There really is a bar in Southport ‘where everybody knows your name’.
Kokomo Coffee & Wine Bar is as cosy and friendly as they come.
So much so, that owner Kelly Carr uses the famous line from the Cheers theme tune as her bar’s mantra.
She even has it printed onto the back of the shirts worn by members of staff so that people who call in know that they are in for a warm welcome.
It’s something which has become increasingly important since the Covid-19 pandemic struck the UK last year, bringing with it a legacy of lockdowns and isolation for many people.
Thankfully life since then has been returning, with people once again able to enjoy their nights out, and meeting other people.
Owner Kelly Carr said: “There are so many single people in town, who have missed out so much on having human contact during lockdowns. This is a welcoming, friendly place for people to come if they are on their own, or as part of a group.
“If any groups want to use Kokomo as a place to meet up, they are more than welcome.”
Kokomo serves top quality coffee, which is sourced from Neighbourhood Coffee in Liverpool, where it is roasted. The bar also offers a range of draught beers, lagers and ciders including San Miguel, Moretti, Export, Tetley Smooth, Guinness, with Tuborg available soon. The prices are among the cheapest in Southport, especially during happy hour, when San Miguel and Export are available for just £3 a pint. Bottled beers include Doom Bar, Brewdog Punk IPA and Wainwright. There is a large wine list as well as an extensive collection of spirits.
The venue has a large number of loyal regulars who have continued to support the bar during these past few challenging months. There is lots for both regulars and visitors to enjoy.
Entertainment includes Karaoke at Kokomo, which never fails to be fun, and takes place every Sunday from 4pm.
Music lovers are also invited to head down for the weekly Open Mic nights from 7.30pm every Wednesday.
The affinity between the bar and its customers can be seen in the many photos on the walls of people who enjoy spending time there. They hang alongside historic old Southport pictures of places such as Lord Street, the Victoria Baths, the Promenade and the beach; a huge wall mirror and decorations including an old Harp Mirror, which was rescued from a bar in Belfast after it had been destroyed; scores of wine and beer bottles along the shelves; a stuffed pine marten; and ‘Tobias’, a cross-eyed stag’s head above the bar.
The newest addition is a magnificent portrait of a local soldier who served during World War One.
Visitors can enjoy seating inside or outside, with a canopy handily protecting against the elements when needed.
“It really is a bar full of character,” says Kelly.
She took over the bar in June, after being a regular customer herself for several months and falling for the venue’s many charms.
Kelly said: “The bar has been here for four years. Before that it used to be Philip Jones the Jewellers, which was here for around 25 years.
“My Dad used to live around the corner, and I remember I used to come in and buy jewellery in here. I have seen lots of old shops in Southport go, which is sad. But I do that now we are seeing a lot more local independent businesses opening on the high street, which is really exciting.
“As a town, it is more and more about local people supporting local shops, local bars, local restaurants, everything, just keeping it local.
“Whenever we use goods or services, we always make sure we support local first. All the local traders have been brilliant. I would like to thank Darren from Bridge Antiques who has sourced so many interesting artefacts for us, to Replica Print who are just up the road from us, and others.”
That much is evident with the great bonds which Kokomo has forged with other local businesses in the area.
If customers are hungry, Kelly encourages them to call out for food from a local restaurant, or to bring a meal in with them.
If people aren’t sure where to try, or are looking for recommendations, then there is a folder on hand which contains a series of menus from local eateries.
Kelly said: “We actively encourage people to have food in here if they want to order it in. I have a book of menus which people can have a look through, with menus from great local restaurants such as the Brass Pig, the Shamraat, Empire, Thai Rice, Grill Hunters and others. If anyone else locally would like to drop in their menu we will include that too.
Guests have a huge choice of drinks through Kokomo.
Kelly said: “We have probably got the biggest selection of spirits in Southport!
“Being in here is like being part of one big family.
“We have ‘Everybody knows your name’ on the back of our staff shirts, that’s how we want Kokomo to be.
“We have lots of regulars who come in. ‘Tony the Camera’, ‘Steve the Brush’, a driving instructor who loves our Open Mic nights. Everyone in here has a story, and that is what I love – hearing people’s stories, learning from our customers. They have been really supportive over the past few months.
“This used to be my local. I did bar work here for a year. We already knew the regulars before we bought Kokomo.
“We don’t have a television in here. We don’t want to have the TV on in the background all the time.
“We have WiFi, but it is not a place where people come in and sit on their phone in silence. It is where people are able to come and talk and enjoy our great atmosphere.
“It is a very friendly place, a bar where people can come in and meet each other. We are dog friendly here as well.
“We have recently extended our happy hours from 3pm-8pm Monday to Thursday to now include Fridays and Saturdays as well.
“We are open seven days a week from midday, and licensed until midnight, with last orders at 11pm.”
It’s the perfect place to take a break from all your worries.
- Kokomo Coffee & Wine Bar is at 6 Bold Street, Southport town centre. Please follow the Kokomo Coffee & Wine Bar page on Facebook for regular updates on events and special offers.