Is the hype surrounding Bonehead justified?


The music, with its thudding beat and indecipherable vocals, was what I believe young people today call R&B.

So loud that it drowned out conversation, it was not to my taste.

But the songs being blasted out seemed to appeal to Bonehead’s customers, some of whom nodded along jauntily.

There’s been much excitement surrounding this newish place, a fried chicken and craft beer joint not far from Brewdog.


People whose tastes I trust and respect have spoken highly of it.

Perhaps Bonehead isn’t seeking to appeal to a demographic of my decrepit maturity.

I couldn’t help thinking that if Colonel Sanders were a hipster princess with a retro taste for the music of Nirvana and a penchant for moderate self-harm, he’d have opened a place like Bonehead rather than KFC.

It’s a gloomy space – a small bar downstairs and upstairs a slightly larger dining space.


The decor is grey and black with the gaff’s name emblazoned on one wall in a font that might have been used by a 1970s heavy metal band who’d embraced the writings of Aleister Crowley.

The floor is scuffed shiny concrete.

The metal chairs do not offer the comfort a man of vintage might seek.

The surfaces of the black tables are distressed.

As, indeed, was I as I waited for more than 30 minutes for my meal.

Which is no criticism of the waitresses who were busy and friendly.

Rather, the kitchen seemed to be struggling with an early evening influx of customers.

The food itself was a disappointment.


I ordered fried thigh and drumstick with ‘Hothead’ flavouring.

The coating of the fowl – panko crumbs, I think – was rather thick and hard and verged on being overcooked.

The chilli it included was too fierce for my spice-resistant gob.

The chicken beneath was moist and flavoursome and of decent quality.

Alongside on the napkin-topped plastic tray – obviously it was served on a plastic sodding tray – was a paltry mound of insipid slaw.


Fries ordered as a side were unremarkable.

My wife ate a similar meal – minus the ‘Hothead’ aspect – and was possibly even more morose than I.

The lager-style IPA I drank was refreshing.

Lynn was unable to have a glass of wine since Bonehead doesn’t serve wine.

She was unable to have a bottle of fizzy water since none was available, so she had a glass of tap water instead.

For the food and drink we paid a touch under £30.


8 Lower Severn Street, Birmingham B1 1PU. 0121 439 5757.

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