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Independent businesses not only offer a more unique shopping/dining experience, but they also give back to the local economy and support the community.
With the coronavirus lockdown bringing many businesses – both small and large – to a standstill for several months, it’s more important than ever to give local spots a helping hand now they’re able to welcome back customers.
Got Liverpool on your UK bucket list? You’re in luck as this cool city is home to hundreds of independent shops, restaurants and cafés which always have a warm welcome! Here’s ten brilliant businesses which were born and bred in Merseyside:
The Baltic Market exploded onto Liverpool’s foodie scene in 2017 as a side project of Independent Liverpool, an online hub of information on the city’s top local businesses. Located in the Grade II listed Cains Brewery complex in the Baltic Triangle, the hip street food market was the first ever to open in Liverpool and it’s a fantastic place to grab a bite to eat or enjoy a drink with friends!
There’s a handful of stalls to choose from, including pop ups from well-known Liverpool restaurants like Hafla Hafla as well as eateries exclusive to the Baltic Market. It’s usually only open Thursday-Sunday, however they’ve extended their opening hours to Wednesday evenings as well. Kids and four-legged friends are also welcome!
Located on Renshaw Street, this shop is an absolute treasure trove of weird and wonderful vintage finds! 69A is an independent Liverpool business that’s been around for over three decades and it’s famed for selling quirky vintage antiques. Expect to discover racks of one-of-a-kind clothing, cool homeware and awesome artwork, including Asian ethnography and rare collectable items.
Music lovers will rejoice at this cool record store in the heart of Liverpool. The first shop opened up on Clarence Street in 1971 and has made several moves since, most recently to the beautiful Bluecoat building in 2010.
Probe Records has been a champion of local bands and musicians since its inception and even started up an independent record label called Probe Plus in 1981. Whether you fancy adding to your record collection of your favourite artist or you’re keen to branch out into new musical genres, you’ll find some real bangers on the shop’s shelves.
Known for being Liverpool City Centre’s oldest surviving building, the beautiful Bluecoat was built in 1716 as a school, but now serves as an independent arts centre. You’ll find a host of locally-owned shops within its historic walls, including the already mentioned Probe Records.
The Bluecoat provides massive support to local artists thanks to its studio spaces, plus it puts on dozens of exhibitions, live art, music and dance performances every year. Other locally-run stores in the Bluecoat which are worth dropping into include Root Houseplants (perfect for adding some greenery to your home) and Kernaghan Books (packed with classics, modern titles and rare books).
If you can’t get enough of food markets, Duke Street Market is another prime spot in Liverpool. Located towards the City Centre end of Duke Street, it’s an indoor market with cool industrial-chic interiors and a seriously delicious range of restaurants to choose from. From Asian bowl food to delectable stakes and burgers, Duke Street Market will have something to suite your appetite.
If you can’t resist bagging a bargain (and a vintage one at that), make your way to this independent alternative indoor market in the Baltic Triangle. It’s basically a huge warehouse filled with local stores selling everything from clothing, books and records to limited edition artwork and restored furniture. Red Brick Vintage is also part of the Cains Brewery complex; why not spend an hour or two browsing before heading over to The Baltic Market for a bite to eat?
For amazing arts and crafts from local creatives, you can’t go wrong at The Nest. The shop is located within the busy Royal Albert Dock and it’s one of the city’s newer independent businesses having only opened its doors in 2018. You’ll find a bounty of beautiful items among its collection – think handmade textiles and ceramics, plus gorgeous gifts and greeting cards.
Most trips to Liverpool involve a stroll down bustling Bold Street – and that’s exactly where you’ll find this vibrant clothing store! Pop Boutique isn’t technically a Liverpool-born business having first opened a store in Manchester in the 1980s, but its shop in the heart of the Merseyside city is still independently owned and run. You’ll also spot similar sister shops in London, Leeds and even further afield in Sweden!
This is the place to go for trendy, throwback pieces. Update your wardrobe with one-of-a-kind items from decades past, as well as Pop Boutique’s own range of ladies and menswear that’s been inspired by their best-selling vintage finds.
For a huge range of innovative items which have all been created by locals, make a beeline for MerseyMade on Paradise Street. This independent hub is a stone’s throw from the Liverpool ONE shopping complex. Here you’ll discover completely unique wares from the region’s most talented artists and entrepreneurs.
Browse fantastic art pieces, intricately designed jewellery and local Liverpool liqueurs before heading to the top floor of the building to watch artists in progress in the MerseyMade studios.
Bold Street is not only one of Liverpool’s best streets for a night out, it’s also jam-packed with independent restaurants and cafés.
Among them is this gem of a coffee shop that’s been serving up strong cups of joe made from their own specialty bean blends for ten years. Bold Street Coffee boasts industrial-inspired décor and, in addition to great coffee, serves up delicious breakfast and lunch spreads. Treat your taste buds with dishes like smashed avocado on toast, cheesy toasted sarnies or healthy yoghurt bowls.
Like the sound of Liverpool’s incredible independent businesses? Why not book train tickets to the city using the TransPennine Express app? Remember to keep yourself and others safe by wearing a face covering during your journey and in any shops you visit once you arrive in Liverpool.
You’ll also find more details about what we’re doing to protect passengers when they’re travelling on our trains on our keeping you safe page.