New restaurant group opens first venture in city-centre convention centre

Executive chef Nick Evans and chef director Tom Wells

Craft Dining Rooms will open in Birmingham’s ICC on 15 July with a 150-cover fine-dining restaurant, a cocktail bar and two private dining spaces.

The ICC venture is the first by Craft Dining Rooms, a new restaurant group founded by Birmingham-based entrepreneurs Sam and Emma Morgan – with more to come in 2019.

Craft Dining Rooms has employed the skills of two chefs who have worked in Michelin-starred restaurants, Nick Evans who becomes Executive chef and chef director Tom Wells, who was previously head chef of Tom’s Kitchen in the Mailbox that unexpectedly closed last month.

“Our Craft restaurants will represent many traditions of British culinary history and whilst all unique, all will showcase and focus on the artisan producers that make British food what it is.,” said Sam.

“We’re delighted to be bringing our British concepts to the burgeoning Birmingham restaurant scene.”

Birmingham is home to five Michelin-starred restaurants and the area surrounding New Street Station and leading up to the Colmore Business District has seen a plethora of restaurants and bars open in the past five years.

The ICC back on to Brindley Place, which is another area of the city-centre that features a high concentration of restaurants and bars.

The Craft Dining Rooms’ restaurant will have a big focus on British artisan producers, bringing together the best produce from across the UK, English wines, cheeses, meats plus some English-made spirits too.

Lunch service will feature a stripped-back menu that concentrates on British-inspired sharing plates while dinner will include beef wellington with Wiltshire truffle, roasted sea trout with Isle of Wight tomatoes and Cornish day boat turbot will all take their place on the menu alongside a host of a selection of British cheeses.

“I have been in the service sector for nearly 20 years and we will be ensuring the highest standards are delivered,” said Emma, who will lead the restaurant’s front of house.

“Although classed as fine-dining, we are passionate about the restaurant being accessible to the whole community as a relaxed, social and chic venue to enjoy exceptional food and drink with a traditional British edge.”

Experts from Higgs & Sons’ property team have helped bring a new fine-dining experience to the heart of Birmingham city centre after advising the new owners on terms of the lease for the restaurant.

Andrew Cole, from the NEC group said: “The ICC is one of Birmingham’s most sort after locations and we are confident that Craft Dining Rooms’ cutting-edge dining experience will be the talk of the Midlands if not the UK.”