So, it’s come to this. Rather like The Neverending Story’s terrible Nothing – a wave of blackness moving across the land and consuming everything in its path – student flats are currently hoovering up some of the most treasured bits of Liverpool.
This time it’s Le Bateau – erstwhile home of Liquidation, Voodoo and many more club nights – that looks set to succumb to the march of undergrad housing.
Liquidation, of course, has since moved to The Cabin and DJ Jules Bennett has joined forces with a couple of other alumni and opened the excellent Sound Food and Drink down the road.
“It’s just enough off of the beaten track, it’s never attracted trouble, and a friendly door and happy barstaff add to the energy of the nights in there,” said Jules, when we asked him to sum up why the venue was so good.
But the venue appears doomed. Although the plan is set to go before council planners it’s hard to see on which grounds the application – for four-bedroomed flats and a restaurant in the basement – would be rejected.
Appointed design outfit 44th Hill have a track record of creating smart, industrial-themed eateries and – with interest in Ropewalks growing as a leisure quarter and in Duke Street particularly as a classy residential area – a sympathetic development is likely to be favoured over leaving the building largely empty.
Since Le Bateau closed 18 months ago it has rarely been open, with intermittent Liquidations and Dance Yrself Cleans popping up from time to time as the new owners pondered their next move.
So, another old favourite bites the dust and the subtle repositioning of Ropewalks continues. But, while the building is gone the spirit lives on. And, surely, that’s what’s important.