Praise the Titanic: Liverpool’s latest rum bar

titanic hotel liverpool main bar

A rum bar has opened up as part of the new Titanic Hotel in Liverpool’s Stanley Dock, reports Mark Ludmon

Plenty of rum travelled through Liverpool’s docks over the centuries but a new burst of regeneration on the waterfront has created a rum bar as part of the new Titanic Hotel. The 159-year-old North Warehouse at Stanley Dock has been transformed in a £36million project that is the first phase of the Stanley Dock Village development that will bring homes, businesses, retail, education and more leisure outlets to the area.

The 153-bedroom four-star hotel is named after the ill-fated RMS Titanic which was registered in Liverpool and owned by the Liverpool-based White Star Line – the hotel’s independent owners have the sole rights to the name and are planning more Titanic hotels around the UK. They celebrate Liverpool’s more joyful rum heritage with the adjoining Rum Warehouse events and exhibition space and the Rum Bar, a destination for rum and cocktails.

The bar has a core list of about 50 rums plus an ever-changing range of over 24 guest rums, including blends that are unique to the bar and exclusive to Liverpool. “With rums originating from the New World as well as locations you wouldn’t necessarily associate with rums such as Japan, our bar tells a story of its own,” says the hotel’s beverage manager James Hall.

Bar staff have been trained in rum, delivering “Rum Tales” to their customers, explaining its journey from field to bottle to glass. “Rum Tales reinforce the sense of legacy within the hotel,” James adds.
He was previously area manager for Liverpool’s Newz Bar and Sir Thomas Hotel and has brought his skills to play on a cocktail menu for the Rum Bar as well as the hotel’s restaurant, Stanley’s Bar & Grill. Alongside many of the classics, the Rum Bar’s cocktails include the Red Ocean, a twist on a Mojito using Atlantico Platino rum, mint, raspberries and lime. “Our cocktail menus pay tribute to the history of this development and the docklands’ role in the transportation of rum across the world,” James adds. There is also a list of cocktails made with other spirits such as the Settler, combining Bloom Sloe Gin, lemon, sugar and crème de mûre for a twist on a Bramble.

Under the hotel’s head chefs Alex Worrall and Phil Green, the bar offers a food menu to match the quality of that in the restaurant. Dishes include carpaccio of Longhorn beef fillet with rocket greens, pickled English radish and onion, shaved Berkswell cheese and virgin rapeseed oil. Other options are the fish finger butty and the hotel’s signature chargrilled Angus burger with cheese.

The Rum Bar’s relaxing setting features a range of eclectic furniture and the stand-out design feature of a refurbished railway carriage that was once used to transport goods to and from the warehouses. Along with Stanley’s Bar & Grill, it was designed by Maria Rice of ADI Studio in Dublin who has worked on several stylish hotel, bar and restaurant projects such as The Chelsea Harbour Hotel in London and Macdonald Townhouse Hotel in Manchester. The heritage and the character of the building led the brief for the interior concept, she says. “The biggest challenge was to design an interior scheme which complemented the existing architectural details and character while bringing the comfort level up to and beyond today’s hotel, bar and restaurant standards. Where possible, we integrated historical artefacts within bespoke display furniture and used reclaimed wood and vintage-styled fabrics to create pieces that complemented the Grade II-listed warehouse building.”

The main fixed features in the bar and restaurant are the large horseshoe bar and open kitchen, adding theatre and drama to the large space. “In the main public spaces, we designed half-height glass screens and bookcases to subtly divide the space, creating comfortable zones while allowing the immense scale of the room and the vaulted brick ceilings to be fully appreciated,” Maria adds.

Bespoke furniture was created by hospitality specialist Style Matters to complement the red brick arches and cool stone floors. It includes deep, luxurious antique Chesterfields in the reception’s VIP lounge and funky 1970s retro furniture in Stanley’s Bar & Grill. For the bar, Style Matters provided its draughtsman-style reproduction bar stools and pewter poseur tables.

A waterside terrace offers views across the dock to the original pumping station and the large Tobacco Warehouse that dates back to 1901. “We believe the hotel’s quality and historical connections, combined with Liverpool’s brilliant offer as a tourist destination, will draw people from across the world,” adds the hotel’s head of operations, Ian Wynne.

Titanic Hotel, Stanley Dock, Regent Road, Liverpool L3 0AN
Tel: 0151 559 1444

Who did it
Design: ADI Studio
Furniture: Style Matters
Developer: Harcourt Developments
Joinery: Specialist Joinery Group
Lighting: Mullan Lighting Design & Manufacturing
Tiling: Tilestyle
Signage: Taylor Signs

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