This is an amazing day, and it has been a long time coming. Liverpool FC won the Premier League on June 25th 2020. And Liverpool turned red. Anfield was barely visible through a red haze. St George’s Hall was spectacularly lighted in shades royally red. Klopp and several team-members were crying. Such a powerful and emotional result. Somewhere in the background, echoes of the Kop and ‘You’ll never walk alone’. We march on.
WORDS: Jean Hill
This is a city that never forgot the importance of community spirit, and we surely know how to network to the max. Admittedly, it is something of a challenge to spring back to our winning, entrepreneurial ways, whilst staying safe. Yet it will be done.
We need to support the hospitality sector as it literally re-forms and re-emerges. We have enjoyed fabulous food in beautiful spaces, memorable nights out, and we do not want to lose any of that. We will trust to parasols to shelter us from sizzling heat, and light summer rain. Spaces are being created, and we will all adapt to contactless payments: the limit just needs to increase. Family bubbles will abound. Liverpool City Council, Liverpool BID Company and Liverpool Chamber of Commerce have proposed the funding to make these changes possible for independent city restaurants.
It is not the whole story. Restaurants do not generally generate huge profits. Most restaurant owners and chefs will tell you that there is a limit to the spend on a meal in a restaurant and their profit margins are geared to work with that ‘reality’. When Gary Usher wanted to create a city restaurant for fine dining, he needed to go to crowd-funding to realise that dream. Wreckfish has an enviable reputation, yet it was all made possible by ordinary people’s investment in something they believed in. We may need a co-operative effort to keep all these fine independents trading in our region. We could use a specialised branch of banking that is geared to dynamic financial investment. Buying gift vouchers, switching to outdoor eating, and crowd-funding are all ways to invest in the future of hospitality.
The first sad news was the Olive Restaurant and Bar in Castle Street closing. They served great Italian food in a lovely setting. This was followed by The Brink which is under threat of closing. The Brink is not just a dry bar, it is also a life line to many. This has been a community hub, that has been a brilliant support for those recovering from alcoholism and substance abuse. The wealth of activities and support available is a testament to what is possible with the will and drive to make it happen. Respect for all that dedication. I interviewed one of the chefs at The Brink. He was inspirational. He liked to make everything from scratch, and his Sunday roasts were sublime. Their prices were modest, but what they achieved was literally ground breaking. There is a petition out there asking for support for The Brink. Seems like a very worthy cause.
In the meantime food banks are in need of more provisions. The pandemic has caused more hardship, and some do not meet the criteria for furlough payments. Check out food banks in your area for delivery details.
You can find the petition for The Brink addressed to Liverpool City Council, Joe Anderson and Kate, Duchess of Cambridge at: www.change.org
To find local food banks: www.trusselltrust.org
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