It is tucked away in a heavily industrialised area where a motorway junction, factories and terraced housing collide, mixing commerce and community. Workers would have gathered to drink away their troubles.
The death of the pub, however, led to a change and The Vine has long been a popular, casual restaurant in this bustling part of West Brom.
Not far from the town’s Premiership Football Stadium, it’s a hub for good times, mid-week sustenance and a place of celebration after Chris Brunt has scored the winning goal against a team of also-rans.
Run as a family business since 1978, it has weathered all manner of storms; the desolation of Thatcher’s 1980s, the hard times brought about by the financial crash and a decade of austerity. And then came Covid-19.
The Vine, however, is resilient.
Like so many well-run businesses that embed themselves in a community, it has that most important of ingredients on its daily menu: trust.
Locals know they’re not going to get ripped off, that standards are high, staff are friendly and they can relax and switch off as though they were at home.
It keeps up appearances, too. The Vine is nicely furnished, a mix of modernity and tradition.
A neat website and fresh branding give it a contemporary edge but inside there are plenty of nooks and crannies in which to hide.
Once upon a backstreet boozer, drinkers would have gathered there for mild and scratchings. Not it’s sheesh kebab and rice.
The Vine is smart enough to avoid slavishly attaching itself to a particular type of food.
Though it markets itself as an Indian ...
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