Sunday, 22 April 2018

The Cocoa House, Southport

The Cocoa House, Southport
I hadn't heard about the Cocoa House in Southport until a couple of friends mentioned it to me, so I thought I'd better pay a visit. I found out that it has been open for several months; it is easy to find, being directly across the road from Sainsbury's on Lord Street. A long narrow drinking area, wood-panelled to waist level, takes you through to a larger room with an intricate moulded coving around an attractive old glass ceiling. The name of the bar comes from the fact that it was originally a cocoa warehouse.

There are three handpumps, two for real ale and one for cider. When I called in, they were serving Formby Blonde, which was in good condition, and the other handpump had been serving Monument from Southport Brewery, which had been put on the previous day and had sold out by closing time. They are working on building up the real ale sales. The handpumped cider was Gwynt y Ddraig Happy Daze medium.

They stock a good choice of gins, including one I hadn't seen before, Isle of Colonsay. There are also good choices of whiskies, wines and cocktails. Craft beers include Grimberger Blonde, Shedhead American Pale Ale and Brooklyn Lager. In keeping with the name of the establishment, you can even enjoy a hot chocolate made with shaved Belgian chocolate.

You can listen to live music every Saturday evening, and sometimes on Fridays or Sunday afternoons: I've seen a couple of good bands there, including a female three-piece I hadn't heard of before called the Midnight Daisies.

Food prepared on the premises is available from midday every day until 2.30pm Monday-Thursday and 4.30pm Friday-Sunday. They even cater for your canine friend by providing dog biscuits. Children are also welcome. They are planning to bring the rear yard into use as an outdoor drinking area. 

There is free Wi-Fi and a Facebook page. They open at 11.00am every day and close at 7.00pm Monday and Tuesday, 10.30pm and Wednesday and Thursday, midnight on Friday and Saturday and 8.00pm on Sunday. The address is 459 Lord Street. 

This slightly unusual venue has an interesting past, I found the staff and customers to be friendly and I've enjoyed my recent visits.

Slightly adapted from one of a series of articles that I write for the CAMRA column in our local papers, the Southport Visiter and Ormskirk Advertiser. Previous write-ups are here.

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