A pub with punch – Punch Tarmey’s
A massive brand new Irish pub full of character, Punch Tarmey’s, named after an Irish bareknuckle fighter, has opened inside the iconic former Cains Brewery building on Stanhope Street, Baltic Triangle, Liverpool.
Mikhail Leisure invested £7 million in the Cains licence and brand, to redevelop the former Cains buildings and once again called on the Irish Pub Company and McNally Design team to create the concept.
The pub is part of the first phase of the redevelopment, which includes many other hospitality elements, including a brewery.
Punch Tarmey’s is a sports-led, Irish bar, designed and manufactured in Ireland, with a family-friendly atmosphere in the daytime along with being a destination for revellers in the night. It also hosts brewery tours.
Interior designers McNally Design and the Irish Pub Company based in Dublin created the Punch Tarmey’s brand, having defined the brand identity through the creation of two previous outlets.
Mel McNally of McNally Design said: “Andrew Mikhail came from Cork. – as did his great grandfather a bare knuckle fighter known as Punch Tarmey – and we used that as a wrap-around for the brand.”
He added that the first phase of the project includes the front zone of the space within the basement of the building which is occupied by Punch Tarmey’s, with further zones known as The Brewery Hall with a capacity of 400 and The Quarter Hoop bar with a capacity of 120 also being created on the same level. There will also be a brewery on the site, which is envisaged as a tourist attraction.
A collection of food halls will be located above this and there will also be two banqueting tunnels at the rear of the development, which can be accessed from all internal areas, as well as from a separate outside entrance.
In addition, two tunnels which can be accessed from all areas inside as well as from outside, are to be transformed into banqueting halls.
Further levels will be developed into hotels and sky bars at a later date.
The building even includes a well down into a lake that is 40 ft long and 12ft deep!
Mel McNally added: “Andrew Mikhail is very ambitious and wants the brand to travel – and the sheer scale of the development will certainly put this on the map.
“The main challenge of the scheme was that the project had to be carried out to a very tight time frame; from design to manufacture and fit out had to be seamlessly project managed by our team at the Irish Pub Company. It was also quite challenging to decide which elements we wanted to keep whilst transforming the interior which was originally rather dark and unwelcoming; it involved a lot of site visits to the old building to understand its character and it’s potential.
“The scale of the concept makes this scheme very special. It was also great to create a brand and to make sure that it is carried through to each subsequent project.”
The building presented both challenges and huge potential in terms of designing and building bars, pubs and live music venues.
The project team all worked together to ensure a revitalisation of the building and the iconic brand that is Cains; working hard to ensure that the Cain’s brand is revitalised in an exciting way, yet at the same time ensuring that the history of both the brand and the listed building are worked into the design in obvious and subliminal ways.
Chairman of St Helens-based Mikhail Leisure Andrew Mikhail believes the venue will become a tourism hotspot, he said: “We’ve invested approaching £2m into Punch Tarmey Liverpool and it’s a professional and personal dream come true for me especially because of my Irish roots.
“It’s an astonishing building and that’s why we’ve put together such a bold scheme.
“My great grandfather was a renowned bare-knuckle fighter nicknamed Punch Tarmey, the name that gave birth to an existing portfolio of bars we own and operate in the region.”
The food menu features a trio of Irish sausages with colcannon and onion gravy, Pogues marinated chicken breast burger with all the trimmings, Irish stew with soda bread and steak and Guinness pie, bacon chops, colcannon mash and cabbage and chickpea, sweet potato and spinach vegan curry.
The venue is proving to be a huge success and one of the most iconic Irish pubs in the UK.
Irish Pub Company/McNally Design International/MJ Architecture
With offices in Dublin, USA and throughout the Middle East, and project managers based worldwide, the Irish Pub Company, McNally Design International (MDI) and MJ Architecture are brand concept specialists. Through three linked companies, the trio create commercial concepts for clients within the food and beverage, entertainment, retail and hospitality sectors.
MDI and MJ Architecture focus on the retail, hospitality and entertainment sectors in Ireland, the UK and the Middle East, while the Irish Pub Company is a leader in worldwide Irish Pub design and build. Working in harmony, the three companies create a range of venues, from themed restaurants to traditional pubs, nightclubs and modern bars.
Mel McNally, said:
“We offer full brand creation and assistance, with the capabilities to tackle all the challenges that entrepreneurs face when creating a successful outlet. Fundamentally our architectural background allows us to create great spaces and we are passionate about craftsmanship.
“Our design team work closely with our craftsmen to express their abilities and creativity through unique design elements. Every job we do has soul and we use this as inspiration throughout the concept; this is then widened out into detailed design and graphics.”
Most recently, Mel has been involved with the work at Punch Tarmey’s. Commenting, he said:
“We are very proud to be a part of the major development by the Mikhail Hotel and Leisure group at Cain’s Brewery. It is a prestigious project, not only in this phase, but in the potential development plans which will be the revitalisation of the wider Cain’s Brewery. We have worked hard to ensure the Punch Tarmey brand is expanded in an exciting way, encompassing the Cain’s brand, yet at the same time ensuring that the history of both the brand and the listed building are worked into the design in obvious and subliminal ways.
“Our working relationship with the Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group extends back to when we created the first Punch Tarmey’s in Southport and we have been working on their food and beverage outlets ever since.”
“Having created the Punch Tarmey’s brand and having created two previous outlets our team were delighted to be given the chance to expand on this in such an iconic and interesting venue; expand the Punch Tarmey brand and encompass the history of Cain’s.”