bacchus Bar, Birmingham. Awful.

I spent yesterday evening, from 7–11, in Bacchus Bar, Burlington Arcade, Birmingham, one of Mitchells & Butlers supposedly “Classic Pubs”. Had I not been there as a guest of others, for whom I have great respect, I would have left.

The only guest ale was off.

The dirty plates left by the departing people whose table we occupied, and their and our empty glasses and bottles, were not collected once. The plates included uneaten food, which sat festering for four hours.

The men’s toilets were an utter disgrace: stinking, awash with urine – footsteps caused audible splashes; I’m going to have to have my trousers laundered – and clearly not attended to all evening. Everyone who entered, each time I was in there, commented. I was told the women’s toilets were little better.

A pile of vomit on the carpet outside the toilets was marked with a “wet floor” A-frame, but otherwise left for over an hour, remaining until after closing.

I have never seen such bad practice, even in run down inner-city pubs; let alone a supposedly prestige, and pricey, city-centre venue.

Update: I have contacted Mitchells & Butlers, and asked them to respond here. Their contact form includes several unnecessary yet mandatory questions, such as wanting my postal address (which I declined to give, using bogus data instead) and the number in the party, which must be a number, making it impossible for me to say “over 15”.

18 thoughts on “Bacchus Bar, Birmingham. Awful.

  1. elbunglio

    was going to investigate the bacchus but sounds like a disgrace, especially to its ale pretensions. Mandb cant do pubs, it seems.

  2. Maddy Manson

    I was there with you that night and the women’s toilets were an absolute disgrace as well. No soap in the soap dispensers, two sinks blocked and full of water, the floor was wet and there was urine on the floor of the cubicle I used. Absolutely disgusting – and this was at 6.30pm! I’d hate to think what it’d be like later in the evening.

    I avoid the place where possible because Friday wasn’t the first time the toilets have been in that state and food and dirty plates have been left to fester for hours on end. It seems to be a habit there and the place is a health and safety nightmare waiting to happen.

    Which reminds me, another reason I avoid Bacchus is because of the severe sickness I, my husband and a friend suffered after drinking one pint of German blonde ale there a few years ago. Our other companion, who stuck to a bottle of beer, was fine. We were violently ill and I can only blame filthy pipes or recently cleaned pipes that hadn’t been rinsed properly. Had I had any sense at the time I would have had the place investigated by Trading Standards.

  3. Sparky

    I didnt notice any of these things, thats probably because I was drunk and having a good time and quite frankly was sitting next to 3 attractive young ladies so couldnt give a kipper.

  4. Guest Services

    Dear Mr Mabbett,

    We’re disappointed to hear of your unsatisfactory visit to Bacchus Bar and would like to look into this matter further. If you could provide us with a telephone number or postal address this will enable the pub’s Retail Business Manager to personally investigate and resolve this matter.

    You can contact the Guest Services team on 0845 700 5050 or email

    Guest Services,
    Mitchells & Butlers

  5. Pete Ashton

    @Guest Services

    I believe this is the information you’re looking for:

    Bacchus Bar, Burlington Arcade, New Street, Birmingham, B2 4JH
    Tel: 0121 632 5445

    You can now personally investigate.

    (ps, I found that information using a service called “Google”)

  6. Nick Booth

    Hello Guest Services. I visited this bar once – although was a little underwhelmed. There’s lots of choice in Bimingham, so I’m confident I’ll put as much effort into visiting Bacchus Bar again as you have just done in taking responsibility for checking to find a phone number: none.

  7. Najm

    @Guest Services: I fail to see why you require those details in order to follow up unless it is your policy to use this approach so that you can dismiss the complaint when you don’t get them. Can I suggest you take your customer care a little more seriously as it is your customers who ultimately pay your salary.

  8. Dan

    umm… may’be the details are required to personally apologies to you, get further details or send you a free meal? …Other than that I agree I cannot see any other reason why they would need the details

  9. pigsonthewing

    @Dan: Thanks for your observations. When Mitchells & Butlers are ready to apologise, they can do so here, publicly. Likewise if they wish to ask for additional information. As for a meal, I wouldn’t eat there if they paid me, never mind free.

  10. Charles Roper

    Funny how the directors ‘offer’ to give up their bonuses. Surely a bonus should be, well, a bonus? It’s not something one should offer to give up; it’s either earned, or it is not.

  11. Ben Lockwood

    Beyond belief that you’ve all got your hand bags out because a Guest Care Customer Service Rep has asked for a contact number (of the customer), so the area manager can call them personally to get more details on the poor visit.

    Laughable . . . . . . . .

    1. Andy Mabbett Post author

      No, Ben, not laughable at all. I’m the customer, and my preferred method of communication with M&B is this blog post. If they wanted to ask me a question (and there’s nothing in their sole comment here to indicate that they did), they could have done so here, as I invited them to do. Why should I fit in with their preferred method of working?


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