Iconic Liverpool building to be converted to gastropub

old sessions house knutsford

A new gastropub is to open in an iconic building in Liverpool city centre as the latest venture from New Moon Co.

The company has taken over the grade II-listed site of The Old Blind School, which dates back to 1851, in Hardman Street and will launch it after a major redevelopment in late spring or summer.

The new gastropub will be called The Old Blind School, nicknamed #TOBS, and will be modelled on the very successful Old Sessions House (#TOSH) in Knutsford, Cheshire (pictured).

It will be the seventh venue for New Moon Co, which is headed by chef and restaurateur David Mooney with Paul Newman, a former director of bar and restaurant operator Living Ventures.

Paul said: “We have been looking for the right site in Liverpool now for a while and it has always been our intention to be in this fabulous city. We are delighted to have found the perfect site to showcase our thing in Liverpool.”

After securing the lease on the building, work is starting immediately to restore and revamp it while remaining in keeping with its heritage. New Moon Co is working DV8 Designs which has worked on some of its other sites such as Beef & Pudding in Manchester.

The Liverpool site will be converted into a restaurant across two floors with over 200 covers and a state-of-the-art kitchen. It will create 30 to 40 new jobs including positions for bar, kitchen and waiting staff.

David said: “We are buzzing and can’t wait to start work on the building. We have already given much thought to our menus. We just can’t wait to get the dishes on the tables.”

However, it will not just focus on food but have a strong list of ales, wines and cocktails.

Paul was a founding director of Living Ventures and was responsible for the launch of The Living Room bar concept, which debuted in Manchester in 1999 followed by its second site in Liverpool in 2000.

DV8 Designs, led by managing director Lee Birchall, aims to transform the building into a “contemporary urban pub” that incorporates a “modernistic” design but still pays homage to the venue’s heritage.

Lee said: “Having worked with the New Moon Company during previous ventures, we are excited to maintain the longevity of our relationship and undertake such a large scale project.

“Our objective is to completely transform the interior of The Old Blind School and bring it into the modern day, whilst remaining true to the building’s roots.

“The 280-seat two-floor restaurant will be given an urban vibe through the introduction of ultra-modern décors, vivid colour schemes and playful decorative elements that aim to accentuate the overall architectural design.

“We will also carry out a complete overhaul of the bar and 70-seat terrace area to create a welcoming and visually appealing space.”

Updated January 30, 2014 with comment from DV8 Designs.

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