Once responsible for some of the worst karaoke in Liverpool City Centre – which in itself is an altogether remarkable feat – The Old Rope Walks used to be the kind of establishment that you were aware of but unlikely to be tempted over the threshold, no matter how thirsty you were or how eager to belt out a few verses of Nutbush City Limits. It just kind of existed, somewhere on the periphery of Bold Street, until recently: when it stopped existing as The Old Rope Walks and regenerated, Doctor Who style, into Bier.
Bier (that’s German for beer, not the alternative meaning Wikipedia throws up “a stand on which a coffin is placed to be carried to the grave” although that does give an interesting twist to getting mortal) is a new addition to the burgeoning booze scene fanning out from Bold Street. More aligned with the kind of clientèle you’d find in Leaf than the Reflex, it’s immediately more appealing from the outside than its predecessor. Given a much needed lick of paint, the exterior shabbiness has been replaced by a dark green paint and the frosted windows now a clear pane allowing you a peek inside.
Once inside it’s refreshingly light and unstuffy, with white tiled walls, wooden floors and plenty of seating. Combining a friendly pub atmosphere with its easygoing decor, Bier is subtly splattered with just enough unique DNA to confirm the enterprise is more labour of love than cynical chain bar.
The various speciality beers available are written directly onto the walls – a nice touch by designers SB Studio. There’s a pie and mash menu which brings a bit of traditional East End Lahndarn to Liverpool and cask ales are on offer if that kind of thing takes your fancy. The bar staff are friendly and know their Steigls from their Stellas, and the place stocks a wide range of beers from across the globe – certainly the most varied of all the pubs around this section of town. And you don’t have to wait too long to get served, always a bonus in our book.
Don’t do Bier? Well, don’t judge a boozer by the cover (or the name). There’s spirits enough to bring out the karaoke queen in you. But resist, please, because the musical soundtrack has been hand picked by Daniel Hunt of Ladytron, everyone’s favourite scouse electropop outfit: playing a crunchy mix of reggae and blues, and off-kilter northern soul. When we visited a few weeks after opening Bier was pleasantly busy, an affable mixture of those out for a night on the tiles and punters who just fancy supping a quiet pint.
In short, we’re impressed. With its slightly off the beaten track location we’re hoping the Concert Square bashers will leave well alone. As far as Seven Streets is concerned though, we expect this to become a regular haunt of ours in future. No doubt we’ll be back to sample the pie and mash over the winter months.
Bier, Newington Temple, Liverpool