Tag Archives: James Henry Cook

Vegetarian Roots

Inspired by National Vegetarian Week in May, we wanted to introduce readers to the Pitman Vegetarian Restaurant and Hotel which was located on Corporation Street, Birmingham, and opened in the late 19th century. Unusually for the city, the building has not been demolished and its fine frieze of diners above the ground floor, designed by Benjamin Creswick, can still be admired.


Pitman Buildings. Home to the 19th century vegetarian restaurant. (C) Fiona Tait

The Hotel was opened in 1898 as an expansion of the vegetarian restaurant on the same site, which had opened in 1896. The building was named after Sir Isaac Pitman (of ‘shorthand’ fame), who was at that time vice-president of the Vegetarian Society.The proprietor of both restaurant and hotel was James Henry Cook.

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