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Food and booze news

Where has Room gone? Fairtrade banana protest, badly behaved drinkers close beer garden and more

Published on January 14th 2010.

Food and booze news

The vanishing Room

Alarming to see one of Liverpool's more reliably good restaurants, Room, on Castle Street, disappearing from the radar.

“We are not taking bookings at the moment,” says a spokesperson.

Was it the pressure of the mass opening of Liverpool One Leisure Terrace that has potentially done for it? Or have we got it all wrong and might Room be about to reinvent itself as a Grille, its sister operation which has a new Chester concern.

Although we've asked for an official comment, the doors of the former banking hall have been shut “for refurbishment” since last month. Now all trace of Room Liverpool has vanished from the website (all other branches of Room appear unaffected) and callers to Castle Street have been told there is no restaurant in Liverpool any more.

Too many businesses get by serving poorly prepared rubbish so it would be a great pity if Room in Liverpool was gone for good.

Blundell Street's Cantina went recently, and Sam and Neil Browne, who put their everything into The Ceylon Spice Company in Waterloo, have also shut up shop.

Banana republic

Youth activist group Ctrl.Alt.Shift is staging a nationwide “flashmob” at 22 outlets of Tesco to protest at the retailer’s continuing support for non-Fairtrade bananas.

In 2007, both Sainsbury’s and Waitrose agreed to go to Fairtrade-only bananas. But Tesco refuse to follow suit. As the nation’s largest retailer, say the group, it is Tesco’s duty to support fair trade practices within the world’s supply chains.

Ctrl Alt Shift is demanding that Tesco ban the sale of non-Fairtrade bananas for good and is organising a “flashmob” outside Tesco Metro in Liverpool city centre next Tuesday, (3rd March) at 1pm

They explain: “Participants will each be given a banana and all at the same time we will set our phone ring tones to go off and pretend that the banana is a phone and that it is for a passer by. The person will then give the banana to the member of public and say ‘it’s for you’ and hand them the banana.”


“Attached to the banana will be a Fairtrade fact label,” they helpfully add.


Dessert only restaurants are all the rage in New York, so perhaps it's time Leaf took a leaf out of their menu.

After the success of its first event in January, the Leaf Pudding Club returns on Wednesday night. (Feb 25). This month’s event explores the world of cakes with a five-course pudding blow out.

Well it is Lent, and if you wanted to ditch the booze and fags for a bit, now's the time. Punters can expect treacle cake- with chai tea; apple cake - with whole rosebud tea; wholemeal chocolate cake - with organic Gunpowder Supreme; polenta and

marmalade cake - with jasmine tea and teacake fruit bread - with Blue Sapphire earl grey.

"We were not sure how three courses of puddings would go down at the first event, but the response was so good, we increased it to five this time," says Natalie.

You can find Leaf at 27 Parliament Street (in the Buddlea Building, now Novas Centre). £7 per person. 8pm. 0151 707 7747

You hum it son. I'll play it

Continuing at Leaf “the legendary techno and house club night”, ‘T-Funkshun’ is set to return to the Liverpool club scene on the 27th February.

The night, called ‘Return of the Native’ sees somebody called Mr Shifter playing tunes.

Is it us or are they are taking this tea thing too far?

Thorny subject

Beer gardens are a rarity in the city centre, and pretty though it is, if you want to get away from the daily bacchanal of Ye Cracke, there is no better place to hole up in the fresh air than the back yard of the Little Grapes.

Unfortunately it will now be closed Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 8pm until summer at least.

Says co-owner Anna Marie Slater: “This has become necessary due to vandalism, people consuming their own alcohol, graffiti and a general of respect for the fact that we all work hard to provide people with a space where you can relax in comfort.

“We want to send out a clear message now before the summer hits in and the yard is really busy. We value our customers and prefer to ensure the right environment. I would rather lose less valued people than compromise my own values."

Press darlings

The Olive Press seems oblivious to any downturns at the moment, so much so that even on the night of snow at the start of the month, people were packing the place on a Monday evening for the any-pizza-or-pasta-for-£5.95 deal.

Our people were in there incognito with the kids, one of whom was celebrating his eighth birthday, and had requested the place specifically. Why do they like it? Probably because they generally treat children like royalty in there, or at least with the respect they would show adult punters. They did him proud with a massive firework in his cake too.

Anyway, their new spring menu is launched today. Expect the likes of charred quail with chilli, lime and oregano, seared fillet of red snapper with caponata and basil oil, and rigatoni with Italian sausage, chorizo, tomato and chilli. The Olive Press and Heathcotes are offering Confidential readers the opportunity to get 30% off their food, this week, in return for signing up to their new reward card. Redeem it here)

Olive Press Liverpool
25-27 Castle Street
t: 0151 227 2242

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

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2009.

Room is highly over-priced (and in my opinion over-rated) I'm not surprised it's struggling

DigFebruary 24th 2009.

It can't have been me. I'm illiterate. As my rants on hear prove. See? I can't even spell here.

CurtisFebruary 24th 2009.

You are thinking of "The Living Room"

CitoyenFebruary 24th 2009.

No Curtis, with due respect, it is 'Room' that had knuckle dusters as its logo. Look at the picture at the top of the page.

Dig's aunt AliceFebruary 24th 2009.

Mr Hendrick, stop picking on dig, or, as we say in Liverpool, I'll gin you.

Gordon HendrickFebruary 24th 2009.

Dig! You are no longer welcome in the Little Grapes!

DigFebruary 24th 2009.

What have I done or said to deserve that? I was rather nice about The Little Grapes after I visited after reading a previous article here.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2009.

Fairtrade bananas is all very well, but these kids need to understand that people aren't that arsed when the bridge gets pulled up. They are lucky. My old aunty never even saw a banana until she was 30.

CitoyenFebruary 24th 2009.

Why did Room have a set of knuckle-dusters as a logo?Perhaps it is a good sign that a restaurant trading on 'gangster chic' comes a cropper.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2009.

fully understand your gripe about new years eve. They let the head chef leave and take most of the kitchen staff with him and did nothing to replace him. I worked there as a waiter and felt the senior management severely let down the staff at that site. I'm still owed money, can't see me getting it...

Jon PFebruary 24th 2009.

I always liked Room. The staff always appeared really knowledgeable and I never had a bad meal in there. However it was a bit cold. Not a major criticism but I suspect the Restaurant Bar and Grill opening so soon after was a major factor in it losing the crowd. Both banking halls but the latter furnished much more intimately. I shall miss it, although it was a place to take your auntie, rather than your mistress.

Hungry HoraceFebruary 24th 2009.

I hate the way these fashionable restaurants are furnished with horrible and uncomfortable pseudo-1970s furniture and everything is a cacky brown colour. There are no apparent cloakrooms and yet neither are there hatstands or coat hooks so you have to sit there with your stuff piled on a spare chair (if there is one). No wonder these places attract jacketless, scruffy, shaven-headed chumps who eat with their fists. “Dezoyners” might call these regimented lines of bleak tables in ugly rooms ‘minimalist’ but I call it Spartan. They more resemble more the visiting room of a prison than a supposedly upmarket restaurant. I want pleasure and luxury, not a cheerless wartime canteen.

Gordon HendrickFebruary 24th 2009.

I had assumed it was Dig who had been writing on the walls - he's always at it in here.

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2009.

response to rayblack, the staff were not even aware Room was closing until 2nd Jan when they were informed that it had ceased trading! They still owe the staff outstanding wages. You're not the only 1 who was mislead by senior management of this company

ray blackFebruary 24th 2009.

i was allowed to buy a £50 gift card for room at xmas for my sister and not told it was closing on jan 2nd and they would not give us our money back and was told to go to chester or get a bottle of wine in exchange for the gift card. the treatment we received was really really bad. i will never go to room or recommend it ever

AnonymousFebruary 24th 2009.

We were frequent visitors to Room Liverpool, and paid £60 per head for a New years Eve celebration. Things were clearly going wrong by this point (closure shortly after). The food was terrible and the service and ambiance worse. We were promised a DJ until 2 but left at 11.30 as the place was empty. We have e-mailed to complain but received no response, we were very disappointed and felt that we had been ripped of. The total cost of the night was in excess of £300 for 4 people and we had really been looking forward to it. Our evening was ruined, and we feel that they should have cancelled the proceedings and not taken advantage!!!

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