The Shipping Forecast

Susie Stubbs
Image courtesy of The Shipping Forecast

The Shipping Forecast, 15 Slater Street, Liverpool, L1 4BW – Visit Now

If you’re after a Liverpool bar that’s unapologetically cool, head here.

The Shipping Forecast is, to be frank, one cool mother. A three-storey pub-eatery-club-shop, it’s a joint venture between long-running club night Chibuku, design agency Mercy and independent bar operator Five Eight Zero – and it shows. The interiors are a cross between a stripped-back loft apartment and Jack Sparrow’s love nest: all vintage furniture, reclaimed school chairs and cosy booths, with the odd giant octopus (stencilled onto the wall) thrown in. The nautical theme extends to the signage – upstairs is “top deck”, the basement club “the hold”. And at the Shipping Forecast, the lights are low, the bar long and the kitchen open-sided.

Now, this should be a recipe for the type of place that looks upon those over the age of 30 askance. Yet the Shipping Forecast wears its hipness well; it’s somewhere you can comfortably hunker down for an afternoon, an evening or a night. Hey, I’ve taken my kids there and not one person looked at them as if they had two heads. So, the kids are all right.

The interiors are a cross between a stripped-back loft apartment and Jack Sparrow’s love nest

The menu is as unpretentious as the staff; the restaurant on the ground floor branded “Ruby Jean’s Diner” and majoring on easy American eats. Choose from a long-ish list of “boutique” burgers (the “boutique” part presumably comes from the extras: chorizo and grilled halloumi, £8.55; avocado, blue cheese and bacon, £8.55; there are veggie and chicken options, too), sharing platters, fries and big old sarnies. The American Swiss sandwich caught our eye (£5.50). All burgers come with fries, and the burgers are handmade. The buns are sadly not, however, and ours had a straight-from-the-multipack limpness to it – a handmade burger does call for a hefty bit of bread. The quality varies, too: our veggie burger (spinach and lentil) could have done with much more salt, but the chorizo and grilled halloumi version was spot on.

As befitting a venue designed solely for downtime, the weekend menu features Sunday roasts “to shame your mother” (pork, chicken, beef and veggie options, from £8.95) and full English breakfasts (£7.95). While we can’t vouch for their quality, we did note that the breakfasts feature enough carbs and fat to bring on a coronary – surely the measure of any decent fry-up. Food is served all day, every day, and while it offers nothing gastronomically exciting, the Shipping Forecast serves up a good line in comfort food. It’s an approach that suits the place well.

Eating aside, the Shipping Forecast works hard to keep the punters in and interested. There’s a shop up top – Percy Gulliver’s print shop – and a club downstairs. Music nights range from disco DJs and live indie to the occasional vinyl record fair. There’s even a monthly vintage effort. Late Night Vintage does what it says on the tin: a monthly second hand fair that runs from teatime until 9.30pm on the first Thursday of every month. All in all, then, the Shipping Forecast is where it’s at – and you don’t even have to know your portside from your starboard to enjoy it.

  • 15 Slater Street
  • Liverpool
  • L1 4BW
  • View map

Opening Hours

  • Mon: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Tue: 12:00pm – 3:00am
  • Wed: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Thu: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Fri: 12:00pm – 3:00am
  • Sat: 12:00pm – 3:00am
  • Sun: 12:00pm – 12:00am
  • Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit

Services and Facilities

Bars, food, club nights, print fair, secret cinema

Commercial and hire services

Available for hire