For over 30 years, The Black Country has been quietly incubating a revolution in the pub trade known as ‘Desi pub’ local curry pubs or Asian pubs’.


It’s an East meets West story, where the classic English pub with its ales, dart, dominos & sports meets Punjabi food and Bhangra music. Asian landlords have been salvaging the struggling pub trade by reinventing failed pubs as independent businesses reaching out to a wide range of customers from the Black Country’s diverse communities. What started as a safe-haven for young Asian pub goes in the 70s has blossomed into a unique Black Country success story.

Six local artists will create bespoke artworks with eight Desi Pubs, working closely with the landlords, staff and regulars to reflect the Desi pub story and how they have redefined Black Country pub culture.
Artists Steven Cartwright, Jagdish Patel, Michael Piper, Anand Chhabra & Sarvjit Sra and Caroline Jariwala join the project which will culminate in an exhibition in May, a documentary and more.

‘Desi pubs’ is a fantastic story for the Black Country! Pubs now in the hands of many South Asian landlords represent the changing landscape of the Black Country and yet they serve all sections of their communities. Black Country Visual Arts is very happy to photograph and document the rise of the ‘Desi pub’. As a feature project, utilising photographic art that communicates the truth of this story and its history is perfect for the project! – Anand @ BCVA, Desi pubs project artist.

Senna Chair of The Midland Pub Association told us ‘we are really excited to be involved in this. Our members have worked hard to build their businesses and have great relationships with their customers. To have such talented artists value this and use their incredible talent tell the story of the ‘Desi pubs’ and bring people together in this way is an honour and an amazing opportunity for the pubs’. 
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