Liverpool isn’t short of hangouts offering a winning mix of good food and drink paired with excellent entertainment. A place to meet, hang-out and cross-fertilise. In that regard Sound Food and Drink feels way ahead of the curve. Multi-function venues might be very 2017, but Sound were have been on the case for years, offering food, booze, live music, footy, comedy, film nights, club night and even film.
That sounds manages all this while achieving a cosy neighbourhood feel is to the credit of its owners, who opened the bar at the bottom of Duke Street back in 2012 because “Glastonbury wasn’t on this year”.
Sound Food and Drink certainly sounds like a particularly ‘Liverpool’ cafe-bar – and we’re not just talking about the name, but the bar is a big backer of local talent, even down to offering local cryptocurrency Colu as a means of keeping cash circulating around the city.
When we caught up with them back in 2012 it was clear there was a vision of a bar at the heart of the community back then:
“Food and drink make life possible, and sound makes life worth living,” they told us.
“We’d like to be Liverpool’s most inclusive space and are aiming for a community feel where people can drop in day or night and meet as yet unknown friends.
“The support and encouragement of friends and colleagues involved in the good bits of the Liverpool scene is heartening.”
Five years on and the spirit hasn’t changed, but the venue looks quite different. The bar has been restyled and repositioned, the toilets have had a makeover and the basement has been opened to live events, freeing up the bar area to welcome regulars and newbies alike.
“We wanted to use it as a mix use art space; mainly for gigs but also some small scale theatre productions and comedy, that sort of thing,” said co-owner Paul when we caught up to discuss the Sound Basement.
“We thought it would add to our venue to become a sort of ‘creative hub’. The venue has a heavy focus on helping out younger artists and local artists. Now with the basement providing a better space for gigs, and therefore touring acts, they’re determined to merge the two worlds.
“We’ve had a lot of smaller, more independent acts play here over the years and it’s perfect for that. Lots of local acts just starting out here then coming back.
Alongside live music and comedy there will be silent discos, kids’ discos and free rock’n’roll. Ska nights, Britpop nights and renowned Prosecco nights. And if you’re hungover and can’t face anything more energetic there are cult TV marathons (Rick and Morty feature shortly).
Paul says opening the basement up hasn’t changed the ambiance upstairs at Sound, Food and Drink though.
“We still have our original crowd but definitely different events bring in different crowds as well. Dance and comedy events will bring people in that wouldn’t have come here before, and it’s great to see them coming in and enjoying the space.”
Sound Food and Drink – what else?
The crowds can expect a full roster of events, entertainment and offers – in addition to the friendly staff and hospitality for which Sound is renowned.
Let’s not forget food. There are breakfasts, sarnies and skewers. But it’s pizzas that excel, with more veggie and vegan options than meat (with vegan cheese as an option) plus gluten-free options. In a landscape of pizzas costing well north of a tenner Sound’s dough bases won’t tax your wallet.
Tuesday ‘date nights’ offer £20 for two pizzas and bottle of wine or four pints. Meanwhile when the footy’s on you can get pizzas, chips and a pint for a tenner.
Veggie and vegan-friendly? Certainly, cheap too. You can get a sandwich, salad, fried and a drink for a fiver. And expect food deliveries and beer from some of Liverpool’s best independents.
And if you follow Sound Food and Drink us on Twitter for the password to get coffee – ground and roast by friends of the bar – for a quid.
It all amounts to a bar, restaurant and venue that’s as close to a home away from home as you can get. A place to party, a place to relax – and a place to recover afterwards. Yes there is sound, there is food and there is drink. And it is sound.
Sound Food and Drink52 Duke St,