Tucked away under the throngs of flavourful fajitas, Sugarloaf could be easily missed if you weren't looking for it. But catch the sounds of luscious Lucha Libre music, the smell of rampant rum and you'll be bowling down into the basement before you know it ese.
So sure, we dabbled in the same routine as every other Brum in our hankering for Mexican fare, we took to Bodega in the city centre. But our trip had a difference, we actually made a purposeful bee-line for the basement. While you're set to find the toilets first, nip to the right and find the cracking cocktail cavern that we did instead. A relatively petite room that's set to fit only 80 people, Sugarloaf follows the same South American suit as upstairs, with a luchadores themed twist. Lavished in Lucha Libre masks, Day of the Dead sugar skulls, lanterns and er, low hanging chandeliers, Sugarloaf maintains the eccentric without the garish. With a booth style bar in the wall, stools, loungers and a DJ plot to boot, it's cosy enough without elbows in guts.
Whilst the bar downstairs was inherently smaller than its upstairs dining counterpart (think booze laden tuck shop and you're more than spot on), Sugarloaf didn't lack on too many of the drinks that the main restaurant area has to boast. From cocktails and a limited number of beers on draft to bottles and wine for seriously smashing £10 A FREAKIN' BOTTLE, the bar was pocket friendly and well stocked. Cracking on with a Caipirinha for a mere £4 thanks to their monthly cocktail deals, Sugarloaf were heavy Cachaça on the and super on the sweet, just how I like 'em.
While a Thursday night probably wasn't the best gauge for how Sugarloaf fared on the Birmingham nightlife scene, especially being so secretive a basement plot, there was still a bustle that city centre punters will be happy to dabble in if they're after a more laid-back liquid lair. Getting suitably busier around the 10pm mark, Sugarloaf retains fans at around the 25 year old mark, and those looking for another cracking £4 cocktail after the barrage of ones they shared over dinner (me included). One thing you will notice about Sugarloaf, is that it only takes a group of 10 for this darling little joint to feel like it's filling up, but that only goes to create a super humble enviroment.
Basement bars are such a rarity in Brum that I could recommend Sugarloaf on that premise alone. But far more than just exposed brick work and Lucha Libre themed liquids, Sugarloaf had a touch of the inherently quirky that I think Birmingham should be clawing after.