When I worked on Livery Street, we were all about that mid-week brunch life, especially on Fridays. We’d go big on Thursday nights because it was and still is basically Friday (YOLO). We’d make it our mission to have breakfast/brunch the very next day to kick-start the weekend and we had our faves, including the Indian Brewery, Yorks, Urban Cafe et al and we were always open to new places. Primitivo wasn’t open at the time and its a shame, because by the sounds of its USP and the crowd it attracts, I’d have bagged myself a property mogul husband or a big shot lawyer and I’d be enjoying my 2-3 properties in JQ by now #goals. I joke, I joke. Well, slightly…
Based on Barwick Street, Primitivo Bar & Eatery has been on my radar for a long time, simply because it’s always heaving (in a good way) with crowds spilling onto the street, particularly on Thursdays/Fridays. One of the original indies after opening in 1996, in 2015 it chose to close due to extensive redevelopment of the Grand Hotel and it remained closed for 2 years.
And now? Primitivo has been completely transformed, its light, bright and spacious with dark wooden floors and a mix of booth seating and small tables with a separate bar area and dining space that looks into an open kitchen.
There is an extensive food menu available, with the newest addition being the breakfast/brunch menu that is now available from Mon-Fri from 8am. A concise, one pager it has familiar plates that are great value for its city centre positioning.
I order the Full English (£8.95) because I’m that predictable, sorry. A generous portion arrives, made up of two sausages, two bacon, two poached eggs, one tom, mushroom, hash brown and toast. The ingredients are great quality, locally sourced and it tastes like Saturday and surprisingly healthy. The lovely Head chef was happy to accommodate my ask for my bacon to be crispy and my toast ‘done’, with ease. There’s no fuss here, its simple and does what it says on the menu.
Other options include the Rosti, Egg & Mushroom (gf) (£7.95) made up of a crispy potatoe, creamy portobello mushroom and a rich hollandaise sauce.
Primitivo is a good little spot for breakfast/brunch meetings or just because you want to welcome Friday with your team. The breakfast menu is small and granted, it’s not as extensive as other places but you’ll probably get more work done here rather than elsewhere due to the crowd it attracts, which is great when you’ve just got sh*t to do by COP #bossingit. The owners and staff are exceptionally friendly and a good laugh which also goes a long way in my book.
Psst, after work, the kitchen knocks out complimentary hot nibbles and small bites to enjoy with your drinks. Just close your eyes and think Italian style vibes and outrageously attractive men in expensive suits… Its great to see a Brum spot offering something that makes total sense abroad but has somehow never quite taken off here. Well, look no further… its here.
Primitivo, 10-12 Barwick Street, Birmingham, B3 2NT
*Thanks to Paul Fulford, I was invited to try the food and drink. As always, my opinions are my own*