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Restaurants In Birmingham 1960s

mikejee

Super Moderator
Staff member
They were sold to Grand Metropolitan in 1907, and then to Whitbread's in the 1990s, who then debased them into Beefeaters. but , if I remember rightly , before the 1990s they had already been a bit corrupted and introduced some burger items (YUK)
 

chrissweep

master brummie
Did anyone try Jonathons, I hope that's the right spelling. It was at the crossroads of Hagley Road and the Wolverhampton Road at Quinton. It was a Victorian Style restaurant, I could only afford to go once and had Jugged Hare which was delicious.
 

chrissweep

master brummie
They were sold to Grand Metropolitan in 1907, and then to Whitbread's in the 1990s, who then debased them into Beefeaters. but , if I remember rightly , before the 1990s they had already been a bit corrupted and introduced some burger items (YUK)
Don't knock the burgers, remember the ones we used to have from the street vendors in town whilst we waited for the late night bus on a Saturday night !
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I frequented Jonathon’s a couple of times; it was a super place. I loved the themed rooms in the restaurant, Baker Street was one of them.

I had my retirement party there in 2006.
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Chris,

Berni Inns, founded by the two Berni brothers, was at one time the largest catering chain outside the USA. Sold first to Grand Metropolitan & then Whitbreads, they were renamed the Beefeater chain, and have somewhat changed! Both brothers have passed away.

Ross Frozen Foods started a similar one called Cavalier, my late brotherin-law managed the one in Bournemouth and I did the accounts for him every Wednesday morning. Steak meals with the bar on the ground floor and fish meals, including huge dover soles in the basement. But I think Ross decided that they had deviated too far from their key business and the chain was eventually closed, although both of us had departed by then.

Both chains offered good value for money, but in the late 60s there wasn't enough business midweek to make them really profitable. I wish they were still about now, but what would their prices be like?

Maurice :cool:
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
Correct, Mort, and owned by Watneys, while Toby Grills were owned by Bass Charrington and still exist. The page I got the information from still reckons that Beefeater is the nearest thing to Berni. It's about 20 years since I went in a Beefeater, but nowhere near as cosy as Berni.

Maurice :cool:
 

Morturn

Super Moderator
Staff member
I recall they all had quite a similar menu:

soup, prawn cocktail, melon

Rump Steak

Chicken

Gammon with egg or pineapple

Served with chips, peas and half a grilled tomato.

Black Forrest gateau

Ice-cream

Trifle

Cheese and biscuits

Irish coffee
 

Astoness

TRUE BRUMMIE MODERATOR
Staff member
I recall they all had quite a similar menu:

soup, prawn cocktail, melon

Rump Steak

Chicken

Gammon with egg or pineapple

Served with chips, peas and half a grilled tomato.

Black Forrest gateau

Ice-cream

Trifle

Cheese and biscuits

Irish coffee
gosh i am hungry now mort :D :D
 

sospiri

Ex-pat Brummie
As far as the Cavalier chain were concerned, upstairs or downstairs, the choice of the usual starters was the same, as were desserts. The latter always included port & stilton or Black Forest gateau, Upstairs the big T-bones were still available (no mad cow disease then) and a choice of 8 or 12 oz rump or fillet steak. Downstairs the top item was a huge Dover sole, which almost covered the plate. Or you could have lemon sole or plaice. Of course, nothing stopped you sitting upstairs and ordering fish or vice versa, and since the kitchen, stores and office were downstairs, and the bar & coffee machine were upstairs, there was no great intermingling of smells.

My brother-in-law was French and knew the trade well, his under manager was an Italian, who had worked in many of the restaurants of local hotels, and the chef was a huge British guy, who was always on hand if ever there was any trouble with drunks, which was rare. Altogether quite an experienced and professional staff.

Maurice :cool:
 

Vivienne14

Super Moderator
Staff member
Anyone visit this ? Portrays the jet setting age, but I doubt the restaurant survived for long.

Viv

61D950C6-5629-4459-B878-BAF0FAFF8932.jpeg
Source: British Newspaper Archive
 

Tates

master brummie
The first Chinese restaurant I knew of was one at the end of Sutton New Road, Erdington. It was in that block of shops between Wilton Road and Station Road, by the church. It was there for years.
I remember that, it was called "The Lotus House" if memory serves me right.
 
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