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The Sly Old Fox, Birmingham

54-56 Hurst Street
Birmingham
B5 4TD

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Reviews (Current Rating Average: 6 of 10) Add Review see review guidelines


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Steve of N21 left this review about The Sly Old Fox

I did wonder if this pub had had a recent refurbishment as it struck me as being quite clean and smart on entering.
It clearly now has a focus on food as for us also the larger carpeted back room tables were all in use when we entered on last Sunday lunchtime with people eating but we managed to get a spare table in the more pub like front bar.
It has all the hallmarks of a modern gastro pub, with its grey pastel colour scheme, shiny bar top and modern metal racking bar back but good to see all the decorative fox themed glazed windows still all in place and especially around the entrance between the bars. And the food menu remains proper pub grub with all the usually crowd-pleasing favourites such as Steak and Mushroom Pie, Lamb Shank, Beer battered fish and chips e.t.c. And although I was slightly concerned by the promotion of an “English Tapas Menu”, this was basically small pork pies, sausage rolls and scotch eggs with different fillings.
On the Ale front St Austell’s Tribute and Propper Job, Sharps Doom Bar, and Wye Valley Butty Bach and HPA were on the pumps and the Proper Job and Butty Batch we tried were well kept.
We did eat here also and the food was very good as well.
This pub also has the advantage of being straight across the road from the wonderful National Trust maintained Back to Backs, which I can thoroughly recommend booking to take a look at. It takes about 90 minutes to do the tour around this historic piece of period Birmingham housing stock, by which time you’re ready for a pint. Just a shame there wasn’t a mild on offer…

On 11th March 2019 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1712 recommendations about 1661 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Delboy 20 left this review about The Sly Old Fox

Very busy on my early Friday evening visit. Reasonable choice of beers including Butty Bach, Proper Job and Doom Bar. I tried the Proper Job and another I can't remember. Both were in good shape. Happy to call in again.

On 12th February 2019 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 1085 recommendations about 1042 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Rob Hunter left this review about The Sly Old Fox

Visited on Sunday with family. It was pretty busy but we managed to find a small table in the front room. There is a larger room to the rear but this looked more set up for dining with its layout of tables and chairs and was completely full. Apparently had a refurb a couple of months ago, and looks smart and welcoming from the outside. At the bar were five hand pulls, one of which was off and the others were Doom Bar, St Austell Proper Job, Wye Valley Butty Bach, and something else I can't remember. All the pumps had the big solid metal pump clips so assume they are permanent fixtures rather than rotating guests. The real ale seems to be kept well even if nothing out of the ordinary. Hot drinks are also served. According to their Facebook page their jukebox survived the refurb. Nice to visit for one.

On 14th November 2018 - rating: 7
[User has posted 540 recommendations about 481 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Just a quick pint, then I'm off left this review about The Sly Old Fox

From the exterior paintwork, you might think that there would prove to be some kind of gastro-pub inside this 'Theatre Bar'. However, the front room is a pretty traditional affair with plenty of aged wood, brassware and decorative glazing about the place, but the rear lounge is more plain. The beer selection varies, with just Doom Bar, Tribute, Proper Job and Castle Rock Harvest Pale (£3.70) available from the total of nine handpumps divided between the two counters on this visit. NB - Now seems to be branded as The Sly Old Fox.

On 7th July 2018 - rating: 6
[User has posted 6198 recommendations about 6198 pubs]


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Al Bundy left this review about The Old Fox

A nice two roomed corner pub in Chinatown. 10 handpumps but only 5 on serving Speckled Hen, Tributeand 3 guests Dirty Rucker,Lancelot and Doombore. Lots of theatre promo posters and photos dotted around including Rod, Jane and Freddy.

On 9th October 2015 - rating: 7
[User has posted 3389 recommendations about 3303 pubs]


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Oggwyn Great left this review about The Old Fox

Two room victorian boozer as described in previous reviews , a large TV in the back room was showing Sky Sports news .
A good mixture of friendly customers and the service was good .
Plenty of handpulls around but most had the clips reversed and only one beer on GK IPA , so i had a JD Honey instead .
Its a friendly enough pub and OK for a quick visit but they need to sort the beer out .

On 26th April 2015 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 779 recommendations about 668 pubs]


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Old Boots left this review about The Old Fox

two rooms in Victorian style, some of the fittings looking original, the stained glass, lincrusta and the counters in particular. Furnished in the same style with cast iron base tables, stools and bench seating. The back room is decorated with theatrical posters and photos of the stars who may have appeared across the road. Otherwise normal pub fittings of games machines, big screens and so on. There's a good city centre pubby feel to the place. Beers were from regionals plus micros, with 6 pulls in the back and 4 in the front plus one with cider, Greene King and St Austell Tribute appear to be the regulars. The beer quality was OK but not outstanding.

On 25th June 2013 - no rating submitted
[User has posted 2299 recommendations about 2130 pubs]


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John Bonser left this review about The Old Fox

The pub is still basically as described below in my original review below of March 2010, but it is starting to look a bit worn and tired in places.

Beers on when I called in last week were St Austells Tribute and Morlands Speckled Hen ( which appear to be the regulars ) plus Church End Fruit Juice and a beer called Priesnitz Plzen from The Malvern Hills Brewery. The pub is listed in the 2013 CAMRA Good Beer Guide.

For some unaccountable reason, a notice telling us that toilets are for customers use only is on the inside of the entrance door, not the outside as you would expect. A surfeit of notices remind us that we’re on CCTV and that “acts of vandalism will be caught on camera”. Despite describing itself as a Theatre Bar, it seems to attract a broad mix of customers, with those in their Sunday best going to a show at the Hippodrome over the road mixing freely with the hoi polloi.

I dare say that I may revisit, but it’s not one of my favourite Birmingham pubs.

Original review – March 2010

Occupying a prominent street corner position opposite The Hippodrome Theatre and on the fringes of the Chinese Quarter. From the outside, we learn that the pub was established in 1891.

The U shaped bar serves two distinct and separate areas - a basic bare boarded front bar and a larger carpeted lounge area with a mixture of traditional seating and sofas. There's some impressive columns and stained glass leaded windows depicting the fox motif. Not surprisingly, framed theatrical posters advertising past performances are plentiful.

Beers on were Tribute - £ 2.75p - plus Beartown Bearly and Slaters The Craic, which I presume was a beer brewed specifically for the forthcoming St Patricks Day, for which the pub was gearing up. There's other pumps in the lounge bar, but these didn't seem to be in use on my visit. The pub is a CAMRA GBG regular.

This is a pleasant enough pub, but the music from the juke box was over loud and, although it's on the way to The Lamp Tavern, I might pass this one by next time

On 14th November 2012 - rating: 6
[User has posted 560 recommendations about 560 pubs]


Please Note: This review is over a year old.


Real Ale Ray left this review about The Old Fox

Always worth a look in as it has some interesting guest ales. It has a good upbeat feel about it, and is very handy for a pre theatre beaverage. Enjoyed a well kept Titanic English Glory.

On 1st July 2012 - rating: 7
[User has posted 2976 recommendations about 2976 pubs]


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Danny O'Revey left this review about The Old Fox

Actually called the Old Fox Theatre Bar, its a strange one this, sometimes it can be good, sometimes seems to have a bit of a desperate feel. Very similar in this respect to the Wetherspooned Dragon next door, though usually if one is bad, the other is good! Perhaps it also depends on what time of day you go.

Described as a theatre bar, it serves the same purpose here to the Hippo as the Victoria does to the Alex, acting as a pre-theatre watering hole and there are theatre posters on the walls.

Its also on the edge of the Chinese and Gay Quarters, so, maybe, despite the emphasis on the theatre stuff, perhaps it is hard to find a true identity? Its a traditional style boozer, with two separate areas, the smaller bar on the corner front and a larger lounge. Its not over comfortable, but it is, when on form, a fine drinking pub that offers enough, especially at this end of town.

Certainly on my visit, on this occasion , it was very pleasant and the beer was on form & was a nice relaxing place to have a drink.

4 real ales, including 2 gueats - Wentworth Chilli and Beartown Bearskinful.

On 21st March 2011 - rating: 7
[User has posted 1281 recommendations about 1258 pubs]

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