Probably the most convenient place for a pre or post theatre drink in Birmingham would be the Old Joint Stock, not least because they have their very own theatre on the premises.
Situated in the heart of the city on Temple Row, facing the Cathedral, this is probably one of the best, certainly the grandest, pubs you’ll find in Birmingham or anywhere else. Occupying a Grade II former bank, the building has the grandeur, elegance and many of the trimmings of a stately home. Oddly though, because of its height and size, it is also very evocative of German beer halls – although a lot less rowdy but with a lot less Gemütlichkeit.
Built in 1862 by Julius Alfred Chatwin, the building was originally designed as a library before becoming the Birmingham Joint Stock Bank. Lloyds Bank then took ownership of the premises in 1889 – the very same year as Birmingham received official City status.
The food is fairly standard pub-grub with several menus to choose from. Generally speaking the food is available from noon until about ten at night but it’s worth going to the Old Joint Stock just to sit and soak up the atmosphere. It’s like one of the famous old cafés in Paris or Vienna – Les Deux Magots or Das Café Central – just not as famous
Obviously you couldn’t get any closer to the Old Joint Stock Theatre, which is upstairs, but the pub is only a five or 10 minute walk from most of the other major theatres and venues in town. – Michael Hasted June 2013
The Old Joint Stock, 4 Temple Row West, Birmingham, B2 5NY