£6M Restaurant Plan for Cunard Building
Liverpool's historic Cunard Building is set to house two upmarket restaurants as part of a £6m investment by Living Ventures that will create about 150 jobs.
Pictured (L-R): Bacon, Anderson, Lord Carlile and Hyland
The restaurant and bar operator has signed a deal with Liverpool City Council to create a new Australasia branch, as well as a restaurant led by Michelin star-winning chef Aiden Byrne.
The agreement comes less than a year after the local authority was forced to scrap plans to convert the Cunard Building into a cruise liner terminal due to the costs associated with the development.
Tim Bacon, chief executive of Living Ventures, said: "I am delighted to introduce Australasia and Cunard House to Liverpool, it has always been a city very close to my heart and I am sure people will love these two new dining experiences - each will bring something totally new and dynamic to the Liverpool dining scene."
"Aiden is also very excited to be returning to his home town. Cunard House will be a showcase for the amazing food Aiden produces and the training academy will give him the opportunity to pass on his knowledge and experience to aspiring young chefs who could not ask for a better mentor."
On the ground floor of the Cunard Building, Living Ventures will establish an Australia restaurant serving modern Australian cuisine "combining Pacific Rim flavours with European cooking traditions".
On the first floor, Cunard House will be led by Byrne who is behind Manchester House in Spinningfields and The Church Green in the Cheshire village of Lymm. Cunard House plans to serve 'fine food in an informal atmosphere', while the restaurant will sit alongside a cocktail bar and a training academy for young chefs to train under Byrne.
Lord Carlile, chairman of Astutus Strategy, which is supporting Living Ventures, said: "The development is a great opportunity to bring a great building back into the growing Liverpool powerhouse. It promises to be a wonderful restaurant, and a go-to meeting place."
Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson added: "I am delighted that we are able to announce the investment by Living Ventures in Cunard Building. It will breathe new life into the Cunard Building and the wider Pier Head, complementing the recent investment the council has made.
"It will provide a world-class dining experience for residents, tourists and office workers in this part of the city and be a catalyst for further investment in the Pier Head area.
"We know there is a huge demand for dining at the Cunard Building, demonstrated most recently through the success of the Aquitania pop up restaurant during the Three Queens visit.
"It is also a great economic deal for the city, creating a significant number of jobs and economic spend, and will generate business rates and rental income for the city council which we can reinvest in essential services."
The deal was organised by John Hyland of Astutus Strategy. Subject to planning approval, Australasia is expected to open in April 2016 and Cunard House in September 2016.
A menu of Pacific Rim flavours underpinned by European cooking tradition, an exotic blend of Indonesian and Southeast Asian influences. Australia's strong ties with Japan also help determine taste and style.