Historic Liverpool building houses new cocktail bar

More than 200 years old, The Royal Institution is one of the oldest existing buildings in Liverpool and it is being relaunched as a new cocktail bar. Tony McDonough reports

The Royal Institution
Liverpool’s The Royal Institution has been reopened as a cocktail bar


First opened in 2014, The Royal Institution building in Liverpool city centre is being relaunched as a new cocktail bar.

St Hospitality – the venture behind Castle Street Townhouse and Seel St Venue – is offering three themed rooms reflecting the history of the location. They are The Reading Room, The Habitat room and The Exhibition Room.

Receiving a Royal Charter in 1821, The Royal Institution launched as an organisation promoting literature, science and art through a series of lectures. Originally a private house, the building in Colquitt Street was built for slave trader Thomas Parr.

After the construction of the William Brown Library, Museum, and Walker Art Gallery the institute declined in importance. Its collections were moved to the gallery and it was dissolved in 1948.

St Hospitality aims to include the spirit and themes of the original venue. These include John James Audubon’s Birds of America exhibition of the early 1800s.


The Royal Institution
Liverpool’s The Royal Institution offers three themed rooms


The Exhibition Room is centred around the bar, making it the heart of the venue. Honouring the origins of the building, the Birds of America themed decor alongside fixed plush seating and a wooden bar top are prominent throughout.

The Habitat Room to the rear of the building offers “a quieter, intimate setting, for date nights and casual cocktails”. It is also available for private hire. The Reading Room offers a nod to a speakeasy style cocktail bar.

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Also offering cocktail masterclasses, The Royal Institution will provide groups with an informative, fun cocktail-making afternoon where guests can learn more about how to make the cocktails before enjoying them.

In January, all table bookings are complete with a complimentary glass of Prosecco for each guest, and there’s two for £14 on cocktails from Sunday to Thursday.

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