There are many things we all miss because of coronavirus and for us, Sunday evenings haven’t felt the same since The Grapes on Roscoe Street had to close their doors during lockdown. But they’re back.
Monday mornings were less foggy and our heads were less sore but as a result, our hearts definitely less full. Located in the shady side streets of historical Georgian Quarter of Liverpool, The Grapes welcomes everyone with a drink, a smile, and a guarantee they’ll come back. The building is full of spirit and not just the ones stocked behind the bar. It is one of the oldest pubs and buildings in Liverpool as it was made in the 1700s but still remains one of the most popular. The pub is full of charm, as you’d expect from a building that has been standing and serving for so many years.
The Grapes was and is a great place to visit any day of the week but especially on a Sunday. If you ever find yourself aimlessly wandering along Berry, Knight or Roscoe Street on a Sunday evening at around 9pm, a seductive sound fills the air. It has a tendency to lure you in much like the sirens of ancient Greek mythology to weary sailors searching for home. Yet unlike the treachery and untimely deaths those sailors found against the cliffs of some Grecian isle, these melodious tones lead you solely towards the weekly jazz of The Grapes, as the weekend draws to a close in the most fitting way the city has to offer and you find yourself lost at sea in a haze of friendly faces and pints of Mahou.
Even before entering you’re met with a vibrant mix of both people and plant gracefully perched on the opposing kerb, with the establishment’s outer-shell adorned with horticultural wonder which seems to offer something of a guard of honour upon entry. Once inside you would be forgiven for feeling as if you had been transported from the centre of town to the more familiar surroundings of your local, with an array of hugs as welcome as the bartender instantly pouring your drink as your eyes meet.
As well as the air of familiarity and homely comfort The Grapes has a continental feel to it, and due to the benched seating area and open booths you are just as likely to find yourself befriending a pair of Hungarian tourists as you are in the company of long-forgotten ex work colleagues and educational acquaintances. A Sunday evening Grapes session means you hear an equal amount of Spanish tongues as you do Scouse, undoubtedly due to the city’s multicultural attitude as to the Latin jazz band playing in the corner.
Come 12.30am the dream ends and breath of the working week can be felt menacingly on your neck, as the staff collect glasses with such efficiency that you forget to notice that one bears an uncanny resemblance to World Cup winning Brazilian footballer Denilson. You are once again a sailor searching for home, yet one whose slightly-inebriated soul is filled with the content brought from a mixture of intellectual conversation, Latin Jazz and the smiles of familiar strangers.
Words by Kevin Jones