Tucked off Liverpool’s Hardman Street, this multi-purpose enterprise – drinking spot, kitchen, music venue and off licence – is dominated by a glittering bar set against exposed brick. With a loyal student clientele, Buyers Club is also a magnet for professionals from the city’s universities and creative industries, not least in fine weather when the operation spills into the suntrap courtyard outside, where barbecues smoke in summer, DJs spin vinyl and fairy lights twinkle as the evening gets darker – though it’s also a peaceful spot for a mid-morning mint tea made with leaves freshly picked moments before.
A collection of fine wines, listed on blackboards, is the first of many attractions, with an emphasis on natural, organic and low-intervention wines. There’s good choice by the glass and if you like what you try, you can take a bottle home with you.
The bar menu contains a choice of deli boards, with sourdough accompanied by the likes of black tapenade and grilled courgettes, duck and cranberry rillettes, plum and port salami and sardines in tomato sauce, perhaps with a side dish of grilled whole artichoke oil or marinated aubergine.
Elsewhere are small plates made for sharing: octopus risotto, dark from the ink, is topped by both pan-fried and pickled tentacle (a delectable contrast); crisply charred red mullet is offset by a juicy crab salad and avocado purée; and spiced culotte roast pairs marinated pink Hereford beef with a smooth chickpea purée.
Cheeseboards bring new treats – a melting golden Cenarth and a tangy Welsh blue – and cocktails complete an enjoyable meal; try the El Rey Manhattan (12-year-old rum, Campari and white cacao).
Other attractions include monthly curated art exhibitions (with a free private view on the first Tuesday of the month) while the last Sunday of the month plays host to Winyl, a vinyl and natural wine fair: just thing to top off an all-day Sunday roast, when 12-hour beef brisket, chicken supreme or a nut roast are served with all the trimmings.