The Carlton bar in Southport is back!
It was one of Southport’s most iconic venue in the 1980s and 1990s. Many great days were spent in the famous Carlton beer garden while night-times indoors were always lively.
Now the bar, on Lord Street, is back, with a vibrant opening night taking place last weekend.
Photographers from Southport firm ZEDPhotography were on hand to take pictures of people enjoying their nights out and to help to promote the new venue.
Renowned bar owner Carl White, who also owns the successful Avenue and Chop House bars, was delighted to open his third venture in Southport town centre.
And he is looking forward to enjoying another busy weekend this weekend, with Southport forecast to enjoy some heatwave temperatures this Saturday and Sunday.
Brazilian street artist Liam Bononi has created stunning street art on the walls inside to celebrate the bar’s new Motown, funk and soul theme.
The bar will be open between midday and midnight each day of the week.
Carl remains committed to supporting live music in Southport with his new venture.
When he took over the building, and tried to work out what name to pick for it, he said there was really only one contender. Local people are loving the idea of seeing an old favourite return. Many people in Southport will also remember the business’ previous incarnation, as the Red Rum Hotel and Rummie’s Bar, back in the 1970s.
Carl said: “We have had a fantastic reaction since we revealed that we would be calling our new bar ‘The Carlton’. I have heard lots of stories who have met here over the years, people are very nostalgic over this bar.
“There are lots of memories of people meeting and drinking in the famous Carlton beer garden, and enjoying great nights out here.
“At the start we were thinking of different names, but it always kept coming back to The Carlton.”
The bar is themed around Motown, funk and soul, and will celebrate some of the genre’s greatest performers.
Carl said: “We are celebrating the classics, but there is also a new wave of music coming up. There are a couple of bars along the Fylde coast working along similar lines.
“We will be playing a lot of music by the likes of James Brown, Marvin Gaye, Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding and others.
“We are going back to old school. The bar will be very chilled out, very welcoming. There will be nothing pretentious about it.”
Some of the Motown stars are celebrated in the eye-catching murals by Liam Bononi inside.
Visitors can also enjoy relaxed dining, which will be served from Saturday onwards.
Carl said: “We won’t be doing fine dining. It is going to be street food, easy to eat and served in recyclable, eco-friendly disposable containers.
“People can enjoy things like chicken, burgers, pizza, lots of finger food that’s easy to eat.”
Carl’s two other bars are also famous for their live music: The Avenue and The Chop House, both on Scarisbrick Avenue.
Carl said: “The Avenue and The Chop House are both night-time venues, so it is nice that The Carlton will be catering more for people during the daytime.
“The Chop House reopened recently, and there was a fabulous atmosphere.
“People there respected social distancing which was great. We have plastic glasses and outdoor seating now. I would like to thank Sefton Council for their help in helping us to make that happen.
“We are really pleased to be back. At the beginning of the pandemic, in March, we decided to shut a week before the lockdown came in, to keep everyone safe. Since places have begun to reopen, we have not rushed into anything. We wanted to see how it was done best and see what we could learn from other people.
“People who come to The Carlton and The Chop House can enjoy a full sit down table service.
“We want to be at the top of our game, and for everyone who visits us to feel safe, but also to be able to enjoy the experience. We have removed some of the furniture inside our bars to make social distancing easier.
“The atmosphere of people enjoying their nights out now is going to be a lot more chilled out, and that is not going to be a bad thing.
“We are back. I hope now it is going to be a great Summer for everyone in Southport.”