Chef Critchley heads Ormskirk Market line-up

Top Liverpool chef Dave Critchley will play a leading role at the new Ormskirk Food & Drink Market opening this autumn – with one more trader needed. Tony McDonough reports

Dave Critchley
Dave Critchley, executive head chef at Lu Ban in Liverpool


Ormskirk Food & Drink Market has unveiled five traders that will take up residency in the new site when it opens this November.

LBN reported in August that the traditional indoor market was to be transformed into a food and drink venue in a six-figure investment that will create 80 new jobs.

Covering 10,000 sq ft over two floors, the site on Moorgate originally opened in 1903 as the home of Hesfords DIY & Gardening. It later became an indoor market and now it is set to be transformed by Liverpool hospitality entrepreneurs Simon and Fiona Beer.

Themed around ‘Eat, Meet & Play’ the market will welcome award-winning Baltic Triangle restaurant Lu Ban, headed up by executive chef Dave Critchley. He will launch Lu Ban’s new street food concept Meishi.

Joining Meishi will be Burscough-based pizzeria Purely Pizza, steak and fish eatery Salmo, outdoor hangout Backyard Liverpool and burger specials Meatello. It’s now on the hunt for just one more local independent business to complete the impressive line-up.

Director Simon Beer, whose EPIC brand has a proven track record of operating successful businesses in and around Liverpool, said: “We know that there has been a lot of interest in who will be joining us at the market.

“It’s great to finally announce this and to welcome these brilliant brands on board. When we first came up with the concept of Ormskirk Food & Drink Market, it was so important to us that it helped to propel start-up businesses and to put them into the spotlight.

“Ultimately, it’s about giving them a platform, and the opportunity to get their foot on the hospitality ladder. The search is now on for that final trader.


Simon and Fiona Beer
Simon and Fiona Beer, founders of the EPIC hospitality brand


“It’s an extremely positive proposition as there’s lower risk involved as there’s no huge lease in place, no big deposit, or the worry of rocketing utility prices. We’re here to make this happen for someone who just needs that extra bit of support.”

Acquired by the Beers in 2012, the former indoor market has remained vacant for the past 12 years. It is currently in the latter stages of transformation and will soon come to life as a new food hall. Offering six kitchens and a bar area, it will also include an immersive games area, several retail outlets, live music floor and private hire space.

The team is also well under way in their latest recruitment drive. 80 roles available include business development manager, bar manager, head bartender, bartenders and servers.

Fiona Beer added: “This is such a big investment in many ways. We want to attract the right brands and the right people in order for it to be a success. We want to give people a chance to develop their businesses.

“To some, Ormskirk may just be another historic town in the North, but we chose this area for a reason. Not only has it been our home for the past 25 years, but we’re proud to be creating something that really will elevate the area and what it has to offer.”

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