The Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar in Exchange Flags opened in 2015 and was to be acquired by Merseyside chef Aiden Byrne – but he has now pulled out. Tony McDonough reports
Renowned Merseyside chef Aiden Byrne has pulled out of a deal to buy former Liverpool FC star Steven Gerrard’s Liverpool city centre restaurant the Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar.
It was announced in early April that Mr Byrne would be taking over the popular Exchange Flags venue immediately and would continue trading under the Vincent name before later renaming it The Metropolitan Bar & Grill Rooms.
However, a statement to LBN on Saturday Mr Byrne’s company, Medusa Hospitality, said: “It is with regret that we confirm that we are unable to progress with the deal to acquire The Vincent Café, after undertaking due-diligence.”
And on its Facebook page the Vincent, owned by Rangers manager Gerrard and his business partner Paul Adams, said: “Further to the press release recently issued, and due to unforeseen circumstances, Aiden Byrne and his team will no longer be operating from The Vincent Cafe & Cocktail Bar Liverpool. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.”
Mr Adams first establish the Vincent brand at his hotel and restaurant in Southport, a separate business that continues to trade as normal. He and Mr Gerrard opened the Liverpool Vincent in 2015, offering 190 covers.
Had the deal gone through, it would have been the second restaurant that Mr Byrne has opened, backed by a group of investors who joined forces to open restaurant MCR in Manchester’s Spinningfields in December last year.
When the deal was first announced in early April, My Byrne said: “I have built my reputation with a fine dining tasting menu, however, I have always wanted to deliver a high-end grill rooms concept.
“The realisation of The Metropolitan Bar & Grill Rooms is a lifetime ambition to pay my respects to legendary venues like The Savoy Grill and The Grill at the Dorchester, who have set the standards for all to aspire to.”
Mr Byrne has been one of the UK’s leading chefs for more than two decades since receiving his first Michelin star aged 22.