Former Castle Street Boots store could become Greek restaurant

A former pharmacy building on one of Liverpool’s most popular streets could be occupied by a new “luxury” Greek restaurant.

Last year, patients were left angry and frustrated when it was announced the Boots branch on Castle Street would be among the 300 sites to close nationwide as part of plans to ‘consolidate’ the business. With the building standing empty for almost a year, many have wondered what would become of the city centre location.

A new planning application lodged with Liverpool Council has now revealed how a Greek chain could add to the area’s growing food and drink scene.

Last August, a petition had been launched by city centre councillors in a bid to keep the Boots store from closing. It has yet to welcome a new tenant but is now subject of an application by Zeus Taverna to create a “luxury restaurant/bar.”

A planning report submitted to the local authority said, “The proposed site is situated within a built-up area on Castle Street, Liverpool and was formerly utilised as a Boots store. The restaurant will consist of internal works on the existing building.

“The new build work has been designed as to not have a negative impact on the well-known street. Several shops, restaurants and key visitor attractions are within walking distance from the proposed site.

“The site sits on a well-known street of historical importance in the centre of Liverpool.”

Given the building’s status as Grade II listed sat within a conservation area – Castle Street was one of the original seven streets that formed Liverpool – the applicant seeks to alter the site in a “sympathetic manner and will be set back so as to not alter the urban grain and enclosure of Castle Street.”

Surrounding buildings are a mix of bars, restaurants and retail, making use of the wide pavements with outdoor seating. The report added: “The intention is to create a luxury restaurant/bar whilst being sensitive to the Grade II site and its surroundings.

“This will be done by refurbishing the existing building as shown in the plans in order to create a restaurant/bar on the ground floor along with storage and toilet facilities in the basement. The change of use will ensure the building’s longevity, preventing it from falling into disrepair, and contributing to the area’s vibrant restaurant culture.”

Zeus Taverna is the latest brand to show interest in moving to Castle Street following a bid by Thai group Giggling Squid to take up residence across the road. The LDRS understands a fresh application could be lodged in due course.

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