Stand Up For Southport column: 25 exciting new arrivals in Southport – In Your Area

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Southport Market. Picture: Andrew Brown Media
By Andrew Brown
Wow – what a year we’ve enjoyed in Southport during 2021!
Despite the tremendous impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, Southport has shown remarkable resilience and imagination to develop new and exciting businesses, attractions and events.
They are much-needed after a challenging few years, but we are gradually gaining momentum which is carrying through into 2022 with more exciting developments on the way.
No wonder pop legend Marc Almond declared “How can you not love Southport?” on his return home in December.
We need that positivity, and Stand Up For Southport will be bringing you all the latest good news happening – and about to take place – in our town.

Here are some of the new things we loved seeing in Southport in 2021:
1. Southport Market
Southport Market has been a huge success since it was opened on July 22 2021.
The historic venue was transformed by Sefton Council into a brand new food, drink and events venue following a £1.4million transformation by Sefton Council with cuisine from Italy, Mexico, Canada, Greece, USA, Spain, and elsewhere around the world.
More than 10,000 excited and hungry customers passed through the doors in its first 48 hours of opening alone, and it has continued to prove popular.
It has proved to be a catalyst for the ‘Market Quarter’ area, with new local independent businesses opening nearby including: Season Coffee, Bar and Kitchen; Urban Attic; The Cake Box; and Eva’s Sewing Box.
Earlier in 2021 the Government announced £38.5million in funding for Southport through the Town Deal, with the first chunk of that funding already showing a great return on investment.
A total of £900,000 from the Towns Fund was added to £500,000 from the Liverpool City Region for the market scheme.
2. The boulevard of light
Making Southport sparkle in 2021 was the Southport BID scheme to light up Lord Street.
The scheme again used Town Deal funding in addition to money from Southport town centre businesses, through Southport BID.
Contractors IllumiDex UK Ltd installed an incredible 300,000 lights along both sides of the historic, mile-long shopping and dining street, giving a huge boost to the evening economy.
The lights have become a much-photographed feature of Southport, with hundreds of superb photos posted on Stand Up For Southport and elsewhere on social media.
3. Sand lizard mural
Talking of creating lots of positive noise about Southport on social media!
The incredible sand lizard street art by acclaimed artist Paul Curtis now takes pride of place on the landmark Toad Hall building in Ainsdale.
The artwork is the biggest painting ever by a single artist in the UK.
The work pays tribute to the sand lizard, a rare protected species which has made its home along our coastline.
4. Beales department store
The past few years have seen a series of closures of department stores across the UK.
So it was fantastic to see a brand new Beales department store open its doors in August 2021 on Lord Street in Southport town centre, forming part of the historic Wayfarers Arcade.
There were long queues of shoppers along Lord Street when the new store opened its doors.
The new department store hosts a number of independent local Southport businesses, including: Baby Love, Medusa Gems, Naked Peak, Lucy Lou’s Boutique, Plaza Cards, Miss Attire, Molloys Furnishers, In-Time, Medusa Gems and others.
It was the third store in the Beales portfolio, and the first in the north of England – a huge vote of confidence in Southport by the firm.
5. Southport Classic and Speed
Victoria Park in Southport is a magnificent setting for the annual Southport Flower Show – an event which has graced Southport since the 1920s.
In 2021 the park hosted some exciting new events too, including Southport Classic and Speed.
This spectacular new event, hosted by the organisers of Ormskirk Motor Fest, saw thousands of visitors descend on Southport to admire scores of classic, vintage and the very latest vehicles on display.
The event was crowned by an eye-catching parade of vehicles through town centre.
Other new events we enjoyed at Victoria Park included: the Winter Light Trail; the Lookalike Festival; and Save The Rave.
More superb events are coming to Victoria Park in 2022: visit victoriaparkevents.co.uk
6. Southport Veterans Hub
A brand new Veterans Hub opened in Southport in December 2021.
The new centre opened on Wesley Street, in Southport town centre, and is operated by the Southport branch of the Royal British Legion.
It aims to be a safe space where veterans can go and meet up, enjoy a coffee with friends, and seek advice or support.
The Royal British Legion is on hand to help veterans with issues including welfare support, while also being able to signpost the best places for issues such as mental health.
This is the first centre in the country to use the smart new Royal British Legion logo, as the organisation celebrates its 100th anniversary.
7. Birkdale Kitchen Co.
This ground-breaking new kitchen company in Southport opened on April 12 2021 – and has already been recognised as the very best in England!
Birkdale Kitchen Co. is owned by Neil Gokcen, who has a background in technology, and Stephen Dunne, who has over 35 years experience designing kitchens.
The two have combined to design a truly eye-catching kitchen showroom, in the former Laura Ashley building at the heart of Birkdale Village. They combine top quality kitchen design with the very latest technology to create award winning kitchens which have everything for modern living.
Birkdale Kitchen Co. is now eyeing the title of being the best in Britain after being shortlisted for ‘Kitchen Showroom of the Year’ in the annual kbbreview Retail & Design Awards 2022, alongside finalists from Edinburgh, Glasgow and Aberdeenshire.
The firm has also been shortlisted for ‘New Kitchen Retailer of the Year’ alongside two firms from Surrey and one from Hertfordshire.
8. The Fox & Goose
One of the North West’s most historic nightspots was transformed in 2021 through a £600,000 investment – after it was nearly lost and converted into flats.
The Fox & Goose pub in Southport town centre has been visited by generations of people enjoying nights out ever since it first opened in the 1850s.
Successful local businessman Hasan Akdeniz led its conversion into an exciting new venue which can be enjoyed both during daytime and night-time, with lots of different rooms for people to explore, both inside and outside.
The ground floor has been turned into a superb new night-time venue with the town’s most colourful, neon-squared dancefloor, while live music is back. A feature bar runs alongside the left hand side of the wall, and VIP rooms can be hired.
The popular Saturday night rock nights have returned at the venue, on Cable Street, just off Lord Street, right at the heart of the town centre.
The Fox & Goose has always been famous for its live music, and local bands have returned to the venue.
Hasan has created an attractive new outside beer garden area where visitors can relax and enjoy the town’s first ever shisha bar.
9. The Old Bank
One of the most iconic buildings on Lord Street in Southport town centre opened its doors in November 2021 following a £100,000 makeover.
The Old Bank also saw the creation of 24 new jobs.
The venue will be open from 11am each morning and into the night, with a menu that makes the most of the venue’s top quality pizza ovens.
The new bar and restaurant is owned by Alexandra Myhill and Bernie Snagg, who have worked hard to create something new and exciting for our town.
Two amazing pieces of street art adorn the walls. One features Sean Connery as James Bond, from the movie Goldfinger, above the bar. Another is a huge, colourful portrait of The Queen next to the mezzanine area, tying in with The Old Bank theme.
10. Massam and Marshall
A new independent funeral directors in Southport opened in October.
Massam and Marshall Independent Funeral Directors opened its new premises on Manchester Road on October 25.
Massam and Marshall staff spent several months renovating the glorious former bank building, which even includes its own steel-doored vault – used these days for cleaning products only.
The premises is situated at 137-139 Manchester Road, next door to the new Jack & Gin bar. It was previously occupied by a Nat West bank, followed by the Barking Frog restaurant and then the Imagination Station play centre.
The firm is owned by Funeral Director David Massam, who has spent several years working for other funeral directors in the region before establishing his own branch with his business partner, Charles Marshall, initially in Parbold, and now in Southport.
With a number of funeral firms in the region owned by large national chains, they felt that there was a real need for an independent funeral director which puts grieving families at the heart of everything it does, that offers more choice.
11. Anelli Hotel & Amici Bar
A top quality new hotel and bar opened in Southport in 2021, thanks to two years of determination by a local family.
Anelli Hotel & Amici Bar has opened at 1-3 Avondale Road in Southport town centre, perfectly positioned between the resort’s historic Lord Street and the Promenade.
The nine-bedroom facility is owned by Roberto Anelli, who is very well-known in Southport for his time working at Casa Italia on Lord Street before going on to run the popular Mario & Roberto’s Spaghetti House restaurant on the site of the current hotel back in the 1990s and 2000s.
Roberto then decided to take the plunge, carrying out a dramatic transformation of the building to create the stunning new Anelli Hotel & Amici Bar.
The new venture is run by the Anelli family; Roberto, wife Karen, and children Adriana and Fabrizio. It follows frustrating delays caused by the Covid pandemic and the subsequent lockdowns.
12. Remedy at Beales
The brand new ‘Remedy at Beales’ cafe in Southport opened in August 2021, thanks to a very special VIP guest.
Remedy opened its newest venture inside the new Beales department store on Lord Street, with outside seating inside the beautiful Wayfarers Arcade, and was an instant hit with shoppers.
It is the third venture in the town for Remedy, which opened in the Town Hall Gardens in July 2015 and on Botanic Road in Churchtown in December 2017.
The beautiful Hannah Jennings, just 17 weeks old, cut the ribbon. The first Remedy baby called in with her mum, Jemma, who was among members of staff when the first Remedy opened on Lord Street in July 2015.
13. Naked Peak
The opening of Naked Peak was another boost for Wayfarers Arcade.
The stylish new shop sells organic and vegan candles and body products.
Naked Peak, a local independent business owned by Linda Parsons, opened inside the historic Wayfarers Arcade on Lord Street.
The business, which also operates online, was previously situated inside Cambridge Walks nearby.
Last summer, Naked Peak also opened a concession inside the new Beales department store.
Naked Peak has taken up two units inside Wayfarers Arcade, and is looking forward to moving into a third unit in 2022 to stage workshops and other events.
14. The Woollen Pig
The brand new Woollen Pig Tap & Bake House in Southport is fast growing a reputation among food lovers after it opened on Duke Street in Southport.
The stylish venue, which prides itself on top quality local produce and local suppliers, has created 15 new local jobs.
The independent venue is owned by Vici Bradshaw, who built a glowing reputation as the landlady of the iconic Cheshire Lines pub in Southport town centre over the past five years.
Visitors to The Woollen Pig will recognise some of the much-loved Cheshire Lines staff members and some of the popular dishes from the menu – but are in for some great surprises too.
They include an in-house baker, its own rotisserie oven, a relaxing outdoor area, lots of local food and drink and a quirky food menu, with more surprises to come.
15. Winter Light Trail
The brand new Luminate Winter Light Trail took place at Victoria Park in Southport during November and December 2021.
Visitors were wowed by an incredible 25,000 lights, stretched across a trail almost a mile long.
Luminate already operates eye-catching illuminated events at venues around the UK, in Wales, Coventry, Norfolk and Cheshire.
This was the first time they have brought their showcase to Southport and they appreciated the feedback from the hundreds of visitors who enjoyed the trail.
The Winter Light Trail was a huge investment by Luminate with a team of 30 expert staff taking 300 hours to set up everything.
16. I Grew Up 80s
Childhood memories from the 1980s came flooding back thanks to a brand new exhibition in Southport.
I Grew Up 80s has brought an Aladdin’s Cave of 80s treasures to The Atkinson in Southport from Saturday, November 13 2021 to March 19 2022.
Visitors can njoy rare childhood toys and games from the era such as Cabbage Patch dolls, Care Bears, Smurfs, Gremlins, and a Rubix Cube; an Atari computer console and games and a Nintendo Game and Watch, movie posters featuring the likes of E.T.; Athena movie posters such as the instantly recognisable L’Enfant; Ghostbusters, Police Academy and The Lost Boys; classic BMX bikes; 80s music; album covers from artists such as Madonna, Michael Jackson and Southport’s very own Marc Almond in Soft Cell.
Bring along your 50p coins and you could play iconic games such as Space Invaders, Pac Man or Donkey Kong on a classic arcade machine.
Or sit back in an 80s themed living room, complete with classic TV shows, furniture, colourful wallpaper, and an old-fashioned TV.
17. Season Coffee, Bar & Kitchen
A stylish new coffee shop opened in Southport town centre providing specialty coffees, craft beers and delicious food for all seasons.
Season Coffee, Bar & Kitchen opened on King Street, directly opposite the new-look Southport Market.
It is one of a number of new businesses which opened in Southport Market Quarter during 2021.
Lots of work has gone into it since taking over the former Coral Bookmakers which stood empty for nearly six years.
Visitors can choose from seasonal food and drinks menus with dishes that use only the best local produce, in addition to the highest quality specialty coffee roasted, only a few miles away in Ainsdale. Craft beer, ciders, wines and spirits have been carefully selected in order to offer a unique experience to the people of Southport.
18. Forty Seven
A stylish new cafe and bar has been welcomed with open arms by the local community since it opened at Kew in Southport.
Forty Seven, on Ovington Drive, has made a great impression with its craft ales and gins, delicious cakes, tasty breakfasts, famous platters and sharing boards, hand-picked tea and coffee, and its friendly, welcoming atmosphere.
Owner Nik Wetherby spotted a gap in the market in the area giving logical people somewhere relaxing to sit down and meet friends over a few drinks and something to eat.
19. House Of Ivy
House of Ivy, Southport’s latest café bar, opened its doors in August 2021.
It is situated at 663 Lord Street next door to Lords Café and is a further boost for Southport’s growing Northern Quarter. It is owned by Paul and Chantelle Drewery.
In recent months the Northern Quarter has seen Skies open, while Mikhail Hotel & Leisure Group is due to transform the former Grand Casino site into a luxury hotel and wedding venue and brewery. Work is also taking place to create a new roof terrace at The Bold Hotel.
The House of Ivy food menu has a great selection of pizzas, salads, sandwiches, fries and sides with its speciality being a sharing charcuterie board and a chocolate calzone dessert.
20. The Beer Den 2
Southport’s newest micropub officially opened its doors in May 2021.
The Beer Den 2 is situated at 125 Rufford Road in Crossens and is owned by Parker Brewery, which is based in Banks.
The opening was warmly welcomed by local residents in Crossens, who have been without a pub ever since the closure and demolition of The Plough Hotel in 2015.
The Beer Den 2 will be the second licensed venture from The Parker Brewery, which already operates The Beer Den 1 on Duke Street in Southport.
21. Jack & Gin
Jack & Gin opened on Manchester Road in Southport.
It is owned by Rob Baker, who previously ran The Barking Frog restaurant on the site.
It has a range of over 40 different cins, a great bottled ale and beer selection with a well chosen wine menu. Cocktails are hand-crafted with quality ingredients by fully trained staff who have a passion for their craft.
Jack & Gin offers small plates and tapas with daily specials available. It uses local suppliers and fresh ingredients to bring good home cooked food at reasonable prices.
The aim is for Jack & Gin to become a regular haunt when you have free time to relax and unwind.
22. Royales
A new bar with a 12ft wall mounted electric guitar on the wall is enjoying bringing great live music nights to Southport.
Royales is situated at 13 Lord Street, next door to Boulevard West.
After months in lockdown and then more months of severe Covid restrictions in place as bars eventually reopened, people have missed seeing singers and bands on nights out.
Royales has been busy making up for that, with acclaimed local acts appearing including: Jenny Wren, Kelly Bond, Dickie McStein, Paper Heart, Astrid, Chris Hesketh, David Walker, Mike Rimmer, Jamie Wooding, Babs from Fag Ash Lil and others.
The live music venue is owned by RK bars Ltd and employs six people.
Royales opened following the refurbishment of what used to be a swimming pool shop.
23. Vintage Home
Vintage Home is a family-run business which opened in the village of Churchtown this winter.
Owners Andy and Jill pride themselves in taking all aspects of vintage living from selling handmade crafts to recycling and repurposing old furniture to make a truly ‘vintage lifestyle shop’.
You will find the couple busy sourcing vintage and antique items, upcycling old furniture and running the shop with help from daughter Rachael
They have enjoyed plenty of experience in the business which has had many changes from first opening in Wayfarers Arcade in 2007, to moving to a warehouse style shop in Birkdale village for five years before finally settling in Churchtown.
24. The Junction Patisserie
Railway enthusiasts will love The Junction Patisserie in Birkdale Village.
The patisserie is situated right next to the historic Birkdale Railway Station and the Birkdale Signal Box.
The venue serves a great range of coffees, teas, cakes, pastries, light breakfasts and lunches.
All the food is fresh, home-made or locally sourced.
25. The Golden Monkey
A brand new bar opened in Ainsdale Village in Southport in June 2021.
The Golden Monkey opened at 104 Station Road, next door to Grayson’s family bakers.
The new business promises a warm welcome and a cozy atmosphere with cask ales, draught beers, cocktails, gins, coffee, cakes and snacks.
The venue is also dog friendly, and has disabled facilities.
The Golden Monkey was converted from a former dental laboratory into a new wine bar, creating five new jobs.
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