AND now the end is near....
The countdown is on if you want to say goodbye to the Everyman Bistro. It closes forever on July 2, this Saturday, and there won't be a dry eye in the house.
So it's time to drink the place dry instead. But don't forget to raise a glass to Paddy Byrne, co-owner and the most recognisable face of the Bistro - and one of the people who genuinely understands and cares about food in this city.
'This is a time for renewal, refreshment,
rejuvenation and re-education' - Paddy Byrne
Over the phenomenal 40 years it's been going, The Ev has won a raft of food awards and is in practically every restaurant guidebook in the land.
It is where many people first learned that taramasalata was not, in fact, a big fuzzy spider, yet it has always been much more than a cheap eats place.
The Everyman Bistro has been a catalyst for life changing things, for so many of us, for whom nay a morsel has ever passed the lips or a theatre ticket ever bought. The place where, for many, no matter where you started a night out, you would always end up gravitating to the Ev. The mother-ship.
Paddy ByrneWhat now? Well apart from still being able to enjoy a pint of Everyman's Ale at pubs around the city, there is the glimmer of a possibility that it may not entirely be the end for those denim aprons after all.
Paddy, who owns the place with brother Tim and Dave Scott, tells us he is not retiring. “This is a time for renewal, refreshment, rejuvenation and re-education,” he says somewhat cryptically. Watch this space, but not yet.
He says his primary concern, right now, is the 30 or so staff being made redundant by the closure, brought about because the Everyman Theatre upstairs is being demolished and rebuilt (see Liverpool Confidential features past). There are some good people going spare here (in the literal if not figurative sense) so anybody hiring in Liverpool bars and restaurants, you know where to look.
Time and going-out trends have changed from the days when people would queue down the road to get into the Bistro, but the weekend just gone saw the place bursting at the seams. Ex-Lawnmower man Alan Peters and a rollicking blues band performed on Friday night; Saturday saw the hugely successful Everyman Youth Theatre reunion and Celtic music. This week it builds and builds with people coming from all over the UK for the final hooley.
However, it won't be JCBs at 3am. Sunday sees Paddy's loyal team thanked with their own private party - with outside bar staff and caterers doing the work.
Until then it's business as usual. The Bistro blurb says: “Our philosophy sees no compromise. We'll be serving the same top quality food and providing the same top quality liquid refreshment as we have for the last 41 years throughout the whole week.”
The whole building is going out with a bang.
Even the road is being closed.
Tuesday June 28: Last ever Everyman Folk Club - Third Room 8pm. Free Entry but normal cap collection.
Wednesday June 29: Appreciation of Wine Night - Third Room 8pm. Call for table availability. (0151) 708-9545.
Friday July 1: Main Room Music Night – 6pm-11pm featuring harpist Stan Ambrose, Frank Maudsley's Thoughts; The Loose Moose String Band; Beatnik Hurricane, Grapes Band and John Head Midnight Special, 11pm-2am Third Room: Norman 'The Cat' Killon. Free.
Saturday July 2: All day multi-room spectacular - Midday till 2am: More Stan Ambrose, The Parade Jazz Band; The Sixteen Tonnes; Choral Voices; Helen Accordion; Sense of Sound Singers; Street Party ("unadopted"); More Grapes Band; More Norman the Cat! Free entry all day and night.
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