I Drink to Make Art more Interesting
Peruse a decent cocktail selection whilst eyeing up the decor at the funky gallery/ bar Ana Rocha
Review by Andy Barnham
Situated in a Victorian era Grade II listed building and former factory in Birmingham’s Jewellery Quarter at 48 Frederick Street is Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery, a fusion of art gallery and bar. Entering the establishment via a red carpet (don’t be intimidated, the bouncer is very friendly and welcoming), guests walk down a long corridor flanked with paintings and other works of art before arriving at Ana Rocha’s reception room, which doubles as an art gallery for fine art, antiques and watches. The exclusive UK representatives of Spanish artist Vera Montalban, Ana Rocha hosts a permanent exhibition of his work and temporary exhibitions of other artists. In addition to the fine art on display are antiques such as Japanese cupboards and Louis XIV style mirrors alongside watches from brands such as Cartier, Hublot, Patek Phillipe, Rolex and Vacheron- Constantin (Ana Rocha both sells and buys luxury watches).
The antique theme carries on into Ana Rocha’s bar and restaurant area with items on display between the tables for visitors to admire and lust over as they enjoy the food and drink that is on offer. Indeed, it’s hard to know for certain what’s for sale as the space has more than a passing resemblance to an auction room than a bar/ restaurant. Once you are seated, the cocktail list includes many old friends such as White Russian, Long Island Ice Tea and Pornstar Martini alongside newer, signature creations including a Gallaecia (Nordés gin, La Casera traditional lemonade, lime juice and sugar syrup), Summer Thyme (handmade infused Cointreau, Jack Daniel’s sugar syrup and lemon juice) and Polish Martini made with Zubrowka vodka, with prices all under £10.
In regards to the food and wine on offer, Ana Rocha is unashamedly Spanish in orientation offering wines specially imported from Spain along with tapas and cured meats and cheeses including chorizo and jamón ibérico.
To say that Ana Rocha is an odd mix would be an understatement, but it is a mix that is enchanting and beguiling. If you’re in the area, go check it out. And for those of the impulsive nature, leave your credit card at home!
Enquiries: Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery, 48 Frederick Street, Birmingham, B1 3HN, UK/ 0121 236 6222/ anarocha.co.uk