Little Hardware Speakeasy Oil drink
Cocktail at the speakeasy © Chloe Bush

A new hidden bar has opened in the back streets of Liverpool city centre that gives a nod to the lost hardware store – Rapid.

Rapid Hardware was a family run business, that opened in 1971 and officially closed after nearly 50 years in 2017. The store expanded across the length of Renshaw Street and became a landmark for the locals.

When deciding on a theme for The Hardware Coffee & Restaurant, owners Callum and Rachel Scott realised how valued the former hardware store was, as locals would tell them they still refer to Renshaw Street as ‘Rapid Hardware street’.

The married couple opened Hardware Coffee & Kitchen in December 2022 and quickly transformed the basement into a secret bar.

Rapid Hardware sign in Little Hardware speakeasy
Original Rapid Hardware sign in the bar © Chloe Bush

To keep the memory of Rapid alive, the couple continued the theme of the restaurant down to the hidden bar, even showcasing the original hardware sign.

The owners said: “We weren’t sure on what to do with the basement.

“We were thinking of turning it into restrooms for the restaurant but after a trip to a speakeasy in Edinburgh, we had the idea to make our own.

“We have always loved speakeasys but some don’t continue the theme through the bar – we wanted to make sure you knew it was a hardware concept throughout.”

Each drink, art piece and ornament is hardware-orientated, with cocktails being served in lightbulbs, paint cans and oil dispensers.

Customers of all ages have been trying to book the venue to try the quirky cocktails and feel the nostalgia of the old hardware store.

Little Hardware speakeasy
Little Hardware entrance © Chloe Bush

Callum said: “We are so pleased with the business so far. It’s interesting to hear people’s stories about Rapid.

“It’s so important for the city to have more independent businesses, especially as Liverpudlians value them so much.”

Little Hardware is open five days a week and is already proving popular as they have bookings for the upcoming weekends.

Featured image by Chloe Bush 







Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

The reCAPTCHA verification period has expired. Please reload the page.