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Liverpool set to welcome new social enterprise bar & restaurant courtesy of the reader

A new food and drink venue that aims to become Liverpool’s most ethically run restaurant is being launched in the city centre by leading charity The Reader.

The Reader Bar & Restaurant will open Friday, December 9 in the former home of Cuthbert’s at 103 Mount Pleasant and will offer diners a bistro style menu, inspired by continental European flavours and created using locally sourced seasonal produce.

Operating seven days a week, the grade II listed venue, which is in the heart of the Knowledge Quarter, will open from 12pm until late, providing an intimate dining experience courtesy of Executive Chef Jeffrey Gardner, as well as a welcoming bar area serving delicious drinks.

Since 2014, The Reader has successfully built its social enterprise businesses at its HQ in Calderstones Park, including its popular café, ice cream parlour and a variety of events from its beautifully refurbished Mansion House.

All of its enterprises are not for profit, with every penny donated to the charity, which uses the power of great literature through reading aloud to transform lives.

Head of Commercial, Sales and Events Laura McCarten said: “Creating a bar and restaurant in such a desirable area has always been part of our long-term strategy, as we continue to drive our overall development and widen the revenue streams that are required. In order to provide the support that we do, we knew we needed additional locations across the Liverpool City Region for us to grow our charitable contribution to The Reader.

“Our brand and principles have always been heavily focused around quality, ethical practice and conscious consumerism, and this project is no different. We have a brilliant team of strategic leaders behind it who have more than 50 years’ combined experience in the hospitality industry, including restaurants, cafes, bars, accommodation and events, so we really are excited to show everyone what we have created.”

The Reader Bar & Restaurant promises to be inclusive and innovative, providing a day and night offer for people to get together, relax and enjoy themselves. The Reader’s commitment to ethical employment and offering skill building opportunities to those ‘who need it most’ will continue at this latest enterprise.

Laura added: “The Reader’s social enterprises have three clear mission principles, which are to generate income to support the charitable work, provide meaningful and ethical employment for the community and to continue to build our community engagement. What we will offer through the venue is quality produce and excellent service. The success of this business is ultimately success for the charity.”

Each week, The Reader volunteers and staff bring people together to read great stories and poems aloud in the form of Shared Reading. The charity works with schools, families and looked-after-children, adults in community spaces, people in care homes, people with physical and mental health conditions, those coping with or recovering from addiction, and people in the criminal justice system. Their work improves wellbeing, reduces loneliness and helps find new meaning in peoples’ lives.

“Our aim is that whoever comes into the space feels welcome and that they become aware of the work of The Reader, as well as enjoying themselves”, added Laura, “The fact that we are not for profit will hopefully encourage the more ethically minded consumer to support us and we hope that people will spread the word about our truly unique offering.”

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