Backstreet bar owner makes 'difficult decisions' as she says 'now's the time'

Heather Garlick, owner of SipSin, has sent a message to the bar's Instagram followers
-Credit: (Image: Liverpool Echo)

Changes have been made to a bar as the owner asked its customers for support.

SipSin opened last November on Gradwell Street, just off Wolstenholme Square in Liverpool city centre. In contrast to some other bars in the area, it focuses on alcohol-free alternatives, including Lucky Saint lager, French Bloom wine and Sentia cocktails.

Speaking previously to the ECHO, owner Heather Garlick, 36, said the bar was attracting a diverse range of customers and was serving drinks not available in other bars. She said: “My favourite customer is one who assumes they don't think they’ll like alcohol-free things.

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“They'll be really surprised by how much you enjoy it, how little difference there is to alcohol and how nicer their night is.

“We’re really different from other alcohol-free bars because we're not completely alcohol-free. It just means we’re a totally different space. There’s no stigma attached. Nobody knows if you’re not drinking.

“We get students, we have a big Muslim community who come to us. On Saturday afternoons we get a lot of new parents who are possibly new to it.

“People can’t believe how good (alcohol-free draught beer) is. You can't really get it anywhere else.

“We were always looking for somewhere that had a backstreet vibe. We see ourselves as a bit of refuge. It really suits our vibe, a bit laid back. It’s not full-on like Seel Street but still within spitting distance.”

However, this week, Heather took to SipSin’s Instagram page to announce the bar will now only be open for events or regular activity classes. She said: “The last few months have really taken their toll on the bank balance and I’ve been forced to make some difficult decisions.

“Henceforth we will only be open when we have an event or an activity running. Though it’s hard on my fantastic team, it enables us to focus on what we do well for now. You’re still welcome to drop in for a casual drink or use the shop, just double check we’re open first.

“If you’ve been meaning to make it over and haven’t quite got round to it, now’s the time. We’ve got some brilliant DJs and activities coming up where there’s no need to buy a ticket.”

Heather argued that SipSin can host events such as birthday parties, workshops or baby showers, and will respond to any queries about this via Instagram DMs. She finished the message by saying: “Please, if you’re at an activity or event, remember to buy a drink. We don’t run the payroll on iced water alone.”

Heather and SipSin were flooded with support after this message. One Instagram user said: “Fingers crossed in all the directions for you.” Another added: “Keep smashing what you do best gorgeous people! Supporting you with every ounce of our bodies, you are amazing.”

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