The new Garden Bar outside the Lord Street Hotel and Punch Tarmey’s bar on Lord Street in Southport
By Andrew Brown
In just a few days’ time we will be able to enjoy the sight of scores of Southport businesses reopening!
After months of having to close through the winter COVID-19 national lockdown, we will soon be able to visit shops, hairdressers, beauty salons, gyms, and outdoor hospitality.
Outdoor areas at hospitality venues (cafes, restaurants, bars, pubs, social clubs) can reopen, including for takeaway alcohol. Table service will be the order of the day.
Over the past few months businesses in Southport have been busy transforming their premises, as they get ready for people to return in an enjoyable and Covid safe way.
Outdoor spaces at restaurants, bars and cafes have been redeveloped as we all look forward to an ‘al fresco’ summer.
Southport BID has led the way in this, contracting local lighting firm Illumidex UK Ltd to create a stunning “boulevard of lights” along the entire length of Lord Street.
A total of 300,000 new lights aims to create a beautiful night-time atmosphere in Southport town centre to encourage people to return to enjoy shopping, dining, drinking, and meeting family and friends once again.
Sefton Council has also been helping businesses by facilitating things like ‘parklets’, to allow for businesses to expand their outside seating onto temporary structures in parking bays or service roads alongside them.
New rules announced by the Government earlier this month will see shops will have the flexibility to open until 10pm Monday to Saturday when they reopen after lockdown.
The extension of daily opening hours for non-essential retail is designed to help local businesses and to support people to return to high streets safely.
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The Government has also given pubs and restaurants more flexibility to use their land to help more people meet up and enjoy themselves, including erecting marquees in pub gardens for the whole summer.
Here are some of the changes businesses in Southport have been making to welcome back their customers after lockdown.
If you know of any others, please email me at: [email protected] or message me via Facebook and we will publish via Stand Up For Southport or Southport BID.
1 – Remedy, Lord Street, Southport
A popular cafe in Southport town centre is now sparkling, ready to welcome customers back after the national Covid lockdown.
Remedy, which is situated in the Town Hall Gardens on Lord Street, has paid Southport-based firm IllumiDex UK Ltd to decorate the building with 7,000 new lights.
Earlier this month IllumiDex completed the impressive project to turn the historic mile-long Lord Street into “a boulevard of lights” with 300,000 new bulbs strung across 80 trees.
Remedy on Lord Street has now paid IllumiDex to help dazzle its customers. The firm has been busy during the past few weeks providing new lighting for a number of both commercial and residential projects, lighting up businesses as well as people’s homes and gardens.
IllumiDex owner Steve Clayton said: “We made sure that the colour of the new lighting at Remedy matches the lights in the trees along Lord Street.
“With all the new lighting along Lord Street and at Remedy and other businesses, Southport is glowing! We also provided lighting at The Pavilion, which is also in the Town Hall Gardens.”
Remedy owner Susannah Porter said: “IllumiDex has done a fantastic job with our new festoon lighting and roof lighting.
“We are close to a huge tree on Lord Street which they have covered in lighting too, so the whole area is really lit up! It looks lovely.
“We have ordered some new outdoor furniture too, so we are looking forward to reopening and welcoming back our customers.
“It all looks fabulous. It is going to look amazing when we reopen.
“All being well, we are looking forward to reopening Remedy on Lord Street from Monday, April 12 onwards. We have lots of outdoor seating available.”
2 – Southport Market, King Street, Southport
Southport Market is undergoing an exciting £1.4m transformation into a brand new food, drink and events hub that is due to open in a few weeks’ time.
Traditional wood fired pizza from local business 600 Degrees is among new traders heading to the landmark facility.
Once complete, Southport Market will have 11 food and drink units serving up mouth-watering food, supported by fresh produce from Blackhursts Butchers and flexible event and market space.
Since 2017, 600 Degrees has successfully been catering at weddings, private parties and corporate events across the North West. In addition to this they are now very excited to be opening a Pizzeria within Southport Market.
Dan Johnstone of 600 Degrees said “It all started when I visited The Amalfi Coast and spent some time in Naples, the home of the Neapolitan Pizza.
“I already had a great passion for cooking, so this gave me the inspiration to perfect my homemade pizza dough and follow the authentic methods of cooking pizzas.
“Over the years I have loved entertaining and cooking for friends and family at home with the brick pizza oven. Wanting to share this passion and see more people enjoy his pizza creations, 600 Degrees was born!”
Southport Market is being transformed in a £1.4million redevelopment thanks to £900,000 funding through Southport Town Deal and £500,000 through the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority.
Over the next few weeks several other traders will be announced, revealing the great mix of food and drink offers that will make up the brand new market, and again supporting local businesses and people.
3 – The Bold Hotel, Lord Street, Southport
Southport’s oldest hotel is preparing to create a stunning roof terrace with a retractable roof with “a unique experience” that includes views looking out across the coast.
The Bold Hotel, at 583 Lord Street in Southport town centre, has submitted a planning application for the scheme to Sefton Council.
The striking plans have been designed by Clayton Architecture Limited, which is based in Ainsdale.
The application also calls for the conversion of the attic at the Grade II Listed three-storey hotel into two new hotel rooms.
The existing flat roof would be converted into a roof terrace for additional external bar and seating.
It represents further substantial investment into redeveloping the ‘Northern Quarter’ of Lord Street by owners Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group.
Owner Andrew Mikhail said: “We are incredibly excited and proud that we can continue investing in Southport.
“The encouragement from the tremendous leaders within the local council to improve this wonderful area helps to keep us driven with our plans.”
Last year the company transformed the restaurant at The Bold Hotel into a stylish new carvery.
In recent years they have also opened the brand new Lord Street Hotel and Punch Tarmey’s Irish-themed bar on Lord Street.
The application says: “Due COVID-19, the applicant is looking to maximise the site potential and increase the capacity for external seating. External seating has been very important over the last few months for certain hospitality businesses, as such reviewing the overall capacity and availability of this is crucial in case such restrictions are reintroduced.
“The new area will be fully external with retractable canopies, these will offer external seating year round and provide guests and visitors with a unique experience with an outlook towards the Southport coast.”
4 – Parklets
Last Summer, outdoor seating became the new craze in Southport, with new ‘parklets’ appearing throughout our town.
Several Southport businesses benefited from additional funding from Sefton Council to support the safe reopening of local high streets and other commercial areas to help support the hospitality sector.
The funding helped to support the local business community, with measures that enabled safe trading in public places.
Sefton Council helped to extend the pavement areas outside local businesses, especially where the pavement area is limited.
By using the parking bays, this allowed for social distancing where it would be difficult to do so otherwise, whilst still having consideration for all users of the highway, especially those with disabilities.
Areas where this was implemented included Coronation Walk and Union Street Southport in Southport town centre and Botanic Road in Chuchtown Village.
The council also implemented the road closure on Court Road, adjacent to Lord Street, from The Grand Casino to Union Street, helping businesses in this area including the Lord Street Hotel and Punch Tarmeys increase their trading and to add life and character back into the local area.
The site was also enhanced with planters which were designed, built and installed by Southport Flower Show to create an attractive area for customers to use.
Lisa Mendi, co-owner of Bistro Bar Med and Medhito Cuban Latin lounge on Coronation Walk, said: “We are so happy to be able to now offer our customers outside seating. Thanks to Sefton Council which has made this all possible, we are absolutely delighted.”
A spokesman for the Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group said: “Since the recent opening of our Prosecco Bar and Roof Terrace at the Lord Street Hotel, the demand for seating in the recent weather has blown us away.”
The council also adopted a new temporary pavement licence process, a streamlined consent route to allow businesses to obtain a licence to place temporary furniture, such as tables and chairs, outside cafes, bars and restaurants quickly.
If any other businesses are interested in how this project may be able to assist, please contact the Sefton Tourism Department on [email protected] or to apply for a temporary pavement licence click here.
5 – Trattoria 51
Owners of a stylish Italian restaurant in Southport upgraded its outdoor terrace last December.
The beautiful new space ensures that diners can sit and eat in comfort at Trattoria 51, on the Promenade, with Covid safety in mind.
Trattoria 51 has been an integral part of the local restaurant scene for over two decades. The restaurant has a superb reputation and produces each dish using only the freshest ingredients to deliver the authentic Italian flavour and taste which has made it extremely popular with Southport residents.
A Trattoria 51 spokesperson said: “No-one is under any illusion that restaurant dining has become problematic under the Covid Tier 2 rules and Trattoria 51 has taken every possible precaution to ensure the safety of its guests and staff.
“The restaurant possesses the largest covered terrace area (40+ covers) of any restaurant in Southport and owner Attilio Sergi and his staff have worked incredibly hard over the last few months to improve and upgrade the terrace facility so that patrons can enjoy their dining experience in a comfortable, safe environment.
“This terrace allows groups of up to six family and friends to legally and safely meet up and is one of the few venues to be able to genuinely offer this service in the region.”
6 – MonumenT, Hoghton Street, Southport
A Southport pub created a secret new Oasis area right in the centre of town!
The MonumenT landlord Martin Rowe created a new ‘Oasis’ beer garden area at the back of his pub, on the corner of Hoghton Street and London Street.
Martin converted the former yard to add tables, plants and artificial grass. He also introduced a new ‘Bistro’ seating area at the front.
He said: “Things are going fantastic. We have made really big changes here, with our new beer garden, our new bistro area, new opening times – literally huge changes.
“We are proud to present our little ‘Bistro area’ that we have made so that when we open customers will be able to enjoy a coffee, tea or alcoholic beverage whilst watching the world go by.
“After I had recovered from the news about lockdown I set about making the pub something people couldn’t wait to come back to, with something quality and new – so I created ‘The Oasis’ @ The MonumenT pub also a new little bistro area to the front, plus a new smoking shelter and smoking area.
“I am looking forward to greeting all our regulars back, many of whom I’ve kept in touch with via either social media or telephone.”
7 – Cafe Bar N’Ista, Weld Road, Birkdale
A Birkdale cafe and bar is embracing Southport’s new cafe culture by unveiling a stylish new outside area for customers.
Cafe Bar N’Ista, on Weld Road in the heart of Birkdale Village, updated its facilities for diners last December so that they can eat in comfort when the venue reopens.
The move will help to keep the business operating amidst vastly reduced capacity due to social distancing, and to maintain the jobs of 15 local people.
Cafe Bar N’Ista said: “Our outside area has been greatly improved as the original one was more of a ‘make do’ with not knowing the devastating impact COVID-19 would have on society in general.
“The new structure allows us to do several things. These being
1) to try and keep Cafe Bar N’ista operating into 2021 and beyond by generating extra revenue due to a reduction of more than 50% capacity
2) keep 15 local residents in either full time or part time employment
3) allow those who are still apprehensive about going indoors a choice to be able to socialise whilst maintaining the safest approach / option for them.
4) allow all the rest who aren’t as apprehensive the opportunity to socialise in a warm friendly safe environment meeting friends and family whilst following all the COVID-19 guidelines.
“We’re all trying to survive and we have to adapt.
“Thanks to all those who do support us in what we do and understand the reasoning behind it.”
8 – Tipple, Station Road, Ainsdale
A new outdoor seating canopy outside a wine bar and eatery in Ainsdale in Southport was granted planning permission by Sefton Council.
Giving the green light to the new canopy, shrubs and planters was a great birthday present for Tipple, situated at 42 Station Road in Ainsdale Village, as it celebrated its fourth anniversary.
The new outdoor area provides a boost to a business which has to deal with reduced capacity, due to social distancing rules in the current Coronavirus pandemic.
In her report to councillors, Sefton Council Planning Officer Lynne Poulton wrote: “The canopy provides a form of shelter that would offer an opportunity for customers to stay outside for longer periods, however, with the control associated with hours of operation and external music by way of condition attached to the original permission for the outdoor seating area, it is considered that no significant harm is caused to the living conditions of neighbouring residents.
“Shrubs have been planted in the planters, whilst lighting has been installed on the canopy.
“The canopy structure and planters make a positive contribution to the commercial parade.”
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