Tourist in Liverpool: Beatles Pub Crawl

The Beatles loved a drink! In the late 50’s and early 60’s they could be seen enjoying a few pints around Liverpool.. But where exactly would they have a few pints and do they still stand today? here is your guide to a Beatles pub crawl...

The Philharmonic Dining Roomsphil pub

For a while John Lennon lived in the Georgian Quarter of our city with his best friend and Beatles first bassist, Stuart Sutcliffe. They would drink on Hope Street and one of their locals was “The Phil.” John Lennon once said “the price of fame is not being able to have a drink in the Phil any more.
If you visit, be sure to look at the men’s toilets (strange thing to recommend – I know) they notoriously known for its grand design of mosaic tiles and marble urinals.

Ye Cracke

ye cracke
Ye Cracke is a small local pub which when open has one of the nicest little beer gardens in the city. This was John an Stuarts pub where they would come and drink. John went to Ye Cracke when he heard his mother Julia had died, and he brought Cynthia Lennon to Ye Cracke on their first date. This was essentially Johns local pub and its situated just off Rice Street.

The Blue Angel

This club, known locally these days as “The Raz” was owned by the Beatles first manager, Alan Williams. Alan is known worldwide as “the man who gave away the Beatles” and he owned various pubs and clubs in the city. The Beatles had their first audition for a tour outside of the city in the Blue Angel and they also auditioned the original Beatles drummer, Pete Best here.
Famous faces who have played here include Bob Dylan and The Rolling Stones. Cilla Black was heard by Brian Epstein here and was signed as his only female act off the back of it.

The Jacaranda

The Jacarana was an old watch shop in 1958 and it was bought by Alan Williams and turned into a coffee shop. When the Beatles met Alan Williams they hounded him to a chance to play in places Alan owned and he let them play in the Jacaranda as long as John and Stuart painted the place. John and Stuart painted the ladies toilets and there is still a section of wall that appears to have been preserved. When The Beatles left Liverpool for Hamburg, they left in a bus parked outside the Jac.
Today its well preserved and known for its cult status. It hosts a fine record store upstairs, it has a middle floor pub and its basement hosts talented local musicians and bands. Well worth a visit.

The White Star

Heading down to the other side of town is where you will find the world famous Mathew Street. Today it hosts many pubs and clubs and not all have Beatles connections. One pub is The White Star which is still very traditional. It is known in Beatles history as the pub where Alan Williams and Bob Wooler (the original cavern club DJ and huge figure in Merseybeat) would pay their acts. The Beatles would go into the back room to receive their money, today there is a “Beatles back wall” in the exact place where they received their earnings. Brian Epstien later met with Bob Wooler in here in 1963 and discussed The Beatles performing on the Ed Sulivan show in the back room.

The Grapes

When Merseybeat was in swing, Mathew street was full of warehouses and very few places to drink. The Cavern didn’t sell alcohol, so for the Beatles the best place to go for a drink was The Grapes. Famously the Beatles would sit close to the female toilets and all the girls that would come in to do their hair, get dressed and have a drink before heading over to the Cavern would pass them.
Throughout their time on Mathew street, the grapes was visited as frequently as The Cavern by the lads. Pete Best famously went to the grapes to drown his sorrows when he was kicked out of the band and famously George Harrison left here and got a black eye around the same time. It was refurbished a few years ago now but it still has its Beatles heritage. It is a must visit for any Beatles fan.

The Cavern

It wouldn’t be a Beatles pub crawl without a visit to The Cavern would it? The Beatles performed in The Cavern Club 292 times and people travel from all over the world to visit the club that had its own smell, its own dance and where most of the worlds biggest ever stars played.
The original cavern opened in 1957 as a jazz club and was taken over by rock and roll, thanks to the rebellion of John Lennon, who would regularly get notes passed to him on stage to “stop playing that bloody rock and roll!” By 1959 it had been sold to a new owner and Beat groups were regularly playing. It was known for being sweaty, damp and it had a strong smell of disinfectant from the toilets. It would fill up with smoke and sweat would drip down the walls.
In 1973 the Cavern Club was closed down and knocked down to build an underground rail loop – that never came to be built. In turn it was then rebuilt in 1984 out of many of the same bricks and to the original plans, moving its door further down the street and building a second stage. It remains one of the most visited attractions in Liverpool and today it hosts music all afternoon and night and some of the worlds greatest Beatles tribute bands play here. Situated opposite is a wall of fame featuring all the great acts that have performed on Mathew street and in the world famous Cavern Club.