The eagle eyed among you will have, like us, spotted the licence applications strapped to a lamppost outside the old Bold Street home of Brew. You might well have noticed that they were for Bold Street Coffee and tea – and their plans to open a new venue, serving alcohol, and open into the evenings.
What’s this? Bold Street Coffee – our favourite indie coffee shop (no, our favourite coffee shop, period) extending its hours and serving booze? Sounds great.
Well, it would if it was Sam and the guys. It’s not. It’s another operator, curiously calling themselves Bold Street Coffee…but with ‘and Tea’ at the end.
Cheeky? Passing off? Infringement? We don’t know where it lies on the legal scale. And we hope they’re not thinking of using that trading name as the name above the shopfront.
The company behind it is the Echelon Group: Natasha Hamilton’s Hamilton Coffee shops, a venture set up between the Atomic Kitten starlet and partner Riad Erraji. Riad knows a thing or two about coffee, having run a successful chain in the Midlands. And he knows a thing or two about Bold Street Coffee – having sampled their perfect roasts as a customer.
Natasha knows a thing or two about Liverpool. And this is what we can’t understand: why, out of all the names in the known universe, would Echelon (running successful and decent operations around the city) want to call their new venture practically the same name as an independent, from the city, which has put so many tireless hours into creating a universally loved brand? As we say, we’re assuming the actual venue won’t be called Bold Street Coffee and Tea. They couldn’t possibly do that, could they?
We can’t find a number for Echelon. Staff at Hamilton’s aren’t allowed to give it out. And the website only offers an email. But we’ve been in touch, and we look forward to hearing what their plans are.
A late night coffee and beer outlet for Bold Street – good. Bold Street Coffee and Tea – no thanks. We’ve already got Bold Street Coffee and Leaf.
Postscript: We’ve since heard, from a reliable source, that Brew – the site’s former operators, went on to continue trading as a wholesale company called Brew Tea Co, which began supplying Hamilton’s cafes. We understand Brew’s owners were in talks with Echelon about a joint venture at the old Bold Street site to be called Brew at Hamilton’s.
The store, we understand, would have stocked all Brew’s teas under the proposed new name. Whatever that turns out to be.