Jonathan Schofield is alone in a big beer hall with a burger

What: Einstein Bierhaus

Where: Fleet Street/Concert Square

Food/Drink type: Burgers, chicken wings, loaded fries, kebabs, spaghetti

When: Fri-Sat 12pm-4am, Sun 12pm-3am, Mon-Thurs 4pm-3pm 

Independent or chain: Chain, part of the Pub Invest Group

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A handsome exterior Images: Confidentials
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Einstein Bier Haus entrance Images: Confidentials

Decor and mood

Massive. About the size of Belgium. This former nineteenth century warehouse is handsome on the outside and overlooks Concert Square. Not sure what the original owners would think of the wild revelry of a contemporary Saturday night in Liverpool: those Dickie Sams off the ships back in the day would have loved it though. 

On a recent Tuesday early evening the area was quiet, very quiet. The impressive interior of Einstein Bier Haus was even quieter. Despite the Teutonic-sounding name it's not particularly German-themed, not in the way Albert's Schloss hams it up. For those who miss that sort of stuff though there's signage such as 'Dickhardstrasse' in Einstein Bier Haus, which is surely the wittiest thing ever written in any bar anywhere.

Einstein Bier Haus needs a weekend evening to help fill it or a big sporting event. There are two levels, three if you include a roof terrace. The centre is a big void dominated by a large screen at one end. This is where the scale of the place is really impressive. 

On my visit ex-referee Howard Webb was talking through the latest VAR controversy. His face on the screen resembled some Big Brother dictator browbeating citizens except Webb was wondering if the foul started outside the penalty area with a shirt pull. 

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Howard Webb's big head in the big hall Image: Confidentials

And now for some food

Einstein has a capacity of 1,200 for those big matches and weekend nights. At 5.30pm on Tuesday there was nobody else in the venue aside from me. I'm quite tall and need to lose a stone in weight but even standing akimbo I wasn't close to filling the place.

At least I could fill myself.

I wish I hadn't had the chicken strips (£6.50) with salt and pepper seasoning. These were ugly little things; hard as nails, chewy and nasty with hardly any flavour aside from a vague hint of fowl. Howard Webb would have seen these as a foul against fowl. 

The Einstein burger (£12.45) was good though. It came on a brioche bun, with 8oz of meat, bacon, cheese plus lettuce, red onion and tomato. Chips came with the price of the burger. These were on the dryside but that was remedied with a liberal dousing of malt vinegar. 

The fat slices of beef tomatoes added loads of moisture and the lettuce was a welcome counterbalance to the meat and the bacon. All in all this was a satisfying and sizeable portion of nosh that exactly did fill me up.

Not sure what other people think but brioche buns for burgers are a curious choice. Agreed, they add a certain lightness and grace but after about three minutes the bun gives up and dissolves into mush. 

After the burger I felt I needed something else, something sweet to freshen the palate. I asked for ice cream, they didn't have any, but I was directed to an operator round the corner on Bold Street. 

A note about the service. It was thoroughly charming and very helpful. 

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The Einstein burger Image: Confidentials
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Chicken strips from chewy hell Image: Confidentials

Judgement Day

I'll probably come back on a match day when the place is buzzing. Einstein Bier Haus is undeniably impressive and looks a great place to watch a game with that massive screen dominating proceedings. 

The food is functional and designed for the drinking classes but the burger showed it can be delivered well. The name Einstein Bier Haus is more a pun on one stein of beer (the venue serves steins) rather than reference to the eminent theoretical physicist. There's shisha pipes too which seems odd plus loads of events and games such as shuffleboard, pool and beer pong. It all sounds very jolly. 

The scores

All scored reviews are unannounced, impartial, and ALWAYS paid for by and completely independent of any commercial relationship. They are a first-person account of one visit by one, knowledgeable restaurant reviewer and don't represent the company as a whole.

If you want to see the receipt as proof this magazine paid for the meal then a copy will be available upon request. Or maybe ask the restaurant.

Venues are rated against the best examples of their type. What we mean by this is a restaurant which aspires to be fine dining is measured against other fine dining restaurants, a mid-range restaurant against other mid-range restaurants, a pizzeria against other pizzerias, a teashop against other teashops, a KFC against the contents of your bin. You get the message.

Given the above, this is how we score: 1-5: saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9: sigh and shake your head, 10-11: if you’re passing, 12-13: good, 14-15: very good, 16-17: excellent, 18-19: pure class, 20: nothing's that good is it?

  • Burger 7, chicken strips 4 5.5/10

  • Service 4/5

  • Ambience 3/5

    Hard to judge given the day I went but even empty there was an impressive qualtity