Welcome to Ort! Ort is an art and community cafe and bar. You can find out all about Ort here! This is the place where you can keep up-to-date with our events, parties, exhibitions, skills-exchange, readings, discussions etc.

We’d love to hear from you! Email us:  info@ortcafe.co.uk or pop in and say hello!

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Ort Gallery (upstairs from Ort Cafe) can be hired out for a variety of purposes:

  • Meeting Rooms
  • Film Shoots
  • Exhibitions
  • AGMs and Conventions
  • Rehearsals
  • Studio use
  • more

The cost for hire is £6 per hour, rates can be negotiated if the space is needed for a longer period of time. Catering by Ort Cafe available. Please e-mail info@ortgallery.co.uk for more information.

We are housed in The Old Print Works a grade II listed building with studio spaces for artists, designer makers and other creative people. If you are interested in getting a studio space or hiring a venue from The Old Print Works please e-mail Jude Greenwood at jude@springtolife.org. Please only contact us about hiring out the cafe space.


What do other people say about us?

“Ort cafe is one of the best places in Birmingham to have an experience. Featuring music, performances, art and workshops, Ort is an unusually comforable backdrop for a whole host of interesting events and people. For being so incredibly hip, the staff and customers are all incredibly warm, friendly and down to Earth.” – Jessica on Yelp

“This really is far more of an arts community than a cafe, and for that it’s great!” – Caroline on Yelp

“I think that Ort deserves support because of what it’s doing for the local community. The world would be a better place if there was an Ort style cafe in every area.” – John on Yelp

“If you’ve not been to Ort yet, you’re missing out…” – Leon on Facebook

Read more here: YelpDine Birmingham | We Love Balsall Heath


ORT is a cafe, a wine bar, a real ale bar, a live music venue, a great night out in Birmingham, a Jazz venue, a gallery, an exhibition space, a vegetarian food specialist offering Vegan and Gluten-Free options, an inexpensive place to eat, drink and enjoy events, a comedy venue, a place to buy handmade gifts, a place to spend an afternoon, family and child friendly, a place to meet new people and a place to learn a new language, to discuss philosophy, science and share skills and so much more…

Our Story

ORT opened on the 11/11/11, an art and community café and bar space in Balsall Heath, ORT is aimed at the local community of residents, artists, art enthusiasts, young people, students, tourists and Birmingham lovers. Ort is run by Josephine Reichert and Ridhi Kalaria as well as some valuable members of the team.
ORT functions as a café during the daytime and a bar at night, serving a variety of hot and cold drinks, with and without alcohol, cakes and cooked food. ORT is a pescatarian cafe cooking with fresh vegetables that are in season and on occasion preparing dishes containing fish. We can cater for people with special dietary needs, however, we are not a health food cafe. We NOW have Gluten Free options on nearly all our menu options so please make sure you ask for it! Please bear in mind that we are not professional chefs but young people passionate about healthy home-cooked affordable food for which we source ingredients locally. We are not a chain restaurant but an independent business, which means that we have a personal and friendly relationship with our customers. Moreover, we aim to minimise waste using a compost system and recycling all recyclable waste. We have very little food waste and aim to keep this to a minimum.
ORT is also a community place where people can gain access to information about the area and events, meet new people, gain new knowledge and skills, through a skills exchange programme and access events held at ORT by the community itself. The events held at ORT by the community are mainly cultural sessions that take the shape of language sessions, critical discussions on literature, philosophy, art and the sciences, art workshops, skills exchanges, salons, readings, social development and skills development through workshops and business advice.
Moreover, ORT provides free space for meetings and there also is a gallery space within the cafe that allows people to exhibit their work free of charge. ORT is a space that is open 6 days of the week giving people a constant point to come to in the Balsall Heath area. We are a business with a strong non-for-profit methodology using cafe profits towards organising more events and maintaining the space as a community centre. ORT is a space where people can drop by without having to purchase anything; they can take part in activities without consumption. We love the diversity of Birmingham and want to maintain it. We believe that a place like ORT was missing in this area and with such an eclectic array of people, we are passionate about sustaining this project for years to come.

Pam Ayres Visits Ort
(Ode for Ort’s 2nd Anniversary)

I wandered lonely into Ort
Saw soft settees and wooden tables
Chairs unmatched and thwn methought
It seemed to be the stuff of fables.

In came folk in ones and twos
Through sliding doors to keep out cold
Read the chalkboard: what to choose
Welcomed warm into the fold.

They might yet not know a single face
But once cosy settled on the settle
Know this could well become the place
To keep them in fine fettle.

Warming air with spicy hint
Of tastes to come of pure delight
Sight of pumpkin; smell of mint
Pervade the senses: what a sight
For weary eyes accustomed to the trend
Of coffee bars all sleek and slick
Of which there seem to be no end

But here! Hello: a friendly spot
Not easy to define; a tasty stew
Of mingled flavour;a melting pot
Where all add savour to the brew.

Ah Ort!; the German word for place
You bring a smile to stranger’s face.

Cafe Ort
by Gary Longden
Where ink once mixed in chemical alchemy
Folk and ideas now flow
They come and go
In babbling chatter
Of this and that
Of what does and doesn’t matterSome talk of Plato
Others of Descartes
Or come just to think
But not of ink, anymoreTo pontificate, about who or what they rated
Whilst hunger and thirst are satisfyingly sated
Did the Sexy Weirdos live up to their name last night?
Was Johnny Kowalski a bit of alright?

Or did he pass beyond vanishing point?