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Living Ventures makes splash in Albert Dock

There be Smugglers Cove a-launchin' next week

Published on November 8th 2013.

Living Ventures makes splash in Albert Dock

WHERE has Living Ventures been all our lives? 

Known best in Liverpool for its one-time ground-breaking successes The Living Room and the Bold St Lyceum's Life Cafe (remember that?) it has been getting all grown up these last 18 months or so, and making a big impression around the UK, especially in Manchester.

Fine dining operations like Australasia and Manchester House (featuring Aiden Byrne on kitchen), and popular after-work bars The Oast House and Artisan have led Spinnigfields to be nicknamed Baconfields, after LV co-founder Tim.

Now the company has turned its eye to Liverpool once more where it still retains Oliver and old faithful Gusto, the latter of which is about to get a half sibling on the Albert Dock.

Smuggler's Cove opens next week. It is described by one insider as a sort of Hogwarts for grown-ups.

At 5,000 sq/ft, Living Ventures has spent £1 million on refurbishing the unit, which will become the company’s fourth venue under The New World Trading Company (NWTC) format. The Oast House, the Botanist in Alderley Edge and another Botanist in Leeds Trinity shopping centre.


Employing a staff of 60 people, The Smugglers Cove will offer a "soon to be world-famous rum list", cocktails, craft beers and ales, Champagne and wine. The food menu is inspired by the deli, rotisserie and BBQ, with live music being performed by local musicians on a daily basis. 

Tim Bacon  said: "Liverpool is the obvious choice for the next evolution of NWTC. Liverpool is a vibrant and exciting city and I believe The Smugglers Cove will be a great addition to what is already on offer at Albert Dock.”

Living Ventures, listed by The Sunday Times as one of the 100 top companies to work for,  currently has 32 sites across the UK under a range of different brands including Gusto and Blackhouse.

But will the high-end style of Manchester House be coming to Liverpool any time soon. They have after all, poached one of our own, Huyton boy Aiden, in their quest for a Michelin star.

Lyceum LiverpoolWhere Life beganIt is very possible, according to sources, if the right site can be found.

Watch this space, as it were, although it might be worth mentioning in someone's shell-like that the Lyceum (where Life began in 1997 for the young entrepreneurs Bacon, Jeremy Roberts and Dave Hinds) is up for sale again. Any takers?

In the meantime. Smugglers party and pics (has anyone invited Depp?) next week.

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Jonathan GardFebruary 24th 2014.

Out of interest... has anyone been? Is it still open? Any good?

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