City Wine Bar & Kitchen will celebrate its formal opening later this week in a space within the City Buildings complex in Old Hall Street within the commercial district of the Merseyside city.
Speaking to BigHospitality, the businessman revealed he had been keen to open a venue in Liverpool which has seen a great deal of hospitality business growth within the last two years.
“I love Manchester but, as a market for the leisure industry, I prefer Liverpool. It is like a village, people are proud of their city, a lot of money has been spent, the cruise ships are returning and everybody is upping their game,” he explained.
The informal space is split into a 40-cover restaurant and a separate bar area although food will be available throughout the 80-cover venue.
“I know this sort of concept will work in Manchester and I am actually looking for the next sites in Chorlton, Didsbury and Wilmslow but I wanted to start it off in Liverpool.
“I want to roll it out and City Wine Bar will be the prototype,” he explained.
Inspired partly by the success of fellow North West operators Living Ventures with the Botanist, the interior is rustic. However Siddiqi said it was more refined for the local businessmen and residents who are expected to be the venue’s main customers and who he said had relatively few dining and drinking options in the locality.
“Having done a showcase last week, the general feedback was how relaxed and comfortable it was. There are a lot of bars in Manchester and Liverpool that are very pretentious,” he suggested.
Floor boards have been rescued from a local grammar school, while reclaimed Liverpool ship’s timber is also used in the design.
The food menu will feature small plates including potted chicken liver parfait, as well as deli boards, salads and dishes from the grill including steaks, chicken and the City Burger.
City Wine Bar
Siddiqi revealed he had been forced to put his plans for Malai, a premium curry restaurant in Manchester, on hold due to various issues including with planning regulations.
However the restaurateur said he was keen to return to the concept but after the opening and subsequent expansion of the City Wine Bar & Kitchen.
“We are hoping to do the second site within the next three months and I think the concept will evolve with each new site,” he concluded.