Local people say The Grand “looks amazing” after opening its doors in Southport – praising owners Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group for “keeping a little bit of history in our town”, with one visitor saying his visit felt “like being on a cruise ship”.
People have given their reaction to the spectacular opening weekend, which was complete with 1920s vintage cars, showgirls, pianists, singers, and the chance for people to get a first look at the stylish new venue following its £3million conversion.
The magnificent Grade II Listed art deco building was opened in 1923 and has since entertained generations of Sandgrounders as a cinema, as a bingo hall, as an early car showroom, and as the former ‘Grand Casino’. It celebrates its 100th birthday next year.
It has really hit the jackpot with the opening of the first phase of its new look, with a brasserie restaurant and Chloe’s piano bar on the ground floor.
The Princess Grace Suite on the first floors will be open to view on the first floor, while Harry’s Bar and the Sky Bar on the top floor will open before Christmas.
It is the ultimate family business with owners Andrew and Vicky Mikhail having enjoyed their first date together in the building 23 years ago when it was Stanley’s Casino. Chloe’s Piano Bar, the Princess Grace Suite and Harry’s Bar are named after three of the couple’s children.
The project was designed by Joe Clayton, owner of Clayton Architecture, based in Southport.
The opening has really sparked the imagination in Southport with over 45,000 people have already viewed posts on the Stand Up For Southport Facebook group, with hundreds of comments and shares.
Tony Wynne said: “It was a super night… and great to see so many people there! There was a real Art Deco feel to the evening… It was like being on a cruise ship.
“I’m sure the venue is going to be a great success and it’s fantastic to see The Grand being totally revived by Mikhail Hotel and Leisure Group.”
Susan Baxter said: “This looks amazing .Well done everyone for keeping a little bit of history in our town.”
Col Clarkson said: “Takes a lot to bowl me over, but my flabber is well and truly gasted here.
Wow! Just. Wow!”
Grant Tindell said: “Absolutely stunning venue. Great night. Can’t wait to visit again very very soon!”
Mark Arnold said: “Great news for Southport, and thank you to the Mikhail family for their continued investment in the town.”
Jayne Sims said: “Looks absolutely spiffing! (1920s words). Wonderful restoration and I wish The Grand every success.”
Linda Holloway said: “Wow it looks fabulous and well done for keeping the Art Deco staircase! Hope it’s a great success can’t wait to come and have a drink.”
Marta Gray said: “It looks amazing!!! So glad to see the original style revived!! Fabulous!!! Looking forward to stepping inside!”
Margaret Rimington said: “Cannot wait to visit, looks fantastic.well done all involved.”
Mari Lewis said: “This looks amazing!! Great investment from a local entrepreneur to restore a great Southport building. Every success is deserved.”
Gavin Bleackley said: “Looks amazing! Lord Street east is the place to be, some great bars along there now.”
Lolly Billie said: “We popped in for a drink late on. The singer and the pianists were amazing. Top class venue for a night out. Perfect in every way.”
Tim Kemp said: “Well far better than I imagined. Looks amazing! Gives me a reason to go back to Southport for an evening out! I hope they do well, it’s just what the town needs.”
Lucybelle Jones said: “Visited tonight and it was the most wonderful experience – the staff were so friendly and helpful and the food was superb!! My husband and friend used to work in the casino – it was so nice to see the gorgeous transformation.”
In a review on The Grand Facebook page, Ed Atkinson wrote: “Fantastic food. Great atmosphere. Attentive, friendly and welcoming staff. 10 out of 10.”
Reservations for the Brasserie and Chloe’s Piano Bar are now available on the venue’s website at: www.thegrand.co.uk.
The Mikhail Group already owns some of Southport’s most striking and favourite venues including The Bold Hotel, Lord Street Hotel, Punch Tarmey’s Irish Pub, Lord Street Sports Bar and are also the operators of the bar at Southport Market.
Mikhail Group Chairman Andrew Mikhail said: “Bringing fabulous buildings back to life is such a rewarding feeling, it’s what I love to do, and a building as stunning as The Grand deserves to be enjoyed by the people of Southport and beyond.
“We really hope that the people of Southport are proud of what we have done.”