Alex is a LJMU drama graduate and the Co-founder and Director of Liverpool Arts Bar on Hope Street and in the Baltic Triangle, founded with the ethos of supporting and developing grassroots artists across the city.
Along with his three friends and fellow LJMU graduates - Ben Cosgrove (astrophysics), Tom Wilson (drama) and Jordan Bucknall (drama) - they opened the bar in 2019, survived the Covid-19 pandemic and can now boast that they have the city’s go-to venues for creatives.
Across their two venues they are fulfilling their dream of giving local creatives a platform to showcase and celebrate their work. They hang and sell local art; host live events that promote fresh and original music; and support the creation of exciting theatre.
Alex features in our ‘Humans of LJMU’ series in collaboration with the ‘Humans of Liverpool’ social media account, sharing the stories of the people who make our city, communities and university the vibrant, inclusive place it is in celebration of our bicentenary year.
“We had this idea for a space where creatives could come together, mix, share and collaborate. Having studied creative subjects ourselves, we knew the city needed a safe space where everyone could come and support the local creative scene.”
– Alex Medlicott
Alex’s ‘Humans of LJMU’ interview
“Starting a business just before a global pandemic wasn’t ideal, but we managed to get through it and make it work. We all studied at uni together. When we graduated, we bumped into each other, had a pint, shared what we’d been up to and chatted ideas. We decided to work on events together across the city and got our own office and rehearsal space here on Hope Street.
“We had this idea for a space where creatives could come together, mix, share and collaborate. Having studied creative subjects ourselves, we knew the city needed a safe space where everyone could come and support the local creative scene.
“We would come down and have a few beers in the bar below our office. We got on well with the guy who owned it. One night we were watching Liverpool play in the champions league. He turned up and told us ‘I’ve shut, I’m gonna get rid of it, it’s not working.’ We’d had a few drinks and we said ‘we’ll have it!’ we’ve got this idea, a vision for it. We tried to jump at the opportunity when we’d had a bit of Dutch courage.
“I remember waking up the next morning and thinking, did we actually say that to him last night? ‘Oh god, we’ve promised this fella we’ll buy his bar off him.’ But looking back it was meant to be. The right place at the right time.
“We ran it for 8 months and then the pandemic happened. Being four creatives that were doing things by the seat of our pants, we actually used Covid to learn about running a business. We all educated ourselves in finance and marketing. We kept running our live events through online platforms two days into lockdown. We ran tip the band events using PayPal, where singers could make more than they did performing in person.
“When we reopened, we continued that momentum. The bar area being a centre island makes it a hub where everyone comes and talks at the taps. All the staff here are actors, dancers, musicians. We always hire and support creatives.
“It baffled us how many creatives didn’t know each other. We’d meet different people and think, ‘you do very similar things, you should work together.’ We want this to be a place where people can cross pollinate with each other, and where great ideas are born.”