Home of the Five Dollar Shake will become 'Manolo' cocktail bar
Santa Chupitos, home of the famous Five Dollar Shake, has closed after 13 years. The dive bar on Slater Street was one of Liverpool’s original independent cocktail bars and the first venue opened by the Graffiti Spirits Group back in 2009.
Since Covid, things have changed drastically for the hospitality industry - there’s been a huge shift in clientele.
Founded by John Ennis and Matt Farrell, GSG Hospitality is one of the North's leading independent hospitality groups with a number of cocktail bars, restaurants and specialty coffee shops, as well as Duke Street Food & Drink Market in Liverpool.
Those both near and far will know of Santa Chupitos as the home of the famous Five Dollar Shake - a heavenly muddle of vodka, Chambord, blueberries and ice cream that ironically costs significantly more than the equivalent of five dollars.
GSG says that moving into the Santa Chupitos building on the corner of Slater Street and Parr Street will be a new concept from Nick Thomas, the owner of Salt Dog Slims. The new project “Manolo” will reflect a cocktail bar with expertly crafted Caribbean cocktails and reimagined classics.
Next door, El Bandito is undergoing a refurb which will upgrade the interior spec. There will also be a new outdoor seating area and new cocktail menu with the venue reopening in August.
The area around Slater Street and Duke Street has seen some extensive building work recently as the new Molo hotel takes shape, incorporating the 130-bedroom Hotel Indigo Liverpool Ropewalks, and the 127-bedroom Holiday Inn Express Liverpool Ropewalks. Due to open in Autumn 2022, the hotels will be operated under franchise from the Intercontinental Hotels Group (IHG).
John Ennis, director of Santa Chupitos, said, “We’re really sad to see Santas go and have loved watching it evolve and welcome thousands of people since we opened in 2009. Since Covid, things have changed drastically for the hospitality industry - there’s been a huge shift in clientele and we recognised that Santas wasn’t trading the way it had done pre-Covid.
“Santas will always be really special to GSG Hospitality as it was our first ever venue and the first independent cocktail bar in the city centre. It was the catalyst for others to open their own venues and we thank everyone for their support. There’s been many good times, lots of new friendships, even marriages and we thank everyone who made that happen and continue to support us all over the city.
John added, "El Bandito was due an upgrade and we’re really excited to reopen Liverpool’s world famous tequileria this summer after a refurb, the introduction of outdoor seating and a new cocktail menu.
"This will give El Bandito another dimension, welcoming al fresco drinking and be a reminder for why El Bandito exists; to spread the good name of agave and that’s what it’ll continue to do."
Nick Thomas, new owner of Manolo, said, “I have been working diligently behind the scenes for years now on some of the ideas and concepts that I want to bring into Manolo. I have been working on lab-based projects and re-designed classic drinks, to what I believe makes a truly unique guest experience. A London hotel bar style service with Caribbean drinks. I can’t wait to get started.”
The rebranding of Santa Chupitos is the latest in a series of closures and new openings for Graffiti Spirits Group. Pizzeria Santa Maluco on Castle Street closed in January 2022, followed by Slims on Bold Street in June - rumour has it that Slims is being replaced with a sports bar similar to Peppercat Sports. GSG recently opened a new branch of Bold Street Coffee inside The Plaza on Old Hall Street, with a new destination restaurant set to join the portfolio soon.
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