Review: Nuvo, 11 Brindley Place, Birmingham

Nuvo, 11 Brindley Place, Birmingham

It’s always good to see more bars opening, especially those that are literally moments away from my doorstep and seem to promise a good cocktail.

At first glance it feels like Nuvo might be onto a real winner, it’s early days  (open for three days so far) and no doubt will take a while before the place beds in.

Negroni, Nuvo, Brindley Place
Thats the issue though, it may be early days but is it too much to expect that you have you full bar stock in place before you open (not the middle of the following week, which is what I was told)?

Stock wise, a good mix of standard and high end spirits, though some disparity (4 gins, 11 vodkas).  That will hopefully be more balanced in the weeks that come.

Now, maybe it’s just be, but when I’m eating or drinking I like good service, but not ‘over attentive’ service.  It seemed like there was almost half the number of staff to customers.  At least six floor hosts could be spotted, trying not to look idle.  Whilst behind the bar there were at times 7/8 staff, you certainly won’t be waiting long for your drinks.

White Lady, Nuvo, Brindley Place

So, drinks.  Thats what people visit for, currently there is no cocktail list (which isn’t a bad thing), but does leave you wondering exactly how much the drink you ordered is going to set you back (roughly £7.50, whilst is priced equivalent to places like Bank).  It leaves you in the hands of the bartender, which dependent who you get could mean that you may have to spec the drink before it gets made.

  1. Sazerac – Bartender didn’t know what it was
  2. Negroni – Pleasant, unsure by the addition of Lime.
  3. Sazerac – Second attempt, had to walk the bartender through the process. Mediocre.
  4. White Lady – Bartenders choice, rather good.

Atmosphere: 6/10
Staff: 6/10
Price: 6/10
Drinks: 6/10 (only saved by the White Lady)
Overall 6/10

Location: 11 Brindley Place, Birmingham

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Note: I’ll be back in a few weeks to see if things change once they have been open for a while.  Also, from a bartender point of view it was Parris who saved the day with the White Lady.


  1. Mark says:

    I actually work at Nuvo, and the gentleman who wrote this article i feel has purposfully written a negative review.

    I served him, and explained before any drink was made that we are low on stock due to opening 4days early and not having all the stock on hand.

    He ordered the above drinks, again which i said i couldnt make him, but he insisted on trying them.

    I proceeded to make him the drinks, at the same time questioning my methods on how to make the drink. I was trained at TGI Fridays and worked there as a bartender for 3 years, iv also worked in many pubs and clubs. I questioned him on how i should make it, to which he got out his blackberry and searched the internet for the method and recipe.

    I honestly believe that if you are to write reviews that people will read for information, at least have a background knowlege yourself about cocktails.

    Nuvo, like every new business has taken off and is now doing very well. there are offers on the mezze and now there are even more cocktails and spirits. Cocktails start at £4.95 and spirits £3.50. i suggest you come back and try to enjoy yourself, next time wear a shirt too rather than a printed topshop tshirt. :)

  2. Neil says:

    Hello Mark.

    Regarding stock, of course I understand why. Though from a management decision it’s surely questionable. As to what has been written, that was based on fact and experience. If we have a discussion about the spec of a drink, surely that’s fine?

    I did come back, after BYPY and again stock was low, and items missing for drinks that were on the (new) cocktail menu [Singapore Sling & needing Cherry Brandy]. So it doesn’t appear to be a one-off.

  3. Siany says:

    As a cocktail barman, surely it’s *your* job to know how to make a cocktail? That’s what you’re paid for? A sazerac is a classic, no? It’s not the reviewers fault that you can’t mix a drink. And he shouldn’t have to tell you *how* to make it. He should just have to tell you how he likes it.

    In this case, I’d imagine that would be straight up, without the attitude.

  4. Katie says:


    It seems not only do Nuvo not necessarily know their drinks or have the stock to make them, they haven’t learnt how to treat customers either.

    Having read the bartender’s comment, Nuvo’s not somewhere I’ll spend any of either my time or my money. Shame.

  5. Ecker says:

    I can’t help but feel that Mark has done Nuvo no good whatsoever. It has long been my opinion that Birmingham should be renamed: Attitude City and “next time wear a shirt too rather than a printed topshop tshirt.” does little to persuade me otherwise.

    The licensees of Birmingham have, for too long, been getting away with vastly inflated prices, smartarsedness does nothing to encourage me to visit.

  6. parris says:

    justed wanted to say hey, i’ve only just been made aware of this review as i’m browsing blogs and cocktail sources related to birmingham. i work at nuvo and i enjoy working there, our clientele seems to be changing for the better as we have a more diverse range of people showing an interest in nuvo.

    Personaly i’m all about having a good time and making sure the customer has a good time too, if i can’t make a drink i will learn within the minute as there are so many variations of classics flying around i believe if a customer knows something i don’t then their input can only make me better at what i do and in return i can only make there experience at nuvo that little bit better.

    So if anyone is ever around i work most nights after 5pm, i’m more than happy to get to know everyone that comes in and the more people sat at the bar wanting to experiment with what they drink or just fancy a beer and a chat i am more than happy to help and get to know you all.

    Parris (i’m the guy with a fro) peace

  7. Birminghaamcentral says:

    I completely agree with Neil (the authors) review. We first started going to Nuvo when it opened, we immediately noted the cocktails were not what they should be. A few of my friends really enjoy their whisky cocktails, and they definitely complained a few times.

    On a different note, i’ve noticed Nuvo changing from a classy bar with good service to a regular broad street bar where the doormen are rude and the barmen are arrogant. I’ve been disappointed with the overall service there the last few times I’ve been.

    I would love for the living room bar to re open-that bar was an absolute classic. I can see Nuvo going downhill slowly, it’s a shame really because the potential was there.


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