29 bars, restaurants and shops you could visit a year ago but can’t now

Adella Miesner

This year has been a challenging one for most, with changes coming all the time and uncertainty now the norm. The coronavirus crisis meant we were put on lockdown and bars, restaurants and non-essential shops were closed for months. Since March, a number of businesses closed up shop and said […]

This year has been a challenging one for most, with changes coming all the time and uncertainty now the norm.

The coronavirus crisis meant we were put on lockdown and bars, restaurants and non-essential shops were closed for months.

Since March, a number of businesses closed up shop and said goodbye to Liverpool after being unable to survive after coronavirus.

Others, however, left the city before the pandemic hit or for different reasons entirely.

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We’ve taken a look at all the bars, restaurants and shops that we’ve lost in the year since October 2019.

Here’s all the bars, restaurants and shops you could visit a year ago, but can’t now:

Onion Deli

Popular Aigburth deli Onion closed its doors in December 2019 after five years in business.

The team took to Facebook to share the news that the business has closed, thanking customers for “the best five years”.

Garlands

One of Liverpool’s most-loved clubs closed its doors for the final time in December 2019.

Garlands, one of the city’s most popular nightclubs, has been around for 25 years and holds many memories for people.



a sign on the side of a building: Garlands has closed after 25 years of Eberle Street


© Liverpool Echo
Garlands has closed after 25 years of Eberle Street

Known for its unmistakable blend of colourful exuberance, outrageously wild entertainment and huge lineup of DJs, Garlands is known throughout the city – but last year we said goodbye.

After the news of its closure the owners said they would “require a book thicker than the yellow pages” to thank everyone that made the club what it is.

Et Alia

Et Alia was based on Aigburth Road since it opened in 2013 and welcomed some of the city’s biggest names through its doors including footballer players past and present.

In November 2019, the restaurant closed suddenly. Staff reassured customers the closure was due to a refurbishment but later confirmed the closure would be on a permanent basis.

The restaurant specialised in contemporary takes on Italian classics such as pizza, pasta and Mediterranean and offered diners a relaxed dining experience.

Schuh, Church Street

High street retailer Schuh closed its city centre store on Church Street in January, after being open for more than two decades.

Signs up in the store windows read: “We’ve moved out… but your new box-fresh sneaks are only around the corner.

” Liverpool ONE Schuh + Schuh kids are only a five minute walk away. Or check us out at schuh.co.uk.”

B&M, Park Road and London Road

Two local B&M stores closed for good on January 29.

The Park Road store has reportedly closed to make way for a Lidl supermarket.

At the time, there was speculation that B&M could be planning a new Liverpool store. Retailers at St John’s Market said they believe B&M could be set to takeover the large unit in Clayton Square left vacant by the closure of Clas Ohlson in 2018.

When quizzed about the new store, a spokesperson for B&M said: “We’re always looking at sites for new stores and would welcome the opportunity to invest in the region.”

Pi, Rose Lane

In an emotional statement on its Facebook page, Pi on Rose Lane told customers it would shut at the end of January.

The post read: “Due to a sudden and unexpected surge in overheads Pi (Rose Lane) can no longer continue as we have for so long and we have had to make the heart wrenching decision to close our doors at the end of Jan.”



a person sitting at a table in a restaurant: Pi Restaurant & Bar,on Rose Lane


© Sunday Echo
Pi Restaurant & Bar,on Rose Lane

The restaurant, which opened nine years ago, held a closing down party on January 31.

Forever 21, Church Street

Liverpool’s Forever 21 store officially closed its doors in January, months after the company announced it would be closing all of its UK stores.

Back in October 2019, signs were placed in its windows which read “closing down everything must go”, which appeared alongside ones advertising for Christmas staff.

Liverpool’s store, which was based on the corner of Whitechapel and Church Street, stands empty, is being taken over by Next, it was confirmed last month.

Folk, Tithebarn Street

Folk in Liverpool’s commercial district closed its doors suddenly in February, confirming in a Facebook post that “after a lovely three years in the business district FOLK has had to close it’s doors for the final time.”

The statement also read: “This has come very sudden and has surprised us all, but unfortunately this decision was beyond our control. We want to thank all the lovely people who visited us over these years, we hope to meet you again.

“However, we will still do our best to help and if you have any event or booking enquiries our friends at The Baltic Social may be able to help.”

Veeno, Castle Street

The small but popular Castle Street venue was left empty in January with almost no warning.

After more than five years in business, Veeno closed unexpectedly with only the fitted bar and a couple of empty bottles left in place.



a large room: Veeno on Castle Street suddenly closed its doors


© Liverpool Echo
Veeno on Castle Street suddenly closed its doors

Veeno confirmed to the ECHO that customers who still have gift vouchers for wine tasting, can use them at any other Veeno restaurants, exchange them for a wine selection that will be delivered to them, or receive a full refund.

The company also confirmed that owners are currently searching for a new home in the city.

Swarovski, Liverpool ONE

Liverpool ONE’s Swarovski store is currently closed with signs up to announce that cosmetics brand MAC would be taking over the unit on Paradise Street.

According to the Liverpool ONE website, Swarovski is not gone for good, but rather moving to a new location within the shopping centre on South John Street.

Volpi, Duke Street

After less than a year as Volpi, the owners of the Duke Street cafe bar announced “with a heavy heart” it was to close .

The former Filter and Fox had amassed a cult following since opening and was well known for its delicious pasta dishes.

In an emotional post to its followers, the owners said: “We have come to the end of a five year tenancy agreement and the end of an incredible journey.”

The site remains empty.

Mothercare, Aintree and Bromborough

Much loved by parents for generations, it was a sad end for Mothercare when it closed for good in January.

Stores were barely recognisable as they laid virtually empty with even old shopping baskets being sold off for 50p.

The Aintree store closed on January 8 and the Bromborough store followed suit on January 10.

LIV Organic, Bold Street

After nearly three years on Bold Street, the independent and healthy living department store LIV Organic was closed suddenly by bailiffs.

An official notice from Parkinson Bailiff Services Ltd enforcement agents, dated January 23, 2020 was placed in the window stating that the premises had been repossessed.

The store sold organic and natural food produce, vegan beauty products and also housed a vegan café and Italian restaurant, La Casa Della Pasta.

The Bar That Stole Christmas, Seel Street

Perhaps least surprising, this pop up Christmas bar closed in January after five weeks in business .

The bar, which is based inside Collective on Seel Street, was the first to call the new venue home and closed with a big farewell party on January 5, to make way for another bar.



a living room filled with furniture and a fireplace: The Bar That Stole Christmas closed after five weeks


© Collective
The Bar That Stole Christmas closed after five weeks

The Collective is a new concept, which will be home to five different independent businesses, spread across two buildings and three storeys.

The Bar That Stole Christmas has now been replaced with The Highball Club.

Neon Jamon, Smithdown Place

Spanish tapas restaurant near Penny Lane announced it would close at the end of February after seven “amazing” years.

The small restaurant had been hugely popular and even attracted Samuel L. Jackson , who popped in during a visit to the city in 2015.

Thankfully all is not lost, as the team announced they would be opening a new restaurant concept called Berrington’s, which opened earlier this year.

Midnight Lounge, Victoria Street

The Victoria Street club has shut four years after it opened .

It opened in 2016 describing itself as “Liverpool’s first and only London-inspired low-lit, high ceilinged nightclub and cocktail lounge” and attracted celebrities including Danielle Lloyd.

Olive, Castle Street

As lockdown restrictions began to relax, sadly the owners confirmed that Italian restaurant Olive on Castle Street would not be reopening , after trying everything to save the business.

The restaurant first opened back in 2004 under the name Olive Press and remained a family favourite for many years.

62 Castle Street Hotel, Castle Street

Another venue that never reopened after lockdown, the hotel’s owner said it would struggle to recover after the closure of hotels due to the pandemic.

Staff were called to a meeting in June and some were left in tears after being told the hotel would close permanently as of July 1.

The hotel is part of the Centre Island group, which includes Crowne Plaza by the Liver Buildings, the Holiday Inn near St John’s shopping centre and the Holiday Inn Express on the Albert Dock.

Sanctuary bar, Lime Street

In June, the owners of Sanctuary bar said they were devastated to confirm its closure, after three years on Lime Street.

Describing itself as a “dive bar”, “drinking den” and “craft beer emporium” Sanctuary had a loyal following of customers, who were saddened by the news.

In a heartbreaking statement, owners Tony and Hazel said the coronavirus pandemic had been the “final nail in the coffin” for the bar.

Accessorize, Liverpool Airport

Just days before non-essential stores reopened to the public after weeks of lockdown, Accessorize went into administration and confirmed it would close 37 stores.

Among the closures was the retailer’s Liverpool Airport store.

Mattel Play! Albert Dock

The popular family attraction announced it was closing due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Mattel Play! launched in March 2016 as the first of its kind in Europe, with rooms dedicated to Thomas & Friends, Fireman Sam and Bob the Builder.

After closing in March to prevent the spread of coronavirus, the attraction confirmed in June that the closure would be permanent .

Kelly’s Dispensary

Just last week the Smithdown Road pub announced it was to close, telling customers via its Facebook page: “Thank you and Bye For Now.”

It closed its doors for the final time on Sunday, September 20.

But it might not be the end for Kelly’s, with the team adding: “Keep an eye out for what we do next……..we will be looking for new premises and hope to see you next year when we can throw a proper party to raise a glass to Kelly’s. Thanks again, it’s been a great era.”

The Zanzibar

Music fans were devastated in August when it was confirmed that The Zanibar was to close after 30 years in business.

The Zanzibar Club opened in 1990 and was well known for championing grassroots music.



a person standing in front of a building: Liverpool's Zanzibar Club is closing afer 30 years


© Marieke Hargreaves-Macklon
Liverpool’s Zanzibar Club is closing afer 30 years

The team described the coronavirus pandemic as “a massive kick in the teeth for everyone”, adding that the entertainment and music industry has “had the roughest ride of all” during the crisis.

Due to wear and tear on the venue, it was left in a “financially unattainable position to reopen”.

Hug-A-Mug

The family-friendly cafe in Gateacre announced in August that it was closing down after three years in business.

Taking to its Instagram page, the team said: “We have not survived COVID. We thank all of our loyal customers for their support over the past three years. This is a difficult time and I will see you all around the village!”.

Hug a Mug acted as a foodbank during lockdown, creating packages from donations and delivering them locally to those most vulnerable.

The Brink

Having opened in 2011 as the UK’s only ‘dry bar’, The Brink announced this summer it wouldn’t be reopening after lockdown. Pubs were allowed to reopen in England on July 4, but with a week to go, The Brink confirmed it was the end of the road.

Action on Addiction, which was the venue’s main funder, announced the news on its website and said the bar had been “the beating heart of the recovery community in Liverpool”.

Some Place

Back in August, the owner of the Seel Street absinthe bar said it had been “battered” to the “point of closure” by the coronavirus pandemic, as it was confirmed it would shut after seven years in business.

Scott Burgess said: “To all family and friends of Some Place. Over the years, Some Place hasn’t been a bar but a meeting point for people of every persuasion.”

He went on to thank staff and customers, adding “Hopefully The Green Fairy will make an appearance near you soon, keep your eyes peeled.”

Join our Liverpool Food and Drink Facebook group for recommendations and latest news

Wigwam

The Rose Lane cafe, which was popular with parents due to its children’s play area and baby-friendly classes, announced its closure just last week saying: “It is with great sadness that we are today announcing that Wigwam will not be reopening.”



a group of people sitting at a table in a room: Wigwam Coffee Shop on Rose Lane


© James Maloney
Wigwam Coffee Shop on Rose Lane

The cafe opened four years ago after Aigburth mum Sue Kelbrick dreamed up the idea while on maternity leave and unable to find practical places to meet other parents and children.

Love Thy Neighbour

Love Thy Neighbour, which opened on Hatton Gardens in 2016, took to its social media pages to announce its closure in September .

The restaurant said it was with “sad regret” that it will go into “hibernation” due to the current economic situation.

In the message to fans, the team wrote: “It is with sad regret that we advise that due to the current economics of the world, to ensure Love Thy Neighbour can continue long into the future, we have taken the decision to go into ‘Hibernation’ for the foreseeable future – we will keep you all posted of how we are getting on, so for now it is goodnight and not goodbye.

“Thanks for your support & understanding. Any queries can be sent to [email protected]”.

Bloom & Bean

Another independent coffee shop, Bloom & Bean, announced its closure this week too.

Based on Victoria Street, Bloom & Bean has often been compared to a New York cafe thanks to its exterior, but sadly its team took to its Instagram account to announce the news.



a bowl of food on a plate: Bloom & Bean is known for it's floral latte art


© Bloom & Bean
Bloom & Bean is known for it’s floral latte art

The post said: “This is a very sad post we wish we didn’t have to write, but Bloom & Bean will be closed for the foreseeable future.

“We’d like to thank all our lovely customers for your continued support over the past year. Stay safe out there.”

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