Korova: What next?


Babycream’s gone and Korova is on the move. Getintothis’ Luke Traynor gets the lowdown on the bar closures sending shockwaves through Liverpool’s music landscape.

TWO of Liverpool’s best-known city centre nightspots are set to close.
Babycream, at Albert Dock, will shut its doors in the next few weeks, with a new restaurant possibly taking its place.
Korova, in Fleet Street, off Slater Street, will close its current premises and move across the city centre to Hope Street.
The popular bar will be relaunched in the former Roadkill venue, next to the Philharmonic Dining Rooms, which was recently targeted by Tesco.
The surprise decision by owner The Korova Group follows a similar move in July, when it announced the busy Negresco, in Lark Lane, was closing.
The company launched a different bar, Low, a few doors away in a change which shocked the licensing trade.
Global dance company Cream had a licence agreement with The Korova Group to allow its name and logo to be used by Babycream.
That arrangement has now ended and the two companies have decided to go their separate ways.
The group of bars once, or still, within the stable of businessman Rob Guttman have gone through a rollercoaster ride this year.
In April, Circo, Raven, Korova and Babycream, at the time said to be part of Docklands Bars Ltd, closed temporarily on Grand National weekend after the company was plunged into administration.
Mr Guttman also opened Blue, Baby Blue and Pan American at Albert Dock, as well as a series of bars in Woolton whose existence was shortlived and soon closed.
A spokeswoman for The Korova Group said Mr Guttman now had “no involvement” with the company.
The relationship between The Korova Group and Docklands Bars Ltd has recently been unclear, with employees unwilling to comment on the status or make-up of the business.
A statement released by Korova said: “We are very proud to be launching a bigger and better Korova in an exciting new location in a fabulous building near to the Philharmonic Hall.
Korova has been synonymous with breaking new music and promoting the best talent the city has to offer for nearly five years now.
We are working with some of those talented people to bring a bigger and better version of one of the city’s most acclaimed and best loved venues to Hope Street.
Korova has been at the heart of an exciting phase in Liverpool’s music culture for a good while now, and intends to be so for a long time yet.
Also, we can jointly confirm with the Cream organisation we are drawing a veil over our joint venture at the Babycream bar.
The licence agreement between us has run its course and Cream is keen to concentrate its efforts on its live music and festival business.
A more restaurant-based concept is planned for the former Babycream site.”
Numerous high profile gigs are set to move to other venues with the xx‘s gig postponed til next March. Korova at the former Roadkill venue will have a relaunch party on October 19.

Arctic Monkeys: Fake Tales of San Francisco. Old version.
The iconic image on the front cover of the Arctics’ debut was shot in Korova.