The people behind happening Ropewalks dives Salt Dog Slims and Santa Chupitos are going downtown to breathe some fumes and new life into the business district.

Grafitti Spirits Group have their eyes on the former Starbucks on Castle Street which was suddenly abandoned three years ago. 

They have submitted plans to Liverpool council to bring the Grade II listed building back into use as a rodizio pizzeria, which means all-you-can-eat meatball feasts to meet the yearning gaze of those overlooking it in the Town Hall, opposite

Matthew Farrell (pictured top, right, with co-director John Ennis) one of the partners behind the independent group which also owns El Bandito, 81 Ltd and Slim’s Pork Chop Express, revealed the sixth outlet would be called Santa Maluco.

He said: “Thankfully, we’ve been able to reach agreement on this landmark Grade II listed building which will add a layer of fresh, unconventional independence in the form of Santa Maluco, a rodizio pizzeria.

“We know from feedback amongst our target audience too that the business district is crying out for what we’ve been offering guests on the L1 circuit.” 

The area around the Town Hall, part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site with some of the finest mercantile buildings in the UK, has fallen out of favour in recent years, with many offices standing empty owing to a variety of technical, logistical and economic issues. Night time footfall has also suffered with one-time hits such as The Living Room and The Newz Bar shutting up shop as their punters headed across town and away from the tired, after work, Scally MacBeal formula.

But as the Ropewalks area becomes saturated with bars and bigger developers determined to muscle in for a slice of the uptown action, L2 is once again becoming an attractive colony and, as the owners of Jenny's Bar perhaps would attest, a fresher, more switched on approach does have a lot going for it.

Moves to turn Exchange Flags into a Mersey Spinningfields are still in the relatively early stages, but with Neighbourhood going into the vacated 62 Castle Street and the Cunard building set to accommodate Aiden Byrne and Australasia, it may not be long before the tumbleweed is chased back into the sea. 

Who knows? Somebody may even find a use for Amanzi, the former NEWZ Bar, after all. How about someone having a go at the empty Heathcotes/Home, on Beetham Plaza, one more time?  And of course not forgetting Herbert's Champu...

Santa Maluco is expected to open in January.