LIVERPOOL is now beating London for bar, cafe and restaurant openings - and the icing on the cake? People can actually afford to live here and go to them.

The latest to arrive is Be At One which started life in Battersea Rise, 18 years ago, when the word "gentrification" was yet to enter the metropolitan vocabulary and here, the decaying warehouses behind Bold Street were still being bought and sold for a quid.

Now the Ropewalks area is hot, hot, hot with multi million pound developments and conversions, and cocktails and concepts are king.

Be At One opens in Seel Street, directly opposite Liverpool's favourite watering hole, the Kazimier Garden, next month.

Boasting a mind boggling menu of over 160 cocktails, this is the 31st Be At One to open and the 13th outside the capital.

The idea was conceived in 1998 by three bartenders, Steve Locke, Rhys Oldfield and Leigh Miller.

Heralding the Seel Street arrival, Locke says: "Liverpool has been on our radar for some years now and we have been waiting for the perfect venue and we are really excited to launch here in this great city in July."

"We have discovered a superb space for the 31st Be At One. The site has an outdoor redbrick courtyard that will add a whole new dimension to our cocktail bar offering, bringing a real cocktail bar experience in space filled with character. We can't wait to open."

Be At One's arrival in Liverpool joins a list of others as the city's food and drink sector expands rapidly. Research carried out by AlixPartners and CGA Peach, measuring British pub, bar and restaurant openings, recognised that restaurants and cafes in Liverpool have increased by 17.1 percent over the last five years, trumping London's 13.4 percent.

The cocktail bar's arrival will create 20 new jobs in the city and the team, say Be At One are "all home-grown talents hired for their party-loving personalities and passion for their hometown".

Steve Locke added: "We are very focused on providing a world class guest experience, which we deliver through our bartenders, in-house training and an extensive range of cocktails."

*Be At One opens on Friday July 15 at 13-21 Seel Street.



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