53.4167° N 3.0000° W

81 LTD

53.4011864° N, -2.9764876° W

79 - 83 Seel Street
(Above Salt Dog Slims)
L1 4BB




+44 (0)7803 361 052

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The proliferation of hidden watering holes in recent years has signalled a growing demand for prohibition-era style bars. Spoken about in whispers, the modern speakeasy requires a special method of entry and Liverpool’s 81 LTD is no exception. Opened in 2012, this truly modern hidden bar has ditched the traditional formula of a secret handshake and well-timed knock in favour of a simple text message and the reply will quite literally open doors for you.

81 LTD (Liverpool Trading Dock) occupies the top floor of Salt Dog Slims, located on Seel Street. However the space - designed and branded by the in-house team - differs from the stein-serving busy bar below and instead offers more of a relaxed vibe created by low lighting, jazz and soul music. 

To gain access to the venue, ask a member of the Salt Dog Slims bar team for 81 LTD's phone number or find the digits on the bar’s Twitter page. Text your name (plus how many people are in your group) and wait for a reply. Once your reservation is approved, make your way up the candlelit stairs, punch the code into the keypad on the sturdy steel door. The door will then pop open to reveal the understated yet impressive venue where you will usually be greeted by a cheerful host.

On our visit we tried the Clover Club (Portobello road gin, pomegranate and raspberry syrup, lemon juice), a cocktail that takes its name from the Philadelphia men's club in which it was concocted in 1910 but 81's most popular signature drink is the Lucky Strike. A smoked gentleman's old fashioned, made with maplewood smoked Gentleman's jack whiskey, whiskey barrel aged bitters, sugar, orange zest in a smoked glass, this cocktail is a firm favourite on the experimental yet well-considered menu.

All drink ingredients are sourced locally (the more unusual ingredients are picked up at Matta's international food store on Bold Street) and 81 LTD also offer a champagne list; knowledgeable bar staff on hand to advise should you be spoilt for choice.

Opening Hours
Thursday - Sunday
8:00pm - 3:00am

Nearest Train Station
Liverpool central Station

Nearest Bus Station
Berry Street

Words by James Courtney

Photography by Michael Gannon
(Taken with a Nikon D800)