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Mello Mello in shock premature closure

'You have all helped create something truly unique'

Written by . Published on September 22nd 2014.

Mello Mello in shock premature closure

THEY had planned to make the final six months of trading as "memorable and celebratory as possible" but tonight there was only sadness as the curtain came down half way through.

Mello Mello has closed for good.

It follows an up-and-down couple of years which saw it restructure the business after the then deputy mayor Paul Brant intervened to keep it open. And it is a move that has taken regulars and even its own staff by surprise.

In a statement, Mello Mello Community Interest Company Ltd blamed sky-high city centre business rates continuing to take their toll, as well as several burglaries, on the comapny's stretched finances.

Mello Mello's Slater Street premises were bought last year by a London pub company and the operation was set to move out in January 2015. It opened in 2007 in a dilapidated four storey building, previously the admin HQ of superclub Cream. But it quickly found favour among both the young grassroots creative community and an older audience drawn by its ambience and refreshing lack of pretension. A rare place where even most of the bar staff were artists, actors and musicians.

Howard Be Thy NameBar staff included performers in their own right such as Howard Be Thy Name

Mello positioned itself as the city centre music venue of choice (for bands and acts who could actually fit on its tiny, rickety stage) and much bigger names. It received an early endorsement from the late, great theatre maverick Ken Campbell, whose final Liverpool performance took place there in 2007, and the KLF's Bill Drummond who launched his book 100 there in 2012.

Rob Longson and Laura Powers, directors of the venture that operated Mello Mello, along with chef Jo Shelbourne, were last night not ready to make any further comment on the day's developments - or what the future might hold - after what they described as "an intensely long day".

The bustling Ropewalks venue, which had a full calendar of events booked, including a six-week soap opera from Impropriety in October, was silent last night with this notice pinned to the firmly locked door.

It thanked the people of Liverpool for their support and "every single creative individual who had walked through the door".

It finished by declaring:  "You have all helped create something truly unique".

More later.


A full list of articles on Mello Mello's victories and struggles to stay open here

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19 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2014.

Crying shame, that.

AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2014.

ah thats sad...

RobertSeptember 23rd 2014.

So this is the future - Ropewalks is to become an even bigger hell-hole of over-priced vertical drinking crapholes than it is now. Mello was one of the few reasons to bother with this part of town but no doubt it'll be replaced by some faux American burger bar nonsense selling bottled beers to students for a small mortgage. It's a tragedy to lose this place and whilst there's glimpses of light from the Baltic Triangle area, in a few years time the same will happen there as rents go higher and higher and the mainstream get interested. Good luck Rob and Laura - this city desperately needs you.

Slater StreetSeptember 23rd 2014.

The problem with the Baltic Quarter is it is difficult to get to, it is pretty ugly and it has a whole raft of corporate people who get paid to market it as some sort of down-with-the-kids "Meat Packing District". These are the sort of people who have beards and get into Movember because they genuinely think that's where it's at. If that wasn't a turn-off enough, it is a bus ride away from the city centre. That is if there was a bus that went there. Mello Mello was a nice bar, attracted interesting people, cheap food and reasonable ale. But that is evidently not what is wanted in our prefabricated corporate hospitality culture. Yuk.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
RichoSeptember 23rd 2014.

There is a bus stop in the Baltic right by the skate park on Jamaica Street - also a citybike stop by Camp and Furnace. As for the corporates marketing the Baltic, who are they exactly?

H. Ipster.September 26th 2014.

The Baltic Quarter is extremely accessible if you ride a fixie bike.

John BradleySeptember 26th 2014.

The main advantage of the Baltic is that it is nowhere near Concert Square.

Greenland StreetSeptember 27th 2014.

Hear hear - it is good to be able to escape the vomit-and-urine streaked pavements of Bold Street and its oversubscribed environs.

RobertSeptember 23rd 2014.

Don't want to get into a big debate on the back of the Mello tragedy but some of those 'corporates' and 'suits' have, through investment/regeneration activity, enabled activity in areas like Baltic and Ropewalks to initially get off the ground. And Baltic is hardly a bus ride from the city centre - it's a 15 minute walk IN the city centre confines. But basically SS we're on the same page and probably both look forward to Mello's next adventure.

RobertSeptember 23rd 2014.


1 Response: Reply To This...
Slater StreetSeptember 23rd 2014.

I'll have what you're having!

Jan BrookerSeptember 23rd 2014.

Didn't even realise it was a community venture and CIC ~ might have made more of an effort when was in town otherwise. Last band I saw there were current favourites: Marley Chingus ~ a great night with some friends! www.youtube.com/watch…

AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

Good picture of Howard

SaladDazeSeptember 23rd 2014.

Mind you, there will soon be alternative premises in Liverppol One. ianbone.wordpress.com/…/…

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 23rd 2014.

No mention of poor doors?

Beverley MoloneySeptember 25th 2014.


3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 26th 2014.

That's a nasty view to have about the people of this city, who haven't done a thing to spoil melo melo. perhaps you should move.

AnonymousSeptember 26th 2014.

And poorly spelt, and all in capitals, make up your own mind!

Joe SoapSeptember 27th 2014.

True, but quite often the self-proclaimed "peeple of diss city" do relish pissing on their own chips for some obscure reason.

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