AN INTERVIEW WITH MATT FARRELL, JOINT FOUNDER WITH JOHN ENNIS OF GRAFFITI SPIRITS.
Words: Jean Hill
The origins of Graffiti Spirits are mythical. His & Hers knew a little of the history. Our editor seeks out Salt Dog Slim’s when in search of the perfect Mojito. Two young guys had a vision for hospitality in Liverpool that has already changed the face of the city. Matt Farrell and John Ennis are a perfect match because their skills and expert knowledge complement each other. John is all about sourcing the finest drinks and cocktails for their bars and venues. Matt is committed to delivering high quality food. It is an extraordinary success story. They started out with £200. They basically ran out of money and had to open their first venue, Santa Chupitos, there and then or go bust.
Graffiti Spirits is based on sourcing the best ingredients and delivering what people want with grace and flair. They now have six venues in the city. El Bandito is a basement tequileria straight from the heart of Mexico. The tequila (as with other spirits and beers) has been sourced through John’s extensive travels. It is all about being ambitious, in the best sense of the word, and authentic. Both men have a keen awareness of the food and drink scene in Liverpool. A great deal happens in house. The décor in all venues is original and interesting.
A little bit about the venues. As someone who lived in Canada and USA, I have eaten my fair share of hot-dogs. Believe me when I tell you, seek out the best at Salt Dog Slim’s. There are classic combinations like chili cheese, pickles and pulled pork Or you can go for some adventurous toppings, such as char sui, or peanut butter and jelly. We have been to Santa Maluco several times, and we love it. There are consistent themes with Graffiti Spirits. They do brilliant cocktails, and they specialise with the cuisine. Santa Maluco makes pizza and it has become a firm favourite with foodies. They use a Neapolitan recipe for their pizza dough, and it is something quite special. They also do Vegan Mondays, which come totally recommended. Apparently the mozzarella cheese is rice based, but it tastes fabulous. Slim’s Pork Chop Express has a fine reputation.
Matt and John are trail-blazers and innovators. They will open up a new ground-breaking market in Duke Street in 2018. Broadly their ambitions are to encourage independent artisans and make space for start-ups, a butcher, a delicatessen and hopefully a bistro. This harks back to the best of traditions. I suspect it will also be quirky, perhaps a little futuristic, and great fun, which is in the Graffiti Spirit.
Graffiti Spirits Group: www.graffitispiritsgroup.com/
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