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Bar owners Simon Thompson and Jake O’Brien Murphy have worked in award-winning bars around the country. When they decided to open their own venue, there was only one place to do it. School Lane, L1.
The former Hole In The Wall Café opposite the Bluecoat (behind Primark) has undergone a huge transformation. Opening on the down low in May 2019, the venues cool, minimalistic interior lets the drinks and atmosphere do the talking. Simon said: “Scousers have got a lot of love for the independents, there’s a brilliant track record for good bars doing well, just look at the likes of Berry & Rye and Buyers Club, there’s clearly a market for good bevvies.”
The bar name is derived from the most important component of a good night out according to Simon, he said: ” I’ve had some of the best nights out of my life in crap bars with good people. Present Company is what it comes down to, the best drinks is important but it’s all about atmosphere and who you share the experience with.”
There’s no doubt this duo know their stuff. It’s in the finer details and future plans. They’ve selected a small team with a shed load of experience in the local bar scene. The cocktails will blow your head off, not with the measures, but with flavour and kick. The summer months will see bar tenders from around the country stage take-overs and sampling to keep the cocktail list fresh and interesting.
Bold Street, Seel Street and Liverpool ONE are less than 5 minutes walk away. Present Company has the potential to become a drop in for one, stay for the night venue. Now, what are you having?
Present Company currently offers 9, perfectly crafted cocktails, with 3 more still in development. Firm believers in home-made ingredients, pre-shift batching and that every drink should be absolutely delicious, the list is reviewed with a ‘winner stays on’ kind of approach. Simon’s fave is ‘Death at the Party’, a fizzy strawberry wine that’s also proving a huge hit with guests.
Simon has worked on playlists for the bar for months. He’s got a simple formula when it comes to setting the tone, he said: “No EDM, no chart, no cheese, if it’s good, we’ll play it”. It’s safe to say you can expect a real eclectic mix on any one night, it just wont be BeW*tched!
Okay so Present Company has made serious investment in its epic cocktails. But it’s not a cocktails bar. Keen to brush off any perceived pretence, Simon and Jake have ensured the bar has something for everyone. Fancy a beer? A vodka & coke? A ‘Death at the Party’ sound, they can sort a round with a drink for everyone.
Ordering a round of cocktails can be a bit of a waiting game. Having worked in a number of award-winning bars both in Liverpool and London, Simon and Jake have invested their knowledge into the customer experience to make this process more speedy. With 60 covers and a busy bar to service, the Present Company bar tenders wont keep you waiting.
Present Company opened it’s doors just a month ago and the team is already looking at expanding its offering. With an ethos of ‘If we can make it better than we can buy it, we’ll make it ourselves’, guests can expect seriously tasty bar snacks in the coming weeks as the guys get busy with home-made salt n pepper recipes and more. Keep your eyes peeled
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