New food market is a step in the right direction, but we need a long-term road to recovery

IN this week's Budget, the Chancellor announced a £22m cash injection for Liverpool’s waterfront, including funding for a new global visitor attraction, and the redevelopment of Tate Liverpool and National Museums Liverpool.

Renshaw Street is a lost highway dotted with hidden gems that remain defiant

Liverpool was recently announced as the third most popular UK city by Condé Nast Traveler, only behind the capital cities of London and Edinburgh. Of course, the waterfront plays a huge part in this. It is iconic, and now that we’ve lost UNESCO World Heritage Status it’s only right that we look at how to improve its offering.

But what about the city centre?

Renshaw Street Liverpool Derelict Buildings3
Derelict buildings on Renshaw Street

After the contractor behind the Lime Street development (NMCN Ltd) went into administration, the council says that it hopes the scheme will be completed before the start of Spring 2022. In the meantime, any visitors getting off the train at Lime Street Station will need to navigate barriers and temporary footpaths to get into the city centre.

Planning a visit to the Georgian Quarter? You might be surprised to see that Liverpool's redevelopment doesn’t include the main road that connects Lime Street to The Philharmonic Hall, The Art School, Hope Street Hotel, Chinatown, and the Anglican Cathedral.

Renshaw Street Liverpool Derelict Buildings Four Seasons
Four Seasons has moved all operations to Eastern Diner on Allerton Road

Renshaw Street feels like the forgotten mile. Bold Street is thriving, but the line stops dead at the new Rudy’s Pizza. The Four Seasons restaurant has closed, the foundations of new apartments on Oldham Street sit alongside empty wasteland, and much of the former Rapid empire has weeds growing out of it.

On the corner of Newington is IconInc’s ‘The Ascent’. The twelve-storey block of luxury student apartments towers above Max Spielman, LUCCA and Curly Music like Goliath looking down on David. You can’t help but wonder if the neglect of some of the old buildings on this stretch is deliberate.

Renshaw Street Liverpool Derelict Buildings Curly Music
David and Goliath - in the shadow of luxury student digs

Renshaw Street is a lost highway dotted with hidden gems that remain defiant; Eighty One records, 69A vintage, The Olive Tree. Round the corner at Oldham Place, Zap Graffiti attracts established street artists from around the country, as well as running workshops for young people to learn graffiti art skills. 

Grand Central Hall has emerged as one of the city’s leading venues for live music, having been the main stage for this year’s Liverpool Sound City. Promoters Nothingville Music continue to put on live events at community venues, including a show at Outpost in November from American musician John Murry.

Renshaw Street Liverpool 81 Record Shop
81 Renshaw is one of the few remaining record shops in the city centre

The Butterfly and the Grasshopper, Dispensary and The Blarney Stone are flying the flag for boozers. (The Butterfly does cracking food too - see our pre-lockdown review here.Damas, Yukti and Chy seem to be surviving, and the long-standing Egg Cafe on Newington still manages to somehow compete with the zillions of veggie options on Bold Street.

Hoping to bring something new to the area, the team behind the Jidong Bubble Tea chain are preparing to launch Renshaw Street Food Market.

Shanghai-based Jidong Bubble Tea now boasts more than 3000 stores globally, having opened its first UK-based outlet in 2019. As well as Jidong Bubble Tea, the market has already signed up international brands including Dagu Rice Noodle, and Ndo Sushi.

Renshaw Street Food Market proprietor Xiaoyu Zhou, known affectionately as Joe to his customers, says, “We are so thrilled and excited to be launching Renshaw Street Food Market in November. 

Renshaw Street Food Market Asian Supermarket Street Food Liverpool
Renshaw Street Food Market will open in November / December

"All of the cuisines on offer we know will be hugely popular with local clients and visiting tourists alike, who love to experiment and try out every type of cuisine.”

As the city centre braces itself for a busy time in terms of retail and eating out, Renshaw Street Food Market hopes to carve out its own niche, celebrating authentic Asian food.

It’s certainly a step in the right direction for Renshaw Street, but we need to do a lot more. Liverpool is so much more than just the waterfront.

Renshaw Street Market is launching in November at 85-97 Renshaw Street, L1 2SP. The last few unit spaces are available. To find out more, email Joe at

Read next: Help! Liverpool doesn't need another Beatles museum

Read again: Rags to riches - the transformation of Liverpool’s Fabric District

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