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New owners of historic Liverpool pub The Monro reveal plans for its future

4 weeks ago

New owners of historic Liverpool pub The Monro reveal plans for its future
The Monro

The new owners of historic Liverpool pub The Monro on Duke Street have revealed plans for its future, including the name and concept.

The 1936 Pub Company, which was behind the beautiful restoration of The Vines on Lime Street, have other city centre venues including The White Hart on Hope Street and The Red Lion on Slater Street.

It’s now intending to restore and reopen The Monro, which closed in October last year after establishing a reputation as one of the city’s best-loved gastro pubs.

And the good news for its many fans is the name, and the traditional homely feel of the grade II listed building, won’t be lost.

MJ King from The 1936 Pub Company’s operations team explains: “The name is so established in Liverpool that even if we called it something new, everyone would still use the original.

Credit: The Monro Liverpool
Credit: The Monro Liverpool

“Similar to The Vines, the Monro has been The Monro for as long as anyone can remember and that’s not something that needs to be messed with so we’re not going to be the ones to change that. 

“We want to create something that shows how much love we have for the history of the building and pour of our energy and focus into giving that back to the public and to the city.

“We’re always happy to take on a challenge, like we did with The Red Lion which was an office before, but opportunities like The Monro are rare where we’re given somewhere that has the bones and the heritage.

“Restoration is really the focus with this one because it’s so deeply rich in history and culture already and the building itself and the architecture are always the starting point for the vision.”

Renovations have started. Credit: The Monro Liverpool
Renovations have started. Credit: The Monro Liverpool

The building dates back to the late 1700s and started life as a Georgian merchant’s mansion.

That sense of its past a private residence is something which the man behind The Monro’s renaissance, Rob Gutmann, is keen to retain, along with original features like its trademark open fireplaces.

“When you walk through the building you can still feel how it used to be,” says MJ. “Not as much on the ground floor, but each level you go up, you get that mansion vibe so you go from room to room thinking ‘this must have been a living room’ or ‘this was a bedroom’.

“The fireplaces will stay a feature and we’re going to custom-build a bar which will run the full depth of the room as you walk in.

Early 20th century wall paper found during renovations. Credit: The Monro Liverpool
Early 20th century wall paper found during renovations. Credit: The Monro Liverpool

“There’s also an outbuilding at the back which was previously used for storage that we’re going to turn into more seating and in between will be an open-air courtyard beer garden.”

When it relaunches, The Monro will be a traditional pub rather than a gastro pub, although there are plans for a food element including hot pies and snacks.

With an opening scheduled for late July or early August, work has already started on site and MJ says the team is excited to be taking on a venue that’s so loved.

“The pressure is on, but it feels like such an incredible honour, like it was with The Vines, to be the people who revive these places that are so important to so many people.”

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