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Bar Essentials: Django's Riff

Bars and pubs Liverpool Confidential's writers have already found themselves in this week

Published on September 20th 2010.


Bar Essentials: Django's Riff

What’s the story?
Django’s Riff is a basement bar on Wood Street, in the heart of drinkland. Named after the legendary gypsy guitar player Django Reinhardt, it is there that the relationship ends.

In four years it has has established itself as one of Liverpool’s most chilled alternative watering holes. An oasis of cool in the not remotely cool Concert Square.

Underneath the Open Eye it occupies what used to be the trendyish Beluga Bar and is sister bar to the city’s tequila tavern, Bar Cava. With one of the longest wooden bars you are ever likely to see, Django's Riff's interior is covered in stylish graffiti art with many of the walls and tables adorned with zombie girls and abstract characters - and we're not talking about those Concert Square punters.

Who goes there?
On the weekends you will come across a student crowd but then again where won't you? Django's does, however, appeal also to an older, perhaps more mellow, 25-plus crowd (bless, Ed). People who want to have a drink and listen to less commercial awfulness and more of a funky, chilled out vibe which is harder to find than it sounds in these Radio One driven times.

It is a haven for young arty and music types who make use of the venue’s free Wi-Fi facilities, but hopefully still talk to one another in between tweets.

Why go there?
You want DJ Buddha to spin electronic, jazz, drum and bass, reggae, soul and hip-hop tunes to tantalise your ear drums? Of course you do.

You see Django’s tries hard for its crowd. Nights include the charmingly titled ‘Scratch and Spit’, which sees local music maestro Mack of All Trades team up with UK DMC champion DJ Rasp. Other nights include salsa dancing classes and the self explanatory ‘Drink and Draw’. We think.

For “The Riff” also doubles as an art gallery, every so often, as local graffiti

artist Andy Prior exhibits his work. There are the famous chill-out Sundays, where frazzled weekend revellers can calm down, calm down. The food is not half bad either. Served daily from 12-9pm, it's all made there and includes a Sunday roast, even. The burgers, in particular, are said to be a value-added rival for any place with gourmet pretensions and prices to match.

What’s yours?
Drinks are cheap and the cocktail menu offers a great discounted alternatives to the likes of more glammy watering holes near by.

The pints are averagely priced for the location, however it’s the fact that Django’s can make you feel almost sophisticated (depending on how old you are and how much you can take) that's its trump card.

With the cocktails priced at £3.85 for a Long Island Ice Tea and £4.85 for a Mojito or a Margarita you can't help but feel slightly smug. Proper-label spirits too, apparently, so no turps in your Turbo Shandy.

“The ladies love it,” says our enthusiastic tester. “But for the lads I would recommend the Godfather …its pure alcohol, just scotch and Amaretto in the glass. Not a mixer in sight.”

“Yes it will put hairs on your chest,” he reports. Indeed, if not your dinner.

That’s entertainment!
Django’s is a place not afraid to do its own thing with a big policy of encouraging indie acts to play. It has such an array of drinks, music, events, classes and exhibitions that who cares about the smoking ban?

What’s the crack?
The staff are friendly and welcoming and always up for a laugh. Cocktails and dancing in a non-threatening atmosphere is not something you find readily on a Monday night, but it happens here. Django's is individual in style, appearance and location and is a must stop-off if you are after laid back fun and frolics.

Where?
24 Wood Street, Liverpool, L1 4AQ
Telephone: 0151 708 8896

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Downtown in BusinessJanuary 25th 2010.

I must be getting old....this place appeals to me!!!

Belle LugerJanuary 25th 2010.

You get Karaoke in Woodies too

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