Top Liverpool restaurateur Paul Askew secures funding for Art School spin-off

The xhief patron and founder of city centre eaterie The Art School has opened a new champagne and wine bar called The Art School Cellars, in the basement of its Sugnall Street venue. Neil Hodgson reports

Gordon Andrews, left, Bathgate Business Finance managing director, and The Art School founder Paul Askew in The Art School Cellars

 

A bespoke financial package has helped an award-winning Liverpool restaurateur’s latest venture go with a fizz.

Paul Askew, chief patron and founder of city centre eaterie The Art School, has opened a new champagne and wine bar, The Art School Cellars, in the basement of its Sugnall Street venue.

This has created 11 jobs, and more will follow with the planned opening of a new private dining room.

Mr Askew said: “There are exciting times in Liverpool. We have the new Knowledge Quarter and the Royal College of Physicians on our doorstep.

My dream has always been to challenge the food offer of the city to match the business development.”

He claims his new walk-in wine cellar and tasting room boasts the biggest range in the city, with up to 350 different wines and champagnes.

The bar offers a collection of cheeses and charcuterie and a private tasting room, seating 10 people and offering a wine and food-matching service, with accompanying sommeliers, for both the private and corporate markets.

We wanted to create something unique that Liverpool didn’t have,” he added.

The inspiration for the new bar came from the Basque Country region and Northern Italy.

Mr Askew worked with Gordon Andrews, managing director at West Kirby financial specialist Bathgate Business Finance to fund the creation of a completely new range of furniture for the bar, alongside local companies Telegraph Furniture and designer Crave ID.

Bathgate arranged a £33,000 loan to fund the furniture and Mr Askew said: “People might look at it and think, ‘that is not very much’. But to an individual restaurant it is quite a lot of money. It is all about the management of cash flow.”

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