While everyone’s ruminating on the city’s sudden sad glut of closed venues, we thought it fitting to take a moment and pay our respects to the great bars we’ve loved and lost. We’re not talking pubs – that could fill a book (actually, it does) – but bars. What’s the difference? Usually some kitch retro stylings, a kickass music policy and a man in the toilets with a rack of eau de cologne and wet wipes.

The city’s independent bars are the cornerstone to any great night out. And, while we might have been (relatively) late to catch on, we’ve hosted some seriously ace spaces over the past two decades. Some have been wiped from the map altogether, some favour the aint-broke-don’t-fix formula like LaGo, Blue and PanAm, some have had intravenous soft furnishing injections (Igloo), some have had soft furnishing lobotomies (Mello Mello). Some have had more filler and retouching than Joan Rivers (Heebies) and some have morphed into new ventures which, sadly, all too often show that the theory of evolution can sometimes work backwards. And yep, we are talking about The Kiosk/Modo (although, encouragingly, evolution can work just the way it’s supposed to. Take Plummers/Bumper for example).

Here are seven we still remember with misty eyes and disturbing flashbacks. We bet we’ve missed loads. Do tell us.

Korova: The original, and still most missed music bar in town – this Ladytron/Rob Gutmann joint venture was a Fleet Street phenomenon, loosely based on the EVOL nights, and was (briefly) reason to make the trip uptown to Hope Street too. Often imitated, never bettered. We miss you and your day-glo portable TVs.

Dragon Bar: Isn’t it a shame that, in the year of the Dragon, the Dragon Bar is no longer with us (well, not as it was). This slim slither of a bar was a Berry Street hidden gem. Cosy, not posy. Great music, a whiff of the Orient, and a place run on passion. If only we had more of them these days.

Beluga Bar: The place to head before Le Bateau, circa 1995. At least, it was for us. Great subterranean bar with a nice, mixed Wood Street crowd. We once bumped into Terry Duckworth here, and he bought us a pint. What more can you ask of a bar that it turns a nasty soap star into a generous celeb?

Fab Cafe: True, it wasn’t really around long enough for us to form a lasting attachment, but this spin-off from the always-excellent Manchester venue was as fizzy and flippant as a media studies student on WKD. Candy pop, trash TV and movie memorablia gave an instant head rush to the nether reaches of Hope Street

Tea Factory: Comfortably showing that indie bars could be a touch swanky, this was a forerunner to the confusion of style over substance ventures that now line the upper reaches of Wood Street. We loved their huge wall paintings of the tea trade routes (the building was the old Mantunna Tea warehouse).

Metz Bar: Sort of gay, but sort of mixed, in that effortless, all-welcome way that Liverpool has, Metz was a Mathew Street outpost of sanity, soul, big wooden tables, and actually rather ace food. Ah, remember the days when this corner of town was still somewhere you’d happily wander through after dark?

Metropolitan: Yeah, it was big and it was messy, and sometimes it didn’t get things right. But it was the home to the breaks and electro goodness that was Lemon Lounge, sort of. So Berry Street, on the whole, is poorer for its loss. Mind you, we preferred it when it was the Black Horse and Rainbow, complete with its gleaming copper stills in the window. A brew pub to be proud of.

David Lloyd

So, come on. Where have we missed? The Milky Way Bar? Bar Three? The original Baa Bar? BabyCream? Symphony? It’s your round…

  • http://www.yerse.co.uk/ Ben

    Really, somebody like Brewdog should get their backsides into the city and open up the old Brewery as a proper brewpub again. Or someone equally good with a decent amount of capital. These days it’d be a draw, surely?

  • GregOK

    @7streets had completely forgotten the Metz and Beluga.

  • AntipopUK

    @7streets – a sad retrospective article. Why not 7 bars that DO exist, more fun to rediscover forgotten watering holes?

  • 7streets

    @AntipopUK but to be fair to us (!) we do stuff about where to visit every day of our lives! Nice to look back now and again yeh? no?

  • feelinglistless

    Not to mention the Sci-Fi bar which was too elusive (underneath the Phil pub) to survive.

  • 7streets

    @GregOK yeah, age is a terrible thing 😉

  • AntipopUK

    @7streets Keep em coming too! There’s plenty of place that need your help, reviews & publicity.

  • Martin Q

    Beluga was my favourite bar ever. It’s owner, Mary, opened Dragon after she sold Beluga.

  • http://www.sevenstreets.com/ Robin Brown

    I miss the Liver Bar in the Guild of Students. It was pink and quite hideous. We always intended to take one of the pints to one of your mates who did chemistry so we could prove the Carling was watered down. It sold little pizzas and had a good jukebox. We called one of the barmaids Vanessa Felch.

    15 years later I’m missing the Bier Keller. Rather odd all told, but a great selection of continental beers and lagers.

  • KT

    Oh yeah, orginal Korova, Jacaranda was an instiution. Fab was fun and unpretentious. Yeah, they’re the places I miss

  • Ljx

    The Lomax, Cumberland Street. Not sure if this counts as a ‘Bar’ as such, but none the less my number 1. Ljx

  • MarkAnthonySullivan

    The Hub, bike/cafe on Rapid Street. Always a good hangout of an evening in the late 90’s

  • SaraNewton

    Irish Centre that had Guiness for a pound a pint on a Wednesday and Totem every month. The Magnet back in the day when their door staff weren’t animals and the DJs knew the difference between classic tunes and any ald shite. This was all pre internet though so not sure it counts.

  • David

    what about the original original casablanca’s too?

  • Martin Quirk

    Beluga <3

  • Garry Gazzoir Knight

    Everyman Bistro by a country mile!

  • Margi Collins

    <3 Dragon, many a fun night in there x

  • David Thomas Crawley

    Tea Factory!

  • Sevenstreets

    we didn’t put Everyman in there coz it didn’t seem to fit. But, yeah, obviously, well missed.

  • Garry Gazzoir Knight

    I understand why you would say that!

  • Sue Plex

    the metropolitain and fab cafe

  • Iain Yell

    The Metropolitan was great but I preferred it when it was the Black Horse & Rainbow.

  • Helen Wilkie

    Guinan’s.

  • Alex Spiers

    the sick lizard

  • Garry Gazzoir Knight

    In response to Iain – never mind Trader Jacks!!! 😉

  • Tony Collins

    Those seven bars have got about as much history as a new born child ! What about the British Legion Bar on cramond avenue,and too many bars took over by POO bars.

  • Sevenstreets

    we have notoriously short memories

  • Tony Collins

    What were we discussing again !

  • Iain Yell

    Someone just reminded me of Wilsons on Wood Street (now part of the Krazy House. An absolute dive but top place.

  • Ged Manley

    The Harrington bar and raynfords?

  • Fenton Bell

    Bar Fresa when the camouflage netting was on the ceiling <3 Shoot the messenger nights & Sahara nuts coupled with 80s infused girls living in 2002 dancing to the Cure & Kate Bush followed by the Rapture's 'house of jealous lovers'.

  • Sevenstreets

    gosh the Harrington. Now you’re taking us back…

  • Mandy Williams

    the original korova

  • Mandy Williams

    does anyone remember the lyceum?

  • Ged Manley

    PlanetX downstairs at jodys with the red fabric made to look like cobwebs!.

  • Jonathan Gard

    The Lyceum was the first decent bar in Liverpool you could take someone from outside the city.

  • Cathy Carey

    Chauffeurs!

  • Tony Collins

    Chauffeurs ! Happy Days 🙂

  • Ged Manley

    Flintlocks eh Coll,licat!.

  • Tony Collins

    Sod Chauffeur’s, here’s to Flintlocks forgot about that quality club 😉

  • Pauline Mcburnie

    Checkmate, ugly’s and the swinging apple…..late 1970’s oh and Michelle Claire’s …punk, bowie, roxy music, ultrafox etc

  • Clare Donegan

    the Hunters Lodge,Scarletts Bar,The Gaslight

  • Fenton Bell

    What was the Conti or Tuxedo Junction like?

  • Stephen Marsh

    Brooklyn Bar, it was opposite-ish the White Star (now a hair salon?) with it’s video wall and Fosters Ice for 50p.

  • Garry Gazzoir Knight

    Liverpool Tram!

  • Sevenstreets

    was the original Planet X technically a bar? Underneath the Reflex?

  • Garry Gazzoir Knight

    Planet X was on Hanover St early 90s. Saw The Frank & Walters there. Opposite where Tesco is now.

  • Fenton Bell

    I thought planet x was under the reflex in the 80s Sevenstreets. Maybe they moved it. I want to hear more about the Pink Parrot.

  • Paul Jones

    Bonapartes

  • Angela Collinson

    The Mardi Gras, McMillans, The State, The Four Seasons, Harrys Bar and Images i could go on and on!

  • Lynette Paterson

    The State! Love, love, love….

  • Bernadette McGrath

    The Old Casa & The Oxford

  • Mandi Crichton

    quinn’s. flintlocks. maxwell’s plum.

  • Teri Gray

    pickwicks …

  • Diane Bradley

    Saw some great bands in Korova and Tea Factory.

  • http://vindalooqueen.blogspot.com/ Vindaloo Queen

    I miss Plummers and I know you’re going to shout me down for this but The Old Monk and Howl at the Moon! Cheesy late 90s fun at its best, populated by people with even cheesier chat up lines! Also miss Charmers, the hidden gem on the international student scene.

    I’d love to write a feature for Sevenstreets- 7 restaurants we miss! Is there room for me on board? @vindalooqueen

  • http://vindalooqueen.blogspot.com/ Vindaloo Queen

    @Robin Brown OMG the Liver Bar! Forgotten all about that place- think I might know which barmaid u mean, are we talking 2002ish? I left Liverpool yrs ago, can’t believe they closed it, what was that grotty bar in the basement called?

  • JenniDiamond

    the symphony

  • Pingback: Seven Liverpool restaurants we miss | Sevenstreets()

  • Louise McCAbe

    The Big Easy or The Big “Cheezy” as it was affectionately known. It was where the fancy dress shop Lilly’s Bizarre is. But by far the best for me was the original Baa Bar when Liverpool Palace was still there.

  • Sean

    Korova was brilliant for a time and is greatly missed. Great music policy and went to a few great gigs in there. Its highlight being the twin peaks influenced back room!

    I also thought Geisha on Myrtle Street, now Baa Bar was a great concept for a bar, although maybe just a bit too far out of the way.

    I miss Hannahs when it was a bit rough round the edges too!

  • http://www.birgitdeubner.com Birgit

    eek!

    This sounds terrible.. is there anything left now?

    (I still miss Brian’s Diner by the way… those were the days .. when The Living Brain were still playing around the city…)

  • alan ward

    I feel so very old and decrepit,we lost half the decent pubs when the town centre was developed in the 70`s.You`d have loved Cases Street it was lined with pubs and a sex shop that also sold surgical supports and stuff for fallen arches.Paradise Street had the Eagle opposite the Nautical Catering College and was always full of seafarers.The Sportsman used to have a F1 car upside down hanging of the ceiling and all the pubs in Williamson Square,like the Clock run by `Miss`Fonteyn.I once asked for a Manhattan in the cocktail bar at the Stork and was told`There`s no ice`by a white coated waiter `OK` I said `I`ll have a whiskey sour`,`I`ve told you there`s no fucking ice`Liverpool was always a magic place in which to drink and still is,ask the crowd at the Ave Maria on Seel Street!

  • Mark Mc

    Streets, Yates at Moorfields, The Yankee and the original Shakespeare – all had a curious mix of footy lads, auld fellas singing, students and hip muso types.

  • smigger82

    The Met always made for a fantastic night out. Sad to see it lying dormant nowadays. On the more commercial/cheesy side of things, Mood used to be quite fun on student nights. To be young and naive again…

  • Wendy Donnelly

    Wilson’s (Wood Street), Milo’s (the precinct) and Slater’s (Slater Street). Wilson’s and Slater’s were dives, but the feeling of community there was fabulous! Miss it all SO much :'(