Opened on the 11th of November 2011, Ort Café is situated in Grade II listed The Old Print Works on the Moseley Road – opposite the (also listed) Balsall Heath swimming baths.
A self described ‘community café’, Ort has a fully licensed downstairs bar* & pescatarian eatery**, with a matching gallery premises upstairs.
A constant event & exhibition programme fills both spaces with local/touring artists, language lessons, live music, films, workshops & talks. Ort Café is open and active 6 days of the week – tell me WHY, they don’t like Mondays.
Populated by (and actively catering for) a variety of people, Ort Café has a familiar and friendly atmosphere – run and managed by Josephine Reichert & Ridhi Kalaria.
Open to community groups and running subsidised meeting & display spaces, Ort Café welcomes ‘activities without consumption’, building a ‘space where people can drop by without having to purchase anything’.
And they’re productive with it too, reinvesting much of their profits back into a rich event & exhibition calendar – one that has introduced Birmingham Review to some deservedly well lauded musicians.
Ort Cafe is one of the first venues Birmingham Review checks when compiling our monthly listings. Even if you don’t know who they are, if they’re booked at Ort Cafe, chances are they’ll be worth finding out.
*Ort Café is fully licensed to serve alcohol until 11pm on weeknights & Sundays, and 1am on Fridays & Saturdays.
**Serving food until 8pm every night, except the Breakfast & the Sunday Roast which are served until 6pm.
500-504 Moseley Road,
Tel: 07845 083 322
Email / general: firstname.lastname@example.org
Email / bookings: email@example.com
For further information, menus, listings & details on space hire at Ort Café, visit http://ortcafe.co.uk
For the official Ort Cafe Trailer, click here or on the logo to the left
I’d heard about Ort Café long before I first went to see it, reviewing Louise Petit in August 2013. I was on my own, tired, and hoping to just sink into the back of the room. I remember getting a glass of wine in a mug and feeling immediately at ease.
Ort Café appears to have been thrown together with love, and is run with seemingly inexhaustible patience. The doors-open-to-all policy, especially if you just want to sit-and-not-buy, is one I’d not manage very well.
But Ort has struck a balance between meeting its self set social agenda and a sustainable business model. Not an easy feat. And I could be wrong of course, with the shards of violently thrown crockery still decorating the kitchen, but its feels this way to me.
The furnishings are soft, rustic and comfortable – begged, borrowed or otherwise. The menu is non-pretentious and homemade. There’s a foosball table, old leather, a door that one day I’ll remember you slide to open. They show live bands, solo artists and screenings of Harold & Maude. Ort is both a ‘community’ and ‘not a heath food’ café.
Plus, and this is really the point, Ort Cafe‘s programme of events is excellent – from philosophy discussions to touring Folk artists, there is a lot worth paying for and attention to.
So Ort works, where so many others with similar agendas have failed, because it actually delivers; an ideological venture that’s commercially worth every penny, pound & act of good will.
Stick that in your community peace pipe, gawd bless ’em.