It’s time for us phone call-phobics to face our fears, the cocktails are beckoning. At first look Ex-Directory seems like nothing more than an old-school telephone box – complete with a rotary dial phone and peeling posters – but once you pick up the handset and give them a call you’ll be let in on their little secret. A hidden door will unlock, leading to a set of stairs that takes you down into the warmly-lit setting of an intimate cocktail bar.
To find this boozy underground sanctum you need to follow the sound of seagulls to Dale Street, just a maraschino cherry’s throw from Royal Albert Dock. Once there, take a turn down Hockenhall Alley and keep an eye out for that familiar bold red of the telephone box. You can’t miss it.
The blast from the past doesn’t stop with the quirky exterior. Downstairs the speakeasy-style ambience – paired with polaroid pictures being taken and retro decor – might make you feel like you’re in a time warp. Whether you opt to don your best 1920’s garms, doll up in pinstripes and polka dots or put on a red Marty-Mcfly-style gilet is down to you, though.
Once you settle into the tufted leather booths and get started on the cocktails it won’t matter what era you’re in. The array of concoctions on offer will soon have you forgetting everything else; instead set on perusing the menu until your practically drooling in anticipation. You could choose to keep it classic, channelling your inner Bond as you sip a martini or indulging in a smoky old-fashioned. But your eyes might stray to Ex-Directory’s ‘Signatures’, which include the Hotline Bling (with French vanilla, violet and fresh basil), the Sour Patch Daiquiri (mixed with bubble-gum, strawberry and a dash of homemade sours) and the Lady Luck (white rum, sweet vermouth, eucalyptus and Prosecco). Don’t mind sharing? You can order
Of course, sipping your cocktails won’t be in silence either. A cavalcade of DJs and live musicians are often at hand to liven up your evening. You’ll be fluctuating between drinking and dancing throughout the evening – one moment reclining in the booth and the next boogying on your feet with your telephone-box-shaped bevvies in the air.
Booking is advised to void disappointment, so you might want to plan ahead with this one. Round up your friends and organise some after-work tipples or make sure you’re kicking off a big night out the right way by booking here.
8 Vernon St, Liverpool L2 2AY