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      Studio 2 - Take 2

      Studio 2 - Take 2
      London has the Jazz Cafe, Manchester has Matt and Phreds and now Liverpool has Studio2 – a new dedicated live music venue for jazz, swing and blues. The bar – part of the Parr Street Recording Studios complex that has seen the likes of Black Sabbath, Bjork, and The Smiths record there – has been revamped and will reopen this month. And we’re a little bit excited.

      Why? Well not just because it looks great - the new colour scheme and decor are moody and classy - but also because the man behind the venture is behind some of our favourite drinking holes in the city; namely Aloha and Berry and Rye. We spoke to new owner Ryan McMahon, who has just quit working for Bacardi after a decade to concentrate on his businesses.

      “I spent years working closely with bars and seeing what they do well, what they didn’t do well. I met a guy called Danny who worked in one of the bars, and we just decided to buy Aloha. It started with those 3 business partners – myself, Danny and a guy called John, and so we bought what was Bar Fresa. And we did it on an absolutely shoestring – begging, stealing, borrowing from whoever we could, except for the bank. So it was literally borrowing off our mums and stuff like that, and opening it on a shoestring.”

      Aloha is now a firm favourite on any proper night out, and with its tiki decor and outlandish cocktails it has an undeniable sense of occasion. As well as seriously strong drinks.
      For a more serious drink however, or at least more grown up perhaps, prohibition-style whisky bar Berry & Rye is the best in town for our money. Nay, best in the world! And that’s why we know Studio 2 is in good hands.

      Ryan says: I think I’ve become a victim of sort of what I’m into....not intentionally! I mean when we opened Aloha that would be the kind of place where I would go, if I was having a drink on Friday night it’s what I’d be looking for. Then Berry and Rye, then maybe... this is more where I am at now - I’ve got a one-year old - somewhere to have a great drink, some food and music”. The venue will have live music 6 nights a week, with entry most nights either free or between £3-5. Bar snacks will be available every night, while Thurs - Sat a full menu of food with table service will be on offer as well as the big name acts.

      Ryan is passionate about opening this kind of music up to a new audience, but as a spirits enthusiast (he claims to have over 140 bottles at home) he hopes that people will come
      in just for the bar, regardless of the music. The bar joins what is already a healthy scene in the ropewalks area that Ryan likens to Manchester’s Northern Quarter, and which he points out is crucially independent.

      He says: “There’s a good community here. We’ve got a blackboard in Aloha of people who owe us something - from a box of limes
      or a case of vodka, you know things that we’ve run out of. Every week people are running in between places for ice or whatever, so it’s really good. I mean if you go into Wetherspoons and ask for a case of vodka you’ll be told where
      to go!”

      Studio 2 relaunches the first weekend of September, with the Blues launch on Friday 6th featuring Kyla Brox, and the Jazz launch featuring Doreen Edwards on Saturday 7th. Studio 2 opens Tuesday - Sunday from 7pm, with live music on every night. See studio2liverpool.com

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