Liverpool’s former Exchange Bar to become a Pret A Manger

Coffee and sandwich chain agrees deal with owner of No 1 Old Hall Street, Downing , to occupy the Old Hall Street site from next spring – quashing rumours that M&S Food would move in. Tony McDonough reports.

No 1 Old Hall Street in Liverpool city centre
No 1 Old Hall Street in Liverpool city centre

National sandwich and coffee shop chain Pret A Manger is to open a new outlet in Liverpool’s central business district – on the site of a former well-known bar.

Property firm Downing says it has agreed a deal with Pret for it to open up in the former Exchange Bar on the ground floor of No 1 Old Hall Street.

There had been rumours for some months that Marks & Spencer was to open a food store on the site.

The 3,700 sq ft will undergo substantial renovations prior to the opening of the outlet.

Subject to planning approval, the old brick frontage and iron railings will be replaced by eye-catching double height feature glazing.

This glazing will also enclose an extended, commercial unit of 4,100 sq ft. above Pret, which will be fitted out by Downing.

Overlooking Old Hall Street and facing Moorfields train station, this new space will be targeted at occupiers looking for high profile business space.

Downing has selected Keepmoat as its construction partner and work is due to get underway before end of the year, with the new Pret A Manger expected to open in spring 2017 and the new business space to be available for occupation immediately afterwards.

Downing’s head of property management, John Clegg, said: “We have been aware of the interest and speculation around the future ground floor occupier of No.1 Old Hall Street for some time now, and we are delighted to announce Pret A Manger as our new tenant.

“Situated directly opposite the exit to Moorfields station, and with tens of thousands of potential daily customers on their doorstep, we expect them to flourish.”

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