Tom Norris invented the Scouse Fizz cocktail and now the experienced hospitality professional is taking on a new senior role in Liverpool. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool bar operator Lucky Penny Group has appointed Tom Norris as the new general manager for one of its city centre outlets.
Tom, who is credited with inventing the Scouse Fizz cocktail, will become general manager at Abditory. The venue is based on Queen Avenue, located between Castle Street and Dale Street.
He will also assist with the development of the group’s forthcoming venues across the North West. He is joining from GPO Liverpool, the food hall which opened in Liverpool’s Metquarter mall in 2021.
Tom is a former head cellar man from Leeds who is passionate about small breweries. Previously he worked for JD Wetherspoons pubs in the city, helping to turn around their performance.
He helped take the Lime Kiln from 356th in the JD Wetherspoon estate for ale sales to first in two months. He also played a key role in the opening of the North Western and made it the 17th pub in the Wetherspoons estate to achieve a £1m profit in a year.
Tom, who is a graduate of both Keele and Liverpool universities, said: “I felt it was time to take what I’ve learned and help smaller independents reach their ambitions. Lucky Penny has a burgeoning reputation for wanting to do things properly as they expand their portfolio.
“I really like their ethics and the way in which they approach the hospitality business. Abditory really appealed to me because it’s not about being 10-deep at the bar. It’s about great personal service and great customer experience.”
Scouse Fizz is a cocktail Tom created during his time at GPO Liverpool. It’s a mix of Liverpool Gin, St Germain elderflower liqueur and lime juice, topped with grapefruit and rosemary tonic.
In addition to Abditory, Lucky Penny also operates BoBo an Iberian bar in Castle Street. Managing director Steven Burgess co-founded Camp & Furnace in Liverpool’s Baltic Quarter. The firm is currently bringing forward multiple schemes across the region, including In Liverpool and Chester.
Adam Keegan, Lucky Penny’s head of operations, said: “Tom has successfully managed in high scale venues with large turnovers and with his excellent career experience he is a perfect fit as we look to scale our business.”
Lucky Penny also welcomes Kirkdale’s Nadine Gardner to Abditory who takes up a new role as head bartender. Her eight-year hospitality career includes working for the New World Pub Company for five years, four of which as a senior/bar coach.