Giggling Squid could open in city centre as fresh plans submitted

Spring sunshine and outdoor dining on Castle Street, Liverpool
-Credit: (Image: Colin Lane/Liverpool Echo)

Hopes of a major restaurant chain opening a venue on one of Liverpool’s original seven streets look to be back on the table.

Last month, proposals for Giggling Squid to take up residence on Castle Street were abruptly withdrawn. The business had sought to set up its first venue in the north west in a grade II listed site that had been occupied by Point Blank shooting bar.

Now, with the bar having vacated the lower ground lot next to Castle Street Townhouse, fresh plans have been submitted to Liverpool Council for consideration on the future of the former bank building.

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Giggling Squid is the latest business to consider a 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 seeks to transform the building – previously occupied by Barclays Bank – to become the Thai eating space. A heritage statement said: “The lower ground floor has been fitted out as Point Blank.

“This has involved blacking out the windows in order to install projector screens and booths for groups. This interior fitting out to be stripped out back to bare building spaces.”

It added how work would impact the Grade II listed status of the site. The documents said: “By considering each element of the proposed works it can be seen that none of the works are causing undue harm to the fabric of the listed building.

“The interior of the building has previously been heavily altered at lower and upper ground floors and little remains that might be considered of interest. The fabric of the building that is of significance is primarily the classically detailed stone front elevation overlooking Castle Street and to a lesser extent the side elevations are also largely intact and showing some refinement of detail.

“The proposed works do not unduly affect these elevations.”

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 on behalf of Giggling Squid, said a total of 30 jobs would be created at the new restaurant in full and part time roles.

It is proposed the restaurant, should it secure planning permission from the city council, would trade from midday to 10.30pm daily. Cllr Nick Small, who represents the City Centre North ward, said: “I broadly welcome this application from what seems to be a quality operator.

“Castle Street has a really good night-time economy offer and has gone from strength to strength over the last few years. Giggling Squid looks like a great addition to Castle Street. I hope the operators will work closely and constructively with local residents living around Castle Street too.”

A date has yet to be confirmed for the plans to go before the local authority.

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