Giggling Squid city centre venue plans put on hold

Hopes of Liverpool becoming the first North West branch of a major Thai restaurant chain look to have been put on hold.

A planning application for Giggling Squid to open a branch on Castle Street had been received last week by Liverpool Council. The Grade II listed site is currently occupied by the Point Blank bar next to Castle Street Townhouse.

The LDRS now understands a little more than a week on, the brand has gone back to the drawing board and withdrawn its initial bid to come to the city to open a branch.

There had been hopes the chain would be the latest international firm to move into the former business district after proposals by Vietnamese chain Pho and Turkish brand Elif meant they would populate the busy street.

According to planning documents submitted to Liverpool Council, the brand had sought to transform the building – previously occupied by Barclays Bank – to become the Thai eating space.

The lower ground floor is currently taken by shooting bar Point Blank. The LDRS understands the bar – which is one of the brand’s best-performing sites – intends to remain in its Castle Street home for the foreseeable future.

It is thought Giggling Squid could return to submit a fresh planning application in the city but it is not known where the business would seek to open a restaurant at this stage. A series of planning documents had set out how the restaurant would have sought to design its first North West location at the Grade II building.

An existing kitchen will be replaced and a new entrance down to the lower ground floor reconfigured. An application form submitted by the applicant Roman Proskurnya, commercial manager on behalf of Giggling Squid, said a total of 30 jobs would have been created at the new restaurant in full- and part-time roles.

The brand was established in 2002 in Brighton and has since expanded across the country with around 50 restaurants. The name is derived from a nickname for the owners’ children.

The LDRS has contacted Giggling Squid for comment on the status of the planning application.

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