Asking Edgar Vera about his forthcoming gallery-showroom-tapas bar-music venue and all-round luxury experience leaves little room for conversation or questions. He’s so clearly passionate about getting it 100% right that he can hardly pause for breath. In fact, it would be reasonably fair to say that most of this article wrote itself as Edgar, who is from Spain, effused and explained about the glamorous venue that he and his Brazilian wife, Ana Rocha, are about to open in The Jewellery Quarter
The pair are in the throes of redeveloping and redesigning the interior of 48 Frederick Street, a Grade II Listed former factory, to provide a brand new cultural, retail and decidedly convivial place to hang out, grab a cocktail, listen to music, eat some tapas, enjoy some art and even buy a thing or two.
It’s a bit difficult to fit Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery into a particular box, but seeing as Edgar and Ana calling it a gallery, we shall do the same. Alongside displaying and selling works from contemporary Latin artists including Vera Montalban. “He and Pablo Picasso are both from Malaga, but instead of spending millions on a painting you can get a Montalban for a few thousand.” Alongside introducing artists to the UK market, the gallery will also showcase vintage goods, antiques, curiosities and even jewellery.
“Most of the jewellers in the JQ close around 5 or 6pm, so the new venue provides the opportunity to buy things later in the day” explains Edgar. If all goes to plan, Ana Rocha Gallery will be open 11-11 Sunday to Thursday, and 12-12 Friday and Saturday. The husband and wife team, who already have plenty of experience running similar ventures abroad, say they’re “looking to bring a London experience to Birmingham” and customers will be able to browse, drink and buy to DJ sets of “the best Ibiza deep house, soft bossanova and other rhythms.”
With Frederick Street serving as one of the main routes into the Jewellery Quarter, linking the neighbourhood’s iconic clock tower junction with Parade and the A457, Edgar and Ana can probably expect a decent amount of footfall. And they’re hoping the project will create around 10 new jobs.
There’s no fixed date for opening yet, and Edgar doesn’t want one. “I’m hoping to open before Christmas, but everything has to be absolutely excellent. If it needs to be January, it needs to be January.” There is a discernable commitment to perfection in Edgar’s voice, in everything he says. The words “second best”, in whatever language, are simply not in his vocabulary.
Ana Rocha Bar & Gallery
48 Frederick Street B1