Capeesh Bar and Grill has already attracted a few celebrity visitors
Take a wander down Victoria Street and the first thing that hits you - hopefully, not literally, unless you’ve had one too many in The Lisbon - is the shiny new pavements. This was one of the first roads to be overhauled in the council’s £47m city centre connectivity scheme and aside from the new rusty-looking multi-storey car park (which used to be a tree-lined open air car park), it all looks much better.
We knew she was coming, and we had a few ideas for off-menu pizza specials, so we thought why not start with that?
Compared to Liverpool’s 800-year history, Victoria Street is actually a bit of a new kid on the block. Built in 1868, it contained everything from fruit and veg sellers to banks, railway companies, newspaper printing presses and the General Post Office.
Businesses change but the hustle and bustle of the street remains. Opened in July of this year, Capeesh Bar & Grill moved into the iconic Pacific Chambers at 11-13 Victoria Street, bringing a new dining experience to the city.
A former bank, the building itself dates to 1927/1928, designed by George Hastwell Grayson and Leonard Barnish. The design draws on Italian Renaissance and early 20th century American commercial architecture, which had a strong influence in Liverpool.
The style of the building was at the forefront of the design and build process for Capeesh. Award-winning North West based firm, Four Architects, spear-headed the design to bring the Capeesh team’s vision to life and revive the already stunning elements of this grand building. The Art Deco inspired interior, combined with high ceilings and a new mezzanine has created a stunning space which sets the tone for this new hospitality venture.
Peter Freeman, reservations manager at Capeesh, says the new role was just what he was looking for.
“This is very different to the other side of town,” says Peter. “It’s always been more of a relaxed kind of atmosphere. So that’s what interested me.
“It was something new for me and everyone here is very susceptible to change. That’s a really big thing. With it being a new business, it's still evolving.
“This is the place to go, you’ve got wine bars, distilleries. Castle Street is booming and there’s more coming. It’s becoming a popular place.”
It’s quite swish inside Capeesh; the interior has been given a makeover since Pizza Express was here and the introduction of a new mezzanine level opens the space up. The restaurant is open for lunch, dinner and drinks, as well as a Sunday roast, Ladies Night, and other special events in the pipeline.
“We're a pretty big site,” says Peter. “We do about 150 covers, we’ve always got space and we do keep tables for walk-ins. But we are busy on the weekends now so it’s a good idea to book in advance.”
With a menu of grill dishes, salads and Neapolitan style pizzas from a wood-fired oven (made by Italian chef, Flavio) the Capeesh team aims to deliver exceptional food and service to match.
Starters include burrata and parma ham; garlic and herb prawns with pesto; and calamari with citrus mayo. From the grill - fillet, rump, sirloin and ribeye steak; a chateaubriand sharer; BBQ ribs; grilled chicken; and the Capeesh vegan burger. For dessert, chocolate brownie with vanilla gelato; sticky toffee pavlova; tiramisu and plenty of fresh gelato and sorbets.
But it’s the wood-fired pizzas and calzone that are earning Capeesh a reputation, even managing to catch the attention of UFC fighter Molly “Meatball” McCann. What do you do when Meatball Molly walks into your restaurant? You make her her own pizza, of course.
“We knew she was coming, and we had a few ideas for off-menu pizza specials, so we thought why not start with that?” says Peter. “So, we made the Meatball Molly pizza. She tried it and liked it.”
Peter says they’ve got plans for more one-off pizza specials that stretch the imagination. What are the odds on a Paddy The Baddy pizza popping up on the menu?
Peter says, “I feel like we might need to do one for Paddy now because if he finds out that Molly’s got one and he hasn’t he might have something to say about it.”
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