The Ivy to open new restaurant in historic Liverpool building

A restaurant chain favoured by celebrities in the heart of London has been revealed as the proposed new occupant of a historic Liverpool building.

A planning application has been put forward by Troia (UK) Restaurants Ltd to bring The Ivy brand to the city at the former Bank of England site on Castle Street.

Documents submitted to Liverpool Council have confirmed the brand intends to install signage and menu boards synonymous with the high-end dining establishment.

It is thought the new venue would form part of the Ivy Collection, a series of spin-off restaurants the firm has opened since 2014.

Plans to convert the former bank into a new dining venue were signed off by Liverpool Council’s planning committee last August with speculation rife over who would take over the location. The proposals are bringing the site back to life having been left vacant for the best part of two decades.

The brand was first linked with a move to the city in 2022 when designs to take over a location at 7 Water Street fell away. This is now the home of Argentinian brand, Gaucho.

The Liverpool site would be the Ivy’s third North West venue, alongside two sites in Manchester.

The Castle Street bank building was famously occupied in 2015 by a group called Love Activists, who called for it to be used as a centre to support homeless people. Plans were submitted by JSM Group in 2022 to convert the ground floor into a restaurant/bar use along with commercial kitchens.

The basement level is to provide further kitchens and storage, while the first floor is to be used for storage, customer toilets and staff break and changing spaces. Second and third floors are to remain unused, and the rear enclosed bullion yard is also to be converted to a restaurant/bar.

Proposed Castle Street elevation. Credit: Pumphouse Designs

According to a planning assessment carried out by Liverpool Council officers, the “commanding” site was designed by Charles Robert Cockerell. It added, “Its scale and powerful design language evidences the importance of Liverpool as a highly influential centre of commerce and trade which led to the founding of this first regional outpost of the Bank of England outside of London.

“Internally the building has an austere character, a contrast with many other banks of Liverpool where wealth is flaunted with fine marbles, gilding and lavish decoration.” As The Old Bank of England building is a Grade 1 listed building, only certain alterations are permitted.

New documents indicate a new fabric awning embossed with The Ivy name would be installed, alongside a brass backlit sign and four planters. A free-standing menu sign would also be situated outside the building.

The former bank building is the latest site on Castle Street the JSM Group has secured planning permission for. Last year, proposals were signed off for the former Natwest building just metres away from the Bank of England site, to be repurposed as a Pho Vietnamese bar and restaurant, as well as a 100-bed hotel above.

The group has also made a bid to convert the former Lomax club – which was once graced by musical acts including Oasis and Radiohead – into new apartments.

Images showing how the interior could look can be seen in The Ivy Collection restaurants already built.

Lead image: GOOGLE

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