Q&A with Lyndon Higginson LQ&A WITH

Venue Insight catches up with Manchester bar scene mogul Lyndon Higginson and finds out what makes him tick and why. He is currently Co-Director of The Liars Club, Cane & Grain, Crazy Pedro’s Part-Time Pizza Parlour, Junkyard Golf Club, The Golden Pineapple, Junior Jacksons, Street. There are more openings on the horizon with The Bay Horse Tavern in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, Crazy Pedro’s in Liverpool and Junkyard Golf Club Oxford coming soon.

How did this life all start for you? Is there a defining moment when you thought ‘This is a bit of me’...

I actually didn’t start in the industry until I was 30 years old!! Pretty late to the party really. I’d always wanted my own place but you need experience from both sides of the bar for it to work best. I’d had a lot of experience in front of the bar so the natural progression was to get behind it. The rest kind of all happened pretty naturally. Being a bartender is the best job I’ve ever had. If you love something it’s pretty easy to progress quickly.

Have you got any tips for someone looking to open a bar/venue? Location is the obvious choice but are there any other nailed on things they must do first to get started and then to survive?...

Be sure of your concept. Don’t let anyone tell you you’re mental. Stick to your guns. Be original. Don’t rip people off. Don’t chase money. Do it because you love it.


Other than your own of course, are there any other venues in the UK that you look at and just think, ‘Wow, these guys have got something special here’?...

Coupette, Three Sheets, Sager & Wilde, Berry & Rye, El Bandito. Oh and Ghetto Golf because they ripped off Junkyard!

Why have you taken the awesome Junkyard Golf Club to Oxford in particular?...

We’re all massive fans of Inspector Morse!

Do you think that British nightlife is under threat from increasing strict licensing laws, rising property prices, new housing built close to existing venues etc?...

It’s not under threat. It’s just a lot more difficult these days. The places that are gonna struggle are the places that either don’t move forward and change or the places that just get everything wrong. Times have changed. Customers have higher expectations and want


different things. You need to be at the top of your game and be ready to change. As for housing being built close to existing venues.... It’s simple, if you’re lucky enough to live in the centre of a city, enjoy it! If you like peace and quiet then you’re in the wrong place.

It’s business as usual in Manchester after the terror attacks right? The way the city responded in the wake of that night has been incredible...

Yeah, it was such a cowardly, horrific attack. You think something like that could never happen in your city. People’s response following the attack was amazing. The city was as one. Nobody was going to let the terrorists win.

If you could have a night on the tiles with anyone past or present who’s it going to be and why?...

Ernest Hemingway. Who wouldn’t want to share a daiquiri or ten with a heavy-drinking genius.

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