From the outside, you’d be forgiven for walking past the Hare and Hounds thinking it your average run-of-the-mill pub, but, much like stepping into the Tardis, once you walk inside it’s a different story altogether.
It’s enormous. Not just with a huge front bar area and smaller rear bar, it also boasts two gig rooms upstairs, and a smaller stage downstairs. The look of it is exactly what you’d expect from a proper English pub, with all its antiquity. It has wood panelling, colourful tiled walls, chesterfield sofas and cosy booths with plenty of tables to ensure you can find a comfy perch. It’s not hipster or even trying to be, and that’s what’s so great about it.
The drinks here are known for being very well selected. There’s an awesome choice of cask Ales from breweries all over the UK on offer. The bottled and draft beers are plentiful, and I indulged in what was a pretty decent Malbec. You can even choose between Guinness and Extra Cold Guinness. You’re certainly spoiled for choice, but beware that the prices are a little steep in comparison to even some of the Central bars; at over £4 a pint. Having said that, the prices are a reflection of the clientele, and I didn’t see anyone complaining. I’ve also heard rumours that the food here is far beyond your typical pub grub, offering some reasonably priced soul food at regular pop-up dining intervals.
The Atmosphere and Clientele
The atmosphere in the Hare is something else. I’ve heard it’s always pretty busy and I can see why. It’s got some fiercely loyal long-time regulars who come back time and time again and they’re as much a part of what makes this place great as anything else. It’s the kind of place you’re likely to sit next to a stranger and before you know it 2 hours have passed and you’ve put the world to rights.
I was lucky enough to catch the Mutual Benefit gig upstairs and it was an absolute pleasure. I wholeheartedly recommend going to one of the Indie music nights. The sound is sheer perfection. I could write pages and pages about how incredible it was, but I’ll simply say that you should not hesitate to go and see for yourself if live music in the city is your thing.
The Hare and Hounds is located in what I would describe as a ‘watch this space’ part of Kings Heath. There’s some cool things happening in this part of town and I’m pegging it as the next up-and-coming area for quirky venues. I am such an advocate for independents in Birmingham; it’s something we’re getting right time and time again and The Hare is no exception. It’s a pub we should cherish.