After their successful crowdfunding campaign, Megan Walsh discovers there’s now much more to this Bold Street favourite
To us locals, Bold Street Coffee is a quintessential piece of the Bold Street tapestry. For almost a decade, BSC has saved our souls from countless hangovers, deadlines and rainy days in the city. So, when its doors were forced to close last year due to an expired lease and emergency maintenance issues, coffee lovers were bereft.
It felt slightly bizarre to be tucking into a gourmet beef dish just elbows away from a man enjoying some quiet reading over coffee and cake
Thankfully though, after a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign, in which £35,000 was raised by over 800 backers, our go-to coffee spot is back – and this time it’s bolder than ever with a brand-new evening menu Thursdays-Sundays from 6pm.
I don’t really know what I expected from the menu, but at first glance it was a little bit all over the place so we were unable to decipher if this was casual dining or an a la carte affair.
Confused, ravenous and dying for a bevy, we each ordered a large glass of Samurai Shiraz (£6.50) and a bowl of Nocellara olives (£3.50) to share while we solved the menu enigma.
Nothing really jumped off the page so we decided we’d go down the route of ‘a few picky bits’ with the exception of the coffee-braised beef feather blade (£13.50), which was the only dish you couldn’t order in a smaller size.
First, chorizo braised in marsala wine and balsamic (£6), which came highly recommended by our dutiful waiter. We ordered them purely because his enthusiasm made us curious about what could be so bloody good about them. Which, as it turns out, was quite a lot.
Far removed from the tough coins of fried sausage you often see; these chorizos were like bullet-sized bites of paprika-flavoured cloud. We couldn’t get enough of them.
Like a pair of savages, we scooped up remnants of sticky-sweet sauce with rough cuts of focaccia (£4.20), fostering the same enthusiasm we’d been so cynical about before.
Salmon (£7) was the last of our small plates. It was faultless but felt more like a fancy main course and didn’t quite fit the casual dining vibe. But that didn’t matter I suppose, because now we were in main course territory. The braised beef was a treat and a solid way to end a rather disordered meal; punchy hits of bitter coffee and sweet, slow-cooked meat balanced out by a chunk of crispy polenta.
If I’m being honest though, it felt slightly bizarre to be tucking into a gourmet beef dish just elbows away from a man enjoying some quiet reading over coffee and cake. The light evening probably didn’t help matters either because the coffee shop atmosphere seemed unable to make the switch to a laidback bistro, making us feel slightly out of place. To fit the status quo, after we’d finished our food, we ordered a couple of Americanos (£2.60) – because the coffee here is still the best in town.
Bold Street Coffee’s new evening concept could be something great, but there’s something missing, and it’s got nothing to do with the food.
Rembrandt once said: “Without atmosphere a painting is nothing,” and the same applies to dining. What the place needs is people. And that’s really down to us.
Over 800 of us forked over our cash to save the soul of Bold Street Coffee, the same way its saved ours so many times. But now it’s time to put your money where your mouth is and get yourself down there.
You might not know it yet, but I want to be the first to shout about it: Bold Street Coffee is on to a winner. You just need to wake up and smell the coffee.
Bold Street Coffee, 89 Bold St, Liverpool L1 4HF
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All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, paid for by Confidential and completely independent of any commercial relationship. Venues are rated against the best examples of their type: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: Netflix and chill, 10-11: if you're passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: cooked by God him/herself.
Olives, Chorizo 8, Bread 5, Salmon 7, Beef 8.
Dutiful and enthusiastic
Too much coffee bean, not enough bistro