Steven Gerrard to bring fine dining to Southport? It's about time, too

He’s not the only footballer in the catering business, but he might be the most upmarket. Compare, for instance, Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs's 'Football Cafe' project

Share

The news that Steven Gerrard is bringing in a superchef to the restaurant he co-owns in Southport – with the attendant possibility that the town might realistically entertain hopes of appearing on the Michelin star list – will come as little surprise to Sandgrounders like me, whose first reaction is: about time, too.

Matthew Worswick, who’s a terrifyingly young 26 and gained a Michelin star at Glenapp Castle in Scotland, will introduce to the Warehouse Kitchen and Bar such dishes as chateaubriand and duck fat chips as well as, he promises, “barbecued pineapple tarte tatin with rum ice cream.” It certainly beats the Wimpy Bar, which constituted my principal dining-out option in the town where I was born and raised. There must have been a few nice restaurants – Lord Street and the Promenade were full of fancy hotels – but the poshest it ever got for me was the Berni Inn once or twice.

In fact Southport has always fancied itself, ever since Prince Louis Napoleon lived in exile on Lord Street for a while before he became Emperor of France. The story goes that, inspired by the elegance of Southport’s main drag, when he got back home and took the throne he set Baron Haussmann to work remodelling Paris in its image – hence the expansive, tree-lined boulevards.

The town used to pitch itself as the gentleperson’s seaside resort, Blackpool without the Tower, the tackiness, the illuminations, the nightlife, or indeed any of things that make Blackpool what it is. The 1996 edition of the Rough Guide to England doesn’t mention it once – it’s not even on the map of the North-west. But that’s surely as it should be: there’s nothing rough about Southport, thank you very much.

Actually, there was something a little bit rough in 2008, when a fight broke out at the Lounge Inn in the town. Steven Gerrard was later cleared of affray, and he’s put that episode firmly behind him with his co-ownership of the Warehouse Kitchen and Bar. It’s surely safe to say there’ll be no barnies breaking out there.

Gerrard’s not the only footballer in the catering business, though he’s upmarket compared to some: his old England team-mate Gary Neville has just opened a football-themed café in Westfield Stratford with Ryan Giggs (called, with a daring leap of the imagination, Café Football). No chateaubriand and duck fat chip nonsense there – but you can have Nev’s Noodle Pot, Starting Eleven Platter or Hometeam Burger for mains, followed by Vimto Ripple for pud.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I suspect Gerrard and the Manchester United lads are aiming for slightly different markets. Café Football’s the kind of place you might find in gaudy, hysterical Blackpool, while Southport’s elegance, however faded – or, indeed, imaginary – is far better suited to the concept of fine dining and high living. You’d never have caught Louis Napoleon in Café Football, but you might have spotted him tucking into his barbecued pineapple tarte tatin with rum ice cream at the Warehouse Kitchen and Bar.

React Now

  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey/ South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Trainee Consultant - Surrey / South West London

£22000 per annum + pension,bonus,career progression: Ashdown Group: An establi...

Ashdown Group: Recruitment Consultant / Account Manager - Surrey / SW London

£40000 per annum + realistic targets: Ashdown Group: A thriving recruitment co...

Ashdown Group: Part-time Payroll Officer - Yorkshire - Professional Services

£25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A successful professional services firm is lo...

Day In a Page

Read Next
Nicola Sturgeon could have considerable influence over David Cameron in a hung parliament  

General Election 2015: What if Cameron were to end up in hock to the SNP?

Steve Richards
Fishing for votes with Nigel Farage: The Ukip leader shows how he can work an audience as he casts his line to the disaffected of Grimsby

Fishing is on Nigel Farage's mind

Ukip leader casts a line to the disaffected
Who is bombing whom in the Middle East? It's amazing they don't all hit each other

Who is bombing whom in the Middle East?

Robert Fisk untangles the countries and factions
China's influence on fashion: At the top of the game both creatively and commercially

China's influence on fashion

At the top of the game both creatively and commercially
Lord O’Donnell: Former cabinet secretary on the election and life away from the levers of power

The man known as GOD has a reputation for getting the job done

Lord O'Donnell's three principles of rule
Rainbow shades: It's all bright on the night

Rainbow shades

It's all bright on the night
'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before