Habibi opens in New Brighton

How hospitality is driving change in a Wirral coastal town

Habibi New Brighton
Habibi New Brighton

If you’ve paid a visit to New Brighton recently you won’t fail to have noticed that a not-so quiet revolution is stirring, starting with Habibi, which opens today.

Set back from the main drag of the seafront is the Victoria Quarter, a network of picturesque period roads bordering Victoria Road, the town’s original High Street.
From last October, giant pieces of street art have begun to appear in the area, commissioned by local company Rockpoint Leisure, marking the start of their plans to help regenerate the road and the wider area.

The company, which has been set up by local businessman Daniel Davies is aiming to breathe new life into the neighbourhood, and establish it as a new cultural heart for the town, championing its diverse independent credentials.

Rockpoint’s regeneration strategy includes the commercial revitalisation of New Brighton’s original High Street, and the company have already purchased a number of empty and derelict buildings and are working on a variety of retail and hospitality concepts which will benefit locals, as well as generating footfall from visitors.

The building at the centre of Victoria Road which features the brown bear mural will become ‘Oakland’ – a Californian-inspired bar and restaurant with live music and events at its heart and is due to open late Summer. Music will also be the primary offer at the old Tallulah’s / The Corner site, which is set to become ‘Rockpoint Records’ – a vinyl record store, ticket office and bar.

Rockpoint Apparel on the corner of Victoria and Rowson streets is the company’s retail offer and has been trading since December last year, bringing together four established online brands, in their own bricks and mortar store. 
Joining the store are two exciting hospitality concepts, which have opened this month. 

The first of these, Habibi, is a confluence of cultures, where eastern eats meet western beats. From Brooklyn to Beirut, this constant play of influences shape the venue’s ambitious offer, where urban graffiti mixes with traditional Arabic calligraphy, handmade tiles with rough-hewn concrete – all set against a soundtrack of global Hip Hop artists.

Food comes from the Middle East and North Africa; with deconstructed kebabs grilled over charcoal, served with home-made flatbreads, and indulgent Meze platters to share. 

Traditional cocktails are delicately scented with Rose, Tangerine and Pomegranate – which sit alongside intriguing limited-edition canned beers, premium draught lines, as well as specially selected wines and fizz.
Set on the road’s ‘town square’ and in contrast to Habibi stands The James Atherton pub. 

Formerly known as The Railway, the site has been completely redeveloped as a ‘modern British tavern,’ and the name change is a celebration of the resort’s founder and a nod to those grassroots workers and Northern day trippers who came to New Brighton during the 19th and 20th centuries. 

Simple, traditional, warm and welcoming, Rockpoint has worked alongside Punch Taverns group, to create the ‘J.A.’ which is redolent of an age where there was a pub on every corner, and which offers great ales and craft beers as well as guest lines.
Designed to appeal to both the local community, tourists and visitors the town, The James Atherton is also home to a permanent collection of photographs of New Brighton, from the archive of Digital Heritage Specialist Richard Jackson, a Wallasey resident since birth, whom Rockpoint have worked with, to promote the historical aspect of the town.

Both Habibi and The James Atherton are open seven days a week – for further information on Habibi New Brighto, please visit www.habibibar.com. For The James Atherton, visit www.thejamesatherton.com