New speakeasy style cocktail bar, Manola to open on Slater Street and El Bandito gets makeover - The Guide Liverpool

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New speakeasy style cocktail bar, Manola to open on Slater Street and El Bandito gets makeover


One of Liverpool’s best loved bars El Bandito is undergoing an extensive refurbishment and new concept Manolo is opening in the former Santa Chupitos site.

Manolo will launch on Seel Street created by the owner of Salt Dog Slims, Nick Thomas, it will reflect a cocktail bar with expertly crafted Caribbean cocktails and reimagined classics, pristine glassware and extraordinary waited service from the experienced staff. 

Bookings will be encouraged and walk-ins subject to availability.

Next door, El Bandito is also undergoing a refurb which will upgrade the interior spec. There will also be a new outdoor seating area and new cocktail menu with the venue reopening in August.

John Ennis, Director of Santa Chupitos, explained:

“We’re really sad to see Santas go and have loved watching it evolve and welcome thousands of people since we opened in 2009. Since Covid, things have changed drastically for the hospitality industry – there’s been a huge shift in clientele and we recognised that Santas wasn’t trading the way it had done pre-Covid.

He added:

“Santas will always be really special to GSG Hospitality as it was our first ever venue and the first independent cocktail bar in the city centre. It was the catalyst for others to open their own venues and we thank everyone for their support. There’s been many good times, lots of new friendships, even marriages and we thank everyone who made that happen and continue to support us all over the city.

John explained:

“El Bandito was due an upgrade and we’re really excited to reopen Liverpool’s world famous tequileria this summer after a refurb, the introduction of outdoor seating and a new cocktail menu. This will give El Bandito another dimension, welcoming al fresco drinking and be a reminder for why El Bandito exists; to spread the good name of agave and that’s what it’ll continue to do.”

Nick Thomas, new owner of Manolo, added:

“Manolo will bring a fresh concept to the area with expertly crafted Caribbean-inspired cocktails, modern drinks, bar snacks and an entirely new aesthetic.

He continued: “I have been working diligently behind the scenes for years now on some of the ideas and concepts that I want to bring into Manolo. I have been working on lab-based projects and re-designed classic drinks, to what I believe makes a truly unique guest experience. A London hotel bar style service with Caribbean drinks. I can’t wait to get started.”

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