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Liverpool: Alma de Cuba cashes in at Liverpool's oldest bank

The new restaurant and bar, which will be called The Noble House and will be based in the historic Heywood Building, in the heart of the city’s business district. The building, which dates back to 1799, is thought to be Liverpool’s oldest bank building and was originally owned by Arthur Heywood.
 
This is the latest venture for the Alma de Cuba management team, part of the Pax Leisure Ltd group, which includes Stuart Ross and Rob Preston. Rob Preston said: “We have been operating Alma de Cuba for more than two years but the plan has always been to expand and open new venues.
 
The Heywood Building was just what we were looking for in terms of its architecture and its fascinating history. “The Noble House will bring something completely different to the table and will be a new genre of venue for the business district and people may be in for a few surprises when they see what we have in store.”
 
Although the finer details of the new venue are being kept a closely guarded secret the focal point of the interior will be a striking Barlas Baylar-designed chandelier, incorporating four miles of nickel chainmail suspended above a custom-made 40ft long, solid oak dining table.
 
Executive chef John Tamila has created a menu inspired by New York greats from The Carnegie Deli to Smith and Wollensky, which will also include a diverse breakfast offering. As well as the restaurant and bar, there will be private bar downstairs called La Guardia. Rob added: “Some of the team have recently been to New York and came across the latest fad in the bar scene there, which is for the new style of speakeasy. “We want to recreate this in Liverpool with La Guardia, which will be a discreet bar, hidden away in the basement in true prohibition style. “It will serve the best Martinis in the city and our award-winning director of bar operations Alex Hannah is currently working on creating a fabulous new cocktail list” The venue is currently undergoing a major re-fit and is expected to open next month.
 
The Noble House name refers to the noble gesture of gentlemen shaking hands to secure a business deal. The Noble House is housed in a grade II-listed building, which dates back to 1799 and was originally a private bank owned by merchant and slave ship owner Arthur Heywood. Arthur Heywood established his banking firm in 1773, which was later sold and became the Bank of Liverpool. which was incorporated into Martin’s Bank before being incorporated, in turn, into Barclay’s Bank. Heywood is thought to have once lived in apartments above the Brunswick Street building.
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1 November 2009
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