The open-nows and the coming-soons ready to spice up your agenda
The Liverpool food and drink scene just keeps on expanding and you know what that means. Yep, we’re back with yet another round-up of new bars and restaurants for you to hit up.
Summer 2022 will be the first proper summer of freedom (fingers, toes and eyes all crossed) since the you-know-what and we’re here to make sure you do it good ’n’ proper. From a brand-new six-storey experiential department store to Liverpool’s smallest bar, there’s plenty of fresh meat (and meat alternatives) to sink your teeth into.
Run out of annual leave already? Fear not for there’s a new taste of Italy in town and you won’t need a passenger locator form to get your slice of the action. Cantina e Cucina brings authentic Italian cuisine to Smithdown Road with a selection of rustic dishes and Italian wines. These join a traditional menu that has already made it into the top 30 of Liverpool’s 1500+ restaurants. So if you’re trundling along Smithdown Road, don’t walk by this modest facade - step inside to experience the converted barn-style, Mediterranean decor and coveted eats.
Big Lola’s has been a Duke Street Food & Drink Market favourite for a wee while now but guess what? They’ve only gone and bagged their very own taco shop and takeaway on Smithdown Road. Catch ‘em there soon for Mexican classics with ALL the trimmings.
Our very own Mancunian counterparts at Manchester Confidential dubbed Hawksmoor “the best steakhouse in the North” and we aren’t about to argue with them. That said, Liverpool dwellers can come to their own verdict as the upmarket steak restaurant is set to open in the city later this year. Expect the same premium beef dishes, ethically-sourced seafood and award-winning cocktails, high balls and fizzes in spectacular listed surroundings. Hawksmoor is the home of simple done well - but only well done if that’s how you like your rump. Ooh, matron!
Goodbye Pizza Express, hello Capeesh. Pacific Chambers is a grand building built circa 1927/28 that features an Italian renaissance facade in Portland Stone. A fitting location for new venture Capeesh, which will offer a flame grill menu alongside traditional Neapolitan wood fired pizzas. The restaurant has had a bit of a makeover, with a new mezzanine floor that overlooks the bar and dining area, as well as an open kitchen and private dining room.
Just when you thought Liverpool didn’t need another sports bar, you go and get all excited about this brand new gaff. First name: Cheers, last name: Big Ears - the latest addition to Pub Invest Group’s portfolio, joining the likes of LA’GO, Soho and Moloko. This place promises chill vibes during the day and maximum fun of a weekend in the form of cocktails, DJs, deep-dish pizza and speciality chicken plates. Cheers will also be home to Tops Dart Bar - an interactive sports concept offering state-of-the-art digital games. Look out for the giant elephant mural - you can’t miss it. Ears of all shapes and sizes welcome.
Brains behind premium party pads across the city, U-Stay is going “bigger and bolder” than ever for 2022, launching the new Bling Aparthotel on Hanover Street but a stone’s throw from shopping, drinking and dining. Each of the luxuriously-decorated apartments follows the theme of popular cities around the globe, from Tokyo to NYC, also including the Liverpool Penthouse Suite, rigged and ready for 24 guests. Brings a whole new meaning to "one night in Paris" really, doesn’t it?
Later this year Flannels will cut the red ribbon on a brand-new, six-storey store in the landmark Owen Owen building, which is steeped in department store history. Flannels' flagship will bring an experiential twist on the classic department stores of the building’s past, combining luxury retail with premium hospitality. On the ground floor will be Bacino, a contemporary Italian restaurant serving high-quality food and drink from dawn ’til late. The all-day menu will include brunch classics, pizza, pasta, aperitivo cocktails, coffee, dessert and wine, all served in fabulous surroundings. Well, it was never going to be a greasy spoon for Flannels, was it?
Mann Island is welcoming a brand new riverside bar and restaurant to its iconic waterfront location. The venue will pay homage to Liverpool’s historic connection to Canada with a food and drink experience that combines heritage and hospitality. The name itself resurrects the dockside town that existed more than 100 years ago where the venue will be situated, at what “feels like the crosswords of the world” according to owner, Iain Hoskins. Expect subtle nautical design, plenty of reclaimed wood and a focus on fresh produce.
Family-run, homestyle cooking, with recipes refined on the streets of Hanoi by Mama Hong. The tagline for this Vietnamese cafe is “a little bowl of pho” but what you really need to order here is the banh mi - French-inspired Vietnamese sandwiches. It’s basically a baguette but the fillings make it. The OG pork sandwich is filled with ham and grilled pork, pate, sriracha mayo, fresh herbs and special banh mi sauce. The summer rolls, bubble tea and iced Vietnamese coffee are worth a visit alone.
Escape to the Polynesian Islands by way of Seel Street with a trip to new Southern Pacific Island-themed bar, Tiki Bao. Ticking all of the tiki traditions off the list, the rooftop of Butter and The Highball Club has got tropical vibes in abundance, Bamboo-clad furniture, a hula girl mural and of course, cocktails served in coconut shells. Don’t forget to pick up the Tiki Bao Polaroid camera and leave photographic evidence of your Zombie-fuelled antics on the wall.
Three Dollar Bill comes from the team behind one of Wirral’s most popular restaurants, Burger Joe. Detroit-style pizza is the name of the game here; square pan pizza with a crispy base, chewy cheesy crust and the sauce over the top of the cheese. The name comes from the "Detroit Cheers", a community currency recognised by the Bank of America, which was only available in three dollar bill denominations. Order the sausage pizza with nduja, jalapeño, fresh basil, marinara, and oodles of cheese, with a side of garlic herb tots. Boom.
Another Detroit-style pizza joint but this one comes from the team behind Invisiburger at the Invisible Wind Factory. Pizzas include SaltNPeppa (Scouse and pepper chicken, pepper and onion salsa, lime and coriander mayo), Horny Onion (goat’s cheese, caramelised onion, cracked black pepper) and the signature Hot Mess (margo loaded with pepperoni, fresh jalapenos and chilli honey.) Pick your dipping sauce and add on sides; soy and honey halloumi, jalapeno and mango bites, or Bombay frickles. Hot Mess, indeed.
Potatoes are a universal language of love. No matter where you are in the world, everybody can bond over a good spud. Liverpool’s potato portfolio just got an upgrade as Friesday brings its signature triple-cooked Belgian fries to Duke Street. Load your fries up with a selection of meat, veggie and vegan toppings, including jerk chicken and an authentic Belgian Adalouse sauce. If you’re feeling particularly peckish, there’s always the Friesday burger nestled in a soft brioche bun. Wash it all down by cracking open a cold can of Chocomel.
If you find yourself strolling down a cobbled street somewhere between Rodney Street and Hardman Street, keep your peepers peeled for what is quite possibly Liverpool’s smallest bar. More specifically, you’ll find it on Baltimore Street, which is where the family-friendly venue gets its name. Expect cafe vibes during the day and a laidback bar ambience during evenings and weekends, as well as live music, quiz nights, movie screenings and a bar well-stocked with all the usual suspects.
Brand-new brewhouse and tap room, Azvex Brewing is opening on the waterfront just in time for the warm weather. The 6,700 sq ft space in King Edward Triangle has been fully renovated by seasoned brewer, Adam Henderson to accommodate the large-scale brewery and bar. Bevs include seasonal beers brewed on-site, cider, wine, gin and soft drinks. The renovation also allowed for on-site parking but remember, kids, don’t drink and drive - it’s not big and it’s not clever.
A family run deli from Seoul, located in Liverpool that serves authentic Korean food. Moiim - pronounced ‘moe-eem’ - means to gather, which is what this family-run deli aims to nail with its food. From vegan japchae to kimchi pork ribs and chicken gangjeong, bento boxes and bali bundles - the menu has loads of authentic dishes to eat in or takeaway. Keep your pecker up with Korean ginseng chicken, a popular summer stamina food.
The rapidly growing American dining brand Slim Chickens says its ethos is all about bringing fresh, handmade food as well as a dose of southern hospitality. The flagship site at Liverpool ONE will span 5,000 sq ft on The Terrace, including an al-fresco dining area. The new site will offer the brand’s full menu, including their signature buttermilk marinated, hand-breaded and cooked-to-order chicken tenders. Clucking good fun.
Since opening on Woolton Road, Fika coffee shop has developed a loyal following for its traditional Scandinavian delicacies. Anthony Grice’s second branch is now open at Liverpool Watersports Centre and the menu includes old favourites like cinnamon rolls as well as milkshakes, smoothies, and iced coffee; all perfect for sunny days down the dock.
From the guys behind The Workshop and Ophelia’s in Waterloo, comes Duke & Duke; a modern grill restaurant specialising in dry aged prime steaks and fresh seafood. Serving brunch, lunch and dinner with a menu packed full of local produce, the centrepiece of this 80-cover restaurant is a Spanish Mibrasa charcoal oven.
The name sounds a bit like a top shelf magazine, but Roles & Holes is in fact a pop-up bakery from Mark Lutton of Great British Bake Off fame. With freshly baked cinnamon rolls and donuts flying out like hotcakes, you’ll want to get there early to bag some of Mark’s freshly baked treats. Try the vegan cinnamon roll, filled with cinnamon sugar and covered in a vegan cream cheese glaze. It’s what weekends were made for.
“The crème de la crème of garden sheds” is how our reviewer described The Watering Can in Greenbank Park. This place has long been wowing visitors with its eclectic offering of breakfast, cakes and cocktails, in a lovely building that manages to blend seamlessly with its leafy surroundings. What can we expect from the new venture, “The Wheelbarrow”? Not much info on this so far, but Instagram suggests it’s going to be at Greenbank Sports Academy. One to keep your eye on.
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