Know Hospitality has created a new bar and restaurant in Liverpool, reports Mark Ludmon
In its heyday, Newz Bar was one of the hottest spots in Liverpool, attracting the great and the good and the not so good. After it closed two years ago, the late 19th-century building in Water Street was briefly home to luxury restaurant and bar Amanzi but it has now been reborn as District House – a new cocktail bar, restaurant and events space.
It has been developed by Know Hospitality which runs other businesses in the city including The Richmond Aparthotel in Hatton Garden and Ameriesko coffee shops. Headed by founder Steven Hesketh and Andy Duckworth, it has invested £1m in developing the new venue, creating 60 jobs.
By the entrance is the cocktail bar and lounge, Coffee & Liquor, an elegant space that mixes contemporary style with original features. The inventive cocktails have been developed by District House’s “bar guru”, Si Taylor, formerly at Liverpool’s 81 Ltd and Aloha, using premium spirits and house-made syrups. They include Paint It Black, combining Mr Black coffee liqueur and Portobello Road Gin with Aperol and bamboo charcoal syrup, and the Plum & Ginger Sour with Buffalo Trace bourbon, plum sake, The King’s Ginger liqueur, gomme, lemon and egg white. Along with a good wine and beer list, District House specialises in coffee, sourced from Liverpool roastery Neighbourhood Coffee, and loose-leaf teas from local supplier Phom.
The restaurant, with capacity of 600 and seating for 350, is an impressive Art Deco-style space with a soaring barrel-vaulted ceiling and other original architectural details. Private dining is also available on the VIP mezzanine. Open from 8am, District House offers brunch daily, from eggs benedict to pancakes, leading into lunch, featuring small plates, salads, soups and hot ciabattas. Under executive chef Damien Flynn, dinner highlights include chicken supreme with braised ox cheek, potato fondant, celeriac purée, truffled green beans and jus.
The concept was developed with Liverpool-based creative and brand agency Black & Ginger, taking inspiration from Miami as well as London and Liverpool. It is split into the colourful area for casual dining and drinking at the front and a more sophisticated dining space at the back with a stripped-back, industrial interior and a palate of rich greens and browns. Textures add accents throughout, from plants and wood-panelled menu boards to gold and leather.
Steven, who is set to develop more new concepts for the city, says District House brings something “completely unique” to Liverpool’s thriving commercial district. “We’re immensely proud of this new venue which has bought a beautiful space back to life.”
District House, 18 Water Street, Liverpool L2 8TD
Tel: 0151 236 6141
Originally published in the October 2016 print edition of Bar magazine.