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Has Birmingham Reached Peak Dining?

Chez Mal Brassserie, Birmingham

Colmore Row restaurant Jailbird has closed suddenly, just seven months after it opened, as Birmingham's fast-growing dining sector faces indigestion.

Staff were informed of the sudden closure of the Lasan Group restaurant by bosses when they returned to work after Christmas.

Jailbird, which was influenced by New York steak houses, opened in May 2018.

"It’s been a particularly difficult 2018 for many businesses and Lasan Group has decided to focus our attention elsewhere," Lasan Group told Birmingham Live.

A tidal wave of private equity-backed mid-market diners in the early years of the decade has now begun to roll back, leading to closures of some familiar Birmingham names. According to data from specialist researcher CGA, growth in this sector has stalled, and slipped down to 1% in 2018, a sharp contrast with a high of 9.4% in 2015.

The sides bar at Fazenda, 55 Colmore Row, Birmingham

CGA data also showed that Birmingham has an unusually high churn rate for restaurants, with 78% of new restaurants opening in premises previously occupied by a restaurant, appreciably higher than the 58% across all city centres.

The pace of closures has led some to speculate that the UK may have reached peak diningResearch published by accountant BDO in summer 2018 into spending patterns showed that UK casual dining turnover slumped 2.1%.

Despite a 2% decline in the volume of restaurant openings nationally, Birmingham added more restaurants in the year to September, CGA report.

New openings are continuing. Tattu, the contemporary Chinese restaurant, is coming to Colmore Row later this year, whilst new Brazilian restaurant Fazenda launched its rodizio-style experience in November.

With 200 covers spread across the 10K SF venue at 55 Colmore Row, the South American meat specialist caters for lunch and dinner guests in its expansive main dining space.