Food and drink

Eating at the Museum

There are a variety of cafés, pubs and shops around the Museum for you to pick up something to eat or drink while you are enjoying your visit.

Vegetarian, vegan and gluten-free options are available. We try to cater to all dietary requirements; if you have a specific allergy or dietary requirement, please speak to one of our Food and Drink Team before purchasing.

Visitors are also welcome to bring their own picnic to enjoy in the designated outdoor areas of the Museum. Each picnic area has accessible benches available.

Opening hours: 9.30am-5pm.

On entry to the Museum, Café Black Country (situated in our Visitor Centre) has a selection of cakes and sandwiches.

We proudly serve locally-sourced products and UK farmed seasonal fruits and vegetables where possible to reduce our environmental impact.

Opening hours: 10am-5pm, with hot food served 11am-2.30pm.

Enjoy locally-made pork pies, sausage and bacon cobs, and faggots with mushy peas.

The Marsh & Baxter company began with Alfred Marsh purchasing a butcher’s shop in Brierley Hill in 1867. Marsh’s products proved very popular, and he soon expanded by first mechanizing his production process, introducing machinery and refrigeration to the factory to enable production of bacon, sausages, hams and pork pies on an industrial scale, all year round.

In 1912, Marsh took over A.R. Baxter’s meat processing factory in Dale End, Birmingham and another five shops, gained a royal warrant, and rapidly grew into probably the biggest firm of its type in the country – even bigger than its local competitor, Dudley Port’s Palethorpes.

Our shop is set in 1953 and is a replica of the premise in High Street, Brierley Hill. 

Opening hours: 10.30am-4.45pm.

Hobbs’ and Sons Fish & Chip Shop offers traditionally cooked fish and chips in beef dripping (vegetarian and gluten free alternatives are  available upon request).

The building housing Hobbs’ and Sons Fish & Chip Shop comes from Hall Street, Dudley. It dates to the late 1700s but was refaced with bright red pressed brickwork in 1889. 

In the early 1900s, the shop served as a commercial laundry with Joseph Hobbs establishing his chips shop around 1916.

The impressive tiled interior of the chip shop features hand-painted tiled wall panels made by Pilkington’s Tile & Pottery Company, Manchester, that have been carefully restored.

The involvement of the Hobbs family ended in 1976 when Joe’s daughter, Joyce (born 1916) retired. The shop then continued as a Greek kebab shop until 2000, after which it remained unoccupied and derelict until the Museum commenced dismantling the structure in 2006. 

Fish and chips are available to eat-in (in the reconstructed saloon set in 1935) or takeaway. 

On busier days, Village Fried Fish will also be open, serving our traditional fish and chips. However, we are unable to offer vegetarian and gluten free alternatives here. 

Opening hours: 10am-4pm (5pm at weekends and Bank Holidays), with hot food served 11am-3.30pm.

A range of sandwiches, cakes, jacket potatoes and homemade soup, and drinks can be purchased from the Workers’ Institute Café to eat in or take away. Children’s options are also available.

The Cradley Heath Workers’ Institute stands as a monument to the struggle of the women chain makers of Cradley Heath who laid down their tools in 1910 to strike for a living wage, focusing international attention on the plight of Britain’s low paid workers and establishing the principle of a minimum wage.

The Workers’ Institute became a centre for educational meetings, social gatherings and trade union activities. Between 1915-1933, its auditorium opened as a picture house, being known locally as ‘The Stute’.

In 2004, the building was threatened with demolition. The Museum was approached to save it. The take down enabled the original interior layout, which had been obscured by later alterations, to be reinstated.

Opening hours: 10.30am-4.45pm.

If you’re looking for a drink, the Bottle & Glass Inn is available. It serves a range of alcoholic and soft drinks, along with bar snacks and cobs. 

The Bottle & Glass Inn stood originally by the junction of Moor Street and Leys Road on Brierley Hill Road, Buckpool. The exact date of construction is unknown but it was probably built shortly after the canal was cut between 1776 and 1779.

Inside and to the left of the front door is the main bar with a plain wooden counter, scrubbed floor sprinkled with sawdust and cast-iron stove. To the right is the snug. This has a quarry tiled floor, a large open fire place with a high mantle shelf and an original elm settle opposite the window; the back room is a later addition.

Instances of drunkenness and disreputable behaviour punctuate the history of the pub. In1857, Henry Wiggin, the landlord, was fined five shillings for selling alcohol ‘during the hours of divine service’. 

The Hereford and Tredegar Brewery was taken over by Ansells in 1937. They presented the building to the Museum following closure in 1979. Today, it is set in 1915 serving traditional cask conditioned beers.

Please note: we operate a challenge 25 policy on alcohol sales at the Museum.

Opening hours: 10.30am – 4.45pm (restaurant menu available between 11.30am -2pm; 2.30pm on weekends and Bank Holidays).

The Elephant & Castle Pub serves a range of alcoholic and soft drinks. Our restaurant menu is served over lunch time and features a selection of hot and cold menus inspired by Black Country recipes using local suppliers. Children options are also available.

The Elephant & Castle Public House was built in 1905 on the corner of Stafford Street and Cannock Road, Wolverhampton. In 1910, it was sold to Wolverhampton & Dudley Breweries, the largest brewery in the Black Country, and became part of Banks’s pub estate. It was sold off in the 1990s, closed in 2000, and was knocked down in 2001.

The Museum’s recreation is set in 1960. We used a mixture of archived plans, family photographs and bricks salvaged from the site to design the building. We are grateful to former customers, landlords and their families for providing all the information to recreate the inside of the pub.

The pub was a friendly meeting place for people from all over the world. The Black Country was booming and drawing workers from all over the world to meet the labour shortage. Irish workers found work in construction by talking to the right people. Men from India working in nearby foundries met here to reminisce. Caribbean men working at the nearby bus garage met to play dominoes.

Objects we have collected to populate our recreation include Banks’s branded dominoes, trays, glasses, mugs and cards. The fireplace in the smoking room is from a house in Lower Gornal and the Minton tiles in the Cannock Road entrance were collected from a house in Stourbridge. The upstairs bar is from the Gypsy’s Tent in Dudley. Much of the furniture has been donated by Marston’s, current owners of Banks’s.

Please note: we operate a challenge 25 policy on alcohol sales at the Museum.

Opening hours: 10am-5pm.

Enjoy a blast from the past with a selection of 1950s inspired confectionary.

The shop was founded in 1868 by John Burgin, a carpet weaver from Kidderminster who moved to Dudley to become a bookseller and stationer in the 1850s. The shop remained owned by the family until it closed in 2016. At this point it was being run by Cynthia Burgin, John’s grandson’s wife. 

Our shop is set in 1959 and is a replica of the premise in Wolverhampton Street, Dudley. 

Opening hours: 10am-5pm.

Indulge your sweet tooth in T. Cook’s Sweet Shop with a wide selection available, including traditional kali and bonbons. 

Our sweet shop occupies one half of a replica of 48 and 50 Birmingham Street, Oldbury. These two shops were built around 1845. Number 48 has been reconstructed as a traditional sweet shop with a rear work room and named after the shop run by Thomas Cook and his family at 21 Bond Street, Dudley, from 1871-1901.

Our sweet shop is set around 1900.

Opening hours: 10am-5pm.

A selection of baked goods are available to purchase from Veal’s Baker Shop. 

Veal’s Baker Shop was based at 50 Birmingham Street, Oldbury, from the 1870s. George Veal, a confectioner, bought the shop in 1879. After his death, in 1884, his wife married Arthur Smith and the property remained in the family until the 1920s.

The shop window lettering for ‘Veal, Cadbury’s and Fry’s chocolate’, together with the royal arms denoting the royal warrants these two makers held, is a replica of the original lettering that was made of enamelled copper and puttied to the window glass.

Today, our shop is set around 1900. 

Opening hours: 10am-3.30pm.

At different times of the year we will have a number of huts open selling seasonal food and drink items, such as ice creams in the summer and stew in the winter. These can be found in locations across the Museum, including in Hobbs’ and Sons Fish & Chip Shop, Workers’ Institute Café, the Fairground, and Boat Dock.