Having already played an integral part to Liverpool’s transforming nightlife scene, food and drink entrepreneurs John Ennis and Matt Farrell, are set to bring an exciting new concept to the city with the launch of a new market on Duke Street. Specialising in artisanal products, the finest street food and the coolest drinks, the market will act as a platform for the city’s young start-ups and independent brands, while offering visitors and Liverpool residents alike an all-encompassing space in which to try the best the city has to offer.
Graffiti Spirits Group is an independent bar and restaurant group which was founded by John and Matt in 2007 with just two members of staff and £200. The first venue, Santa Chupitos, was launched in 2009, and since then the talented duo has helped carve out Liverpool’s burgeoning eating and drinking scene, offering accessible and unpretentious, yet forward thinking and sophisticated concepts for all kinds of socialising. From the UK’s first Rodizio pizza restaurant and urban smokehouses to high end cocktail bars and underground mezcal hangouts, the six unique venues are celebrated as some of the city’s most popular food and drink hangouts, and the company now has over 70 employees.
The group currently operates six successful venues dotted throughout Liverpool’s foodie hubs, and John and Matt have big plans for expansion both within and outside the UK, with the company presently growing at a rate of one new venue every eighteen months. Just as Graffiti Spirits Group has succeeded in remaining a completely independent business, John and Matt now plan on helping other smaller brands succeed, using their extensive knowledge and passion of the food and drink industry, along with this exciting new market.
Having previously worked in multiple successful bar groups, including Revolution and Living Ventures, John has a vast wealth of knowledge of the drinks industry. This combined with Matt’s extensive experience working in the food and tourism industry has provided the pair with everything they need to know to operate successful businesses, with their creativity and ambition assisting along the way. Both John and Matt go to great lengths to ensure each of the venues are tailored to the market demand, such as their regular trips to Mexico to seek out rare mezcals and inspiration for El Bandito.
Since being awarded the Capital of Culture in 2008, Liverpool as a city has been constantly evolving and transforming, especially in the food and drink scene, and this year will even mark the 10th anniversary of its very own food and drink festival. Matt and John are key figures in the centre of this change, with their original drinking and dining concepts taking the city by storm and helping to attract visitors from all over the world. Their aim to create a name for Liverpool as a destination for foodies and cocktail connoisseurs, whilst keeping its personable fun and friendly vibe, is quickly becoming a reality, with this new market acting as the ideal next step to achieving this vision.