The Alchemist arrives in Liverpool
Since the first restaurant opened in 2011, award winning brand The Alchemist has grown to multiple locations around the UK blending unique cocktail mixology with an eclectic global food menu. In August the Liverpool general public became the latest to be given the opportunity to experience the brand.
Located in the heart of the city’s financial district, in a grade II listed building, the restaurant is aiming to provide a comfortable, warm and welcoming environment for the general public, creating a third space between work and home.
Best known for its experimental cocktails, The Alchemist drinks menu is modelled after the periodic table and includes further nods to the science industry by its use of flasks and Bunsen burners. Masterclasses with the restaurants’ mixologists are also available to guide customers through the cocktail-making process.
Food is served all day, including breakfast, lunch and dinner, catering to a variety of culinary tastes from Japanese ramen to jerk chicken.
Designed by MaCaulay Sinclair the interior features a mural by artist Dan Hillier and blends natural light with a bespoke lighting arrangement to accentuate the quality of copper and bronze features throughout the restaurant.
The company behind The Alchemist are Knutsford-based Living Ventures who also own a number of separate restaurant brands operating in a variety of locations. The group was founded by Tim Bacon who sadly passed away earlier this year but Simon Potts, managing director of The Alchemist, was keen the Liverpool development maintained his legacy. He told Premier Hospitality:
“I was fortunate to sit at Tim Bacon’s arm as we went through the initial process and programme with the designers. It is sad that he was not able to see it through to completion, but my role since his passing has been to protect that legacy and to work with the project managers and design team to bring the vision to life.
“I am delighted with how the space looks and feels and am sure that Tim is looking on proudly. The people of Liverpool really seem to be enjoying the venue too and we have had some fantastic feedback so far from our guests.”
The main contractors on the build were Interiors UK with the project being led by Living Ventures’ property director Joe Campbell. The over ground and basement site covers 4000 sq ft and was previously a restaurant operated by another group. The building dates back to the eighteenth century and was originally a private bank. The process of transforming it into the Alchemist style took twelve weeks, made trickier by the sites neighbours and the status of the building.
“The venue sits below an operational hotel so being mindful of the neighbours, more so than ever, was important. We made sure there was plenty of interaction at personal levels and we look forward to a mutually beneficial relationship in time.
“We were limited on external signage because the building and its frontage are listed.”
In addition to the Liverpool branch, The Alchemist has proved a popular destination throughout the country. There are two venues in both Manchester and Leeds with a single restaurant in London. Each Saturday night the restaurants dim the lights and turn up the music, offering table service to guests who have reserved their ‘Late Lab’ service.
Despite only being open for a short time, feedback so far has been positive following a successful launch attended by a number of well-known celebrities from the North West, with Simon adding:
“Guest feedback is critical in the venue’s infancy so we have listened carefully to the various channels and tweaked things operationally where appropriate.”
Barlows is a family run company that has specialised in electrical since 1948. They offer clients a full range of property maintenance solutions including electrical, plumbing and heating, maintenance, renewable energy, fire and security, as well as data and telecommunications. The business started as an electrical contractor, which has remained the heart of the company.
With a hugely varied portfolio of clientele that ranges from restaurant chains to a
Premier League football club, they have built a reputation on providing expert installation and reactive maintenance from domestic to commercial projects for their clients.
Still family run, the most recent project The Alchemist was project managed by Ed Barlow. The company oversaw the overhaul of the electrical installation of the Grade II listed building, which included a full electrical installation and addressable fire alarm system.
Eve Ralphs of Barlows, commented:
“We’re delighted to be able to showcase the quality of our work and are excited to work with Living Ventures as their bars and restaurants are one of the biggest names in the industry right now. Their use of impressive feature lighting gave us the opportunity to show what we’re capable of as a company and it’s what sets The Alchemist apart from other bars.”
“Our values remain the same as they did right back when the company was established. We take pride in the quality of our work, our ability to meet with client expectations and to transform their concept into a reality. As a family run business it’s incredibly important to us that all of our work is of the highest standard.”