This season’s Europa League has certainly been a rollercoaster ride for Liverpool.The ecstasy of defeating arch rivals Manchester United. The depths of despair as Borussia Dortmund initially put Jurgen Klopp’s side to the sword at Anfield. The unbridled joy of another improbable European comeback – shades of Istanbul 2005, anyone? – in the same match.
Unsurprisingly, the city’s bars, pubs and venues are going to town in preparation for Wednesday’s final against twice-reigning champions, Sevilla. From local boozers in the shadow of Anfield to cooler-than-thou fanparks in the city’s up-and-coming Baltic Triangle, and everything in-between, Liverpool is ready to paint the night – and Europe – red once more.
We spoke to five very different venues to see what plans they’ve made for Liverpool’s biggest night in years. And no matter what their differences in style, clientele and numbers, all agree on one thing – the atmosphere is going to be electric.
The Central One
15 Berry Street, L1 9DF
Unquestionably Liverpool’s coolest New York-style bar and pizzeria. The central venue in Berry Street will be packed come Wednesday evening when Liverpool’s bright young fans will get the party started.
Specials for Sevilla: The Final falls on one of TriBeCa’s deal days – fans will be able to get bottles of Heineken or Sol for £2.50. Don’t forget to wash it down with one of its award-winning pizzas.
What they say: “Our tables will be booked beforehand. We’re expecting a full house and the atmosphere will be electric as we’ve got nine screens showing the game. It will also serve as a dry run for this summer’s Euros which are still at the planning stage.”
67 Greenland Street, L1 0BY
All towns should have a Camp & Furnace. A warehouse-sized venue that acts as a restaurant, bar, gig venue and, crucially a Fanpark for all passionate football tournaments. Anyone who enjoyed the Manchester’s famous Hacienda would find this familiar. Craft beer, street food, a friendly and stylish vibe… this is how to stage a modern entertainment venue. Located in the city’s resurgent Baltic Triangle.
Specials for Sevilla: Food, beer, football and an atmosphere that will rival being in Basel. Honestly. To get the, ahem, ball rolling, it will be screening the unforgettable 2005 Istanbul Champions League Final – in full – from 5pm.
What they say: “On the back of the Manchester United, Borussia Dortmund and Villarral ties when the crowds were incredible we’re expecting another lock out.”
The Historical One
60 Penny Lane, L18 1DG
Not only is The Dovey to be found on Penny Lane, a street immortalised by the Fab Four, but it has a backstory as colourful as a toddler’s drawing. A former town house, church hall, hotel, orphanage and, most incredibly, Russian Embassy, it is now one of the city’s most adored local pubs, known affectionately as the Dovey. The atmosphere for Liverpool games is highly charged, but friendly – no wonder the assistant manager describes it as a slice of Anfield on matchdays.
Specials for Sevilla: “Book a table.”
What they say: “It’s like a tiny bit of Anfield in here”
The Stylish Tradition One
13 Hardman Street, L1 9AS
A beer lover’s paradise, Fly In The Loaf is a cracking pub in the heart of the city. Renovated two years ago, Fly is famed for its lively, up-for-it and mixed crowd. The football attracts a youngish crowd and is popular with both men and women and the pub will be packed again on Wednesday with punters glued to the pub’s four big screens.
Specials for Sevilla: Nothing in particular – the Fly’s regulars are drawn here because of the great service, buoyant setting and, of course, its array of award-winning beers.
What they say: “A good crowd, a great atmosphere, some fantastic beers – from craft to lager and real ale – and another full house. We can’t wait. ”
The Anfield Connection
178-182 Oakfield Rd, L4 0UH
The Liverpool fan bar to end all Liverpool fan bars. The Sandon is situated next to Anfield so is beloved of all match-going Reds, not least because it was here in 1892 that Liverpool FC was first formed. Those that aren’t making to the trip to Basel can choose from one of the Sandon’s three busy bars to watch it on one of their 10 large screens or one ultra-massive big screen.
Specials for Sevilla: Book tickets for its VIP area in the Village Bar. It offers a waitress service for drinks (don’t miss a second of the action); additionally, at half-time it will be handing out free sarnies and chips.
What they say: “It’s going to be great. Because we’re next to Anfield those fans that don’t want to pay £50 to watch at the ground can come into The Sandon and watch it for free.”