We love the cool and clean look. Where did you get your inspiration from?
Once we found our current location at 1 Maryland Street, with its fantastic garden, we knew we had somewhere special. We’d looked at many places around the Ropewalks Area but none had the qualities and great feeling as this place.
We took a lot of inspiration from places in the USA such as Boudin in San Fran and Yardbird in Miami plus spent quite a lot of time in London visiting Brixton Village and the like of Mishkins, Spuntino and MeatMarket, which we took various points from, and worked them to suit our venue such as the caged wall storage and Georgian glass partitions.
From day one, we’ve worked with our great architects, Matthew and Mat at MgMaStudio, who’ve been instrumental in opening up the building with the massive doors to bring the outside and inside together.
We also have a create design agency, iLo Create, who’ve added some fantatsic features such as the painted sign on the gable wall facing Rodney Street and branding on our shipping container!
What about that garden? What’s your plans for it?
We love how it still feels a bit like the convent garden it once was, and really wanted to respect the building’s previous life as Notre Dame Convent. The garden is a huge part of Free State Kitchen which we plan to run events and summer themes from Clam Bakes to children’s gardening classes and acoustic music.
Tell us about the thinking behind the menu?
The name Free State Kitchen comes from the fact that we always wanted an American Restaurant and it happened to find its home on Maryland Street! Maryland is also named the Free State which just seemed perfect for the relaxed vibe we wanted to create.
We want to offer traditional American Classics and are much more than a burger joint! The menu focuses on East Coast cuisine so think Maryland Crab Cakes, Seasoned Clams and seafood, home cured Pastrami, seasonal salads, mac’n’cheese, Buffalo Wings and Baltimore’s favourite sandwich, The Scooch.
We also have a range of daily specials, sweet pies and ice cream sundaes, all made in house with as much local produce as possible and the weekend brunch is on the way!
We use Larkin’s Farm, The French Corner Bakery, Bexley’s Butchers, Cheshire Farm Ice Cream and The Liverpool Cheese Company for our food.
Is Liverpool getting its act together, food wise?
Yes, I think it is! I’d love to see more independent food shops such as bakers and fishmongers open up again as we have every kind of produce on our doorstep. But I still think we need a bit more of what London has to offer such as Brixton Village!
Free State Kitchen
1 Maryland Street