A REGENERATION project transforming the face of New Brighton is picking up pace, with a new pub and restaurant having opened in the past few weeks – and there's much more to come.

The Rockpoint Leisure estate in the seaside town's Victoria Quarter is looking to establish a new "cultural heart" for the area, and was launched late last year.

Recently dubbed Merseyside's next "Lark Lane", the most recent additions to the project headed by CEO Danny Davies are a Middle Eastern restaurant/bar called Habibi, and a modern British tavern celebrating the area’s history called The James Atherton.

That all adds to the online brands-led Rockpoint Leisure which opened late last year on Victoria Road.

The entire project is aimed at developing New Brighton's independent businesses by buying empty and derelict buildings and working on a variety of retail and hospitality "concepts" to benefit local people, as well as generate footfall from visitors from further afield.

In December, the Local Democracy Service reported how quirky new bars, restaurants and shops would soon fill the alternative high street, Victoria Road, which is set back from the "main drag" of the seafront, home to outfits such as Burger King, Wetherspoon's and a Morrisons.

For developer and local businessman Mr Davies, his dream for the area, which was New Brighton's original high street, is steadily becoming a reality.

This week, he described it as a "not-so-quiet revolution", with the project also including giant pieces of street art adorning the buildings of the area's period roads – which began last year with the mural of a bear on Victoria Road.

He added: "As a long-standing resident of New Brighton, I have grown increasingly frustrated in seeing the decline of this part of town – from boarded-up shops, vandalism and littering, to low-level crime and even the growing isolation of parts of our community.

"I've wanted to do something about these issues for a while, and recently I found myself in a position where I realised I could make some tangible changes, and created Rockpoint Leisure."

Mr Davies' team includes individuals who have worked on Liverpool's Camp and Furnace in the Baltic Triangle, the Fabric District in Islington, and other "leading UK concepts.

"Our vision was born out of my personal passion for New Brighton, its history and for the future of the people who live, work and visit," he said.

He added: "We're looking to embrace and amplify the neighbourhood's existing proposition of being home to a variety of small but proudly independent businesses, building on what we already have, and creating a new cultural hub for the town."

Here's the lowdown on what's already opened at the site – and what’s coming up next:

What's already opened?

Rockpoint Apparel

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, stocking independent labels The Doll Club and Bearded G, alongside international names like Versace and Valentino.

Rockpoint officials say the store is doing "roaring trade", with customers including those from outside of the region, and a few footballers.


Described as a "confluence of cultures, where eastern eats meet western beats", Habibi opened to the public on Thursday.

The food comes from the Middle East and North Africa, and mostly consists of deconstructed kebabs, flatbreads and Mezze platters.

Offering cocktails, beers, premium drafts and wines and fizz, the venue offers a soundtrack of global hip hop artists, with the decor spanning "from Brooklyn to Beirut" – urban graffiti mixed with traditional Arabic calligraphy.

The James Atherton

Across the road from Habibi is The James Atherton, formerly known as The Railway.

Rockpoint says the venue has been "completely redeveloped with a £390,000 investment" from Punch, the firm owning the pub.

It said works have transformed the pub into a "modern British tavern" and the name change is a nod to New Brighton's 19th Century founder, as well as the grassroots workers and Northern day trippers who came to New Brighton over the past two centuries.

It's also home to a permanent collection of photographs of New Brighton, from the archive of digital heritage specialist Richard Jackson, a Wallasey resident that Rockpoint has worked with to promote New Brighton's historical side.

Visitors to the area may have also noticed a number of other new businesses also having set up shop in the area – such as Atherton Street's Sea Shanty – directly opposite the New Brighton railway station entrance.

What's in the pipeline?

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, and its opening date is hoped to be late summer.

The old Tallulah's/The Corner site, is set to become Rockpoint Records – a vinyl record store, ticket office and bar, where music will be the primary offer.

It's also believed the bar will serve pizza by the slice.

Work on the next two concepts will now begin within weeks, but things won’t stop there.

Rockpoint officials are cagey on exactly what the subsequent additions to the Victoria Quarter will be, but say the "appetite is there to continually grow the estate".

A spokesman added: "We are also looking to work closely with Wirral Council on programmes within the Wirral Borough of Culture."

As well as heading up Rockpoint, Mr Davies is also chairman of the Institute of Licensing, chair of the National Licensing Forum, and sits on the Council and House Committee of UK Hospitality.

He has recently sat on two House of Lords select committees, focusing on the regeneration of British coastal towns.

According to Mr Davies, there is "great potential" for the Victoria Quarter to become an "exciting, vibrant and dynamic asset" for the town – "both as a diverse and buzzy neighbourhood and tourist destination".

He added: "In developing the area we are also increasing employment opportunities and improving social mobility, creating premises that promote inclusiveness and diversity.

"Under the new Victoria Quarter brand, which we have developed to unite the project, we are confident that the area will be a viable alternative to, yet complement the mainstream chains on the seafront."