Graffiti Spirits founders look to inspire new wave of hospitality entrepreneurs

Matt Farrell and John Ennis operate seven venues across Liverpool city centre and will pass on that experience and expertise with their new consultancy arm. Tony McDonough reports

Graffiti Spirits Group
Matt Farrell, left, and John Ennis, founders of Graffiti Spirits Group


Leading Liverpool hospitality entrepreneurs Matt Farrell and John Ennis have opened a number of successful venues across the city and are now utilising that experience to inspire others.

The directors of the Graffiti Spirits Group have launched a new consultancy arm to mentor budding restaurant and bar owners and they hope the arrival of a new Liverpool restaurant called Pilgrim this summer will be their first success story.

Graffiti currently operates at seven different sites in Liverpool city centre, including Santa Chupitos, Santa Maluco, Salt Dog Slims, 81 Ltd, El Bandito, Bold Street Coffee and the new Castle Street Coffee which has taken a permanent residency at Santa Maluco.

The duo bring a mix of talents to their business with Matt overseeing the culinary aspects of the portfolio while John takes the lead on the beverage and design elements of the venues.

New venture

Duke Street Market will be the group’s latest venture and its launch is imminent. Similar to the Baltic Market model, the venue at 46 Duke Street will offer multiple drinking and dining options anchored by the permanent Pilgrim restaurant that will offer 60 covers.

Matt, first met the directors of Pilgrim – James Duffield, Dave Bone and Anthony Power – while filming for BBC2’s My Million Pound Menu and later secured investment in the restaurant.

Pilgrim’s opening will kick off the consultancy arm, with both Matt and John keen to help businesses such as Pilgrim develop and thrive. They are passionate about becoming mentors and are keen to nurture up-and-coming brands, adding to Liverpool’s growing reputation for food and drink excellence.

cuisine, restaurant, dinner, hospitality
Matt and John aim to inspire a new wave of Liverpool hospitality entrepreneurs


Guide and advise

Matt said: “Myself and John have been advising businesses and brands for many years and with the opening of Pilgrim, it seems only fitting that we now officially offer this service.

“It’s very exciting to work on new concepts and be able to guide and advise businesses, helping them to navigate around the ever-changing food and drink industry, which is something that will be really beneficial.

“We want to drive tourism in the city and really encourage restauranteurs to open in Liverpool, which is bursting with a burgeoning food and drink offering and concepts that are full of character and creativity.”

Artisanal produce
As well as Pilgrim, Duke Street Market will also include six street food vendors and a sushi bar, with a live-fire grill taking centre stage. Also part of the market’s offering is a variety of artisanal produce and speciality drinks that are largely made up of leading independent local brands.

John added: “Whether it’s a concept that is just coming into fruition or an established brand that would like some fresh ideas, myself and Matt will be able to help them flourish. 

“We have a proven track record for delivering exciting and quirky concepts, but every idea is different and we’ll really relish in helping people get off the ground or give them an extra boost.”

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