Aunt Pol once said: “Don’t f*ck with the Peaky Blinders!”
That’s a statement that should be heeded. By everyone. As on Tuesday 19th December, Liverpool was dramatically taken over by none other than the Peaky Blinders, when a brand new themed bar opened in the Baltic Triangle.
The build up
Claiming a two-storey establishment in the grounds of the old Cains Brewery and setting up an impressive distillery, the outfit behind the Peaky Blinders bar in Southport brought their slice of underground-gangster-decadence to an excited crowd.
With the grand opening highly anticipated after a well-executed social media campaign saw the promotional video amassing over four million views, tickets for the opening night sold-out in under 24 hours. The Black Hand had been issued to those who had paid upfront, and those without one were simply not getting in.
Luckily for the guests, there wasn’t an Italian mobster in sight, as ticket holders congregated outside the Tank Room – some dressed in 1920s regalia and some just there for the spectacle. Beers in hands, they waited, huddled together for warmth around the mini incinerators that had been set up outside the brewery, the smoke replicating the dangerous, smoggy atmosphere of Small Heath, Birmingham.
Then it began – a huge black horse menacingly made its way down the road, a Shelby gangster atop of its back. The horse was swiftly followed by a Peaky Parade as a line of actors, adorned in Peaky Blinders-style attire, invaded the Cains Brewery and let the crowd know just what they were in for.
“This establishment is now under new management – by order of the Peaky Blinders. This city is ours!”
Inside the venue
The doors were soon opened, and the crowd made their way inside, showing their wristbands to the mean looking security guards as proof that they’d received their Black Hand.
Spread over two floors, the Peaky Blinders Bar is as impressive as the build up and it fits perfectly with the aesthetic of the Baltic Triangle. Keeping the industrial, rustic feel of the warehouse intact, the bar owners have juxtaposed the grittiness of a brewery against a decadently splendid décor – including magnificently luminescent chandeliers and sumptuous red velvet sofas.
The cast iron steps and roof beams have been painted gold, the floor a silvery grey and several tables and chairs adorn the downstairs area. A huge bar engulfs the middle of the room and enormous canvasses hang on the walls including an over-sized Alfie Solomons, who looks out over the space with his dangerous, magnetising stare. Every item has been very carefully chosen and in deference to the popular BBC drama.
Upstairs, the space is sparser, allowing customers to mill around, stand and chat, or take a seat on the bespoke furniture, before choosing which of the bars they’d prefer to purchase their drinks from.
There is an array of pasteurised tank beers brewed from neighbours, Tank Room, a vast collection of wine, locally selected spirits, including Liverpool Gin and some regionally distilled whiskey. The tipples on offer are as extensive and impressive as the venue.
There is also a brilliant cocktail menu, offering the likes of The Angry Arthur, The Thomas Shelby, Grace’s Secret and The Horse’s Curse – it was clear to see the owners had taken this opening very seriously.
With close to 500 tickets sold for the opening, the venue was packed, and there was a real buzz about the place, suggesting the popularity, although novel, was not likely to wear off.
A live band, The Mono LPs, entertained the crowds, playing alternative rock – all in authentic 1920s regalia, while waiters and waitresses meandered their way through the throngs of guests, passing out canapés and adding to the regal atmosphere.
Here to stay
Owners, John Sinclair and Melanie Ravenscroft, were there to celebrate the opening, and both looked the part in their authentic post-war get-ups. John, donning a typical flat cap and three-piece suit said: “We really pushed the opening to the last minute and it’s been 24/7 for us all. The excitement of the people here tonight is great though.
We’ve got the Shelby gin, the rum, and the whiskey – that’s why we’ve brought it all here – for the people of Liverpool.”
Melanie said: “We’ve got a uniqueness, we’ve got some fabulous beers on – we’ve got a pasteurised beer, some fantastic spirits, some vegetarian spirits…and the atmosphere and the building itself… well, people have just got to come and see the building!”
Exclaiming that the turnout had totally surpassed both their expectations, John added: “Everyone who’s talked about it before we opened – their energy has been frightening. We opened tonight and well, it’s fantastic!”
The success of the opening night has not only set the bar for the future of the Peaky Blinders establishment, but it’s reaffirmed the status of the Baltic Triangle as being THE place to be seen – a coup for the area, the new arrival is more than ready to take Liverpool by storm.
Tickets for the Christmas Eve and New Years Eve parties are still available online. Get yourselves down there pronto – by order of the Peaky Blinders!