Sunday, 7 November 2010
Kebab House, Liverpool
A long gone favourite where many a raucous night was had!
Back in the old days,a good night out always started off with a meal. Clubbing was fun, but it was better when you got some energy in you beforehand to ensure you could dance the night away! Nights out can be pricey, so the best way to combat this was to combine the meal and the dancing part into one!
I first visited the Kebab House in 2000 when I was 17 and if my stash of photos is anything to go by, what a jolly time I had. From the outside, it looked like a low key restaurant, but then upon further exploration, there was a basement. The 'Sleazy Basement' as my friend Lizzy christened it. In the so-called sleazy basement, you could eat your slap up meze and have a dance along to live Greek music and some cheesy 70s tunes when the musicians were taking a breather. Admittedly, the food was not a patch on Zorba's and the kitchen seemed a bit grotty, but the atmosphere was second to none. Checked tablecloths and 'traditional' blue and white decor set the scene with lots of souvenirs glued to the wall, perfect for recreating the holiday vibe.
The tables were centred around a stage and dancefloor and pride of the restaurant were the musicians, Nikos and Costas. Nikos was a slip of a man who wore clothes 2 sizes too big and sometimes smelled of happy cake, while Costas was a cross between Tom Jones and James Bond character Jaws. They sound like a right pair of menacing characters but Nikos had the voice of an angel, while Costas played the bouzouki like a pro. Often, fat old hens on a hen night would don the beer goggles and throw themselves at these two gents, whereas the male guests would go gaga for the scantily clad belly dancer. Diners would get pulled up and embarrassed on the stage by being asked to perform Greek dancing- I became quite a belly dancer I tell you! Things always got raucous when the chef brought out plates for a little smashing session- yes,
you heard right, we all smashed plates in there, cue a few injuries (I wonder what environmental health made of this!)
After all the hen parties and drunken Scousers departed, the Kebab House took on a new twist. Packs of international students and the odd gangster descended on the basement, people were crammed in and Greek pop got blasted out on the stereo! Everyone danced and supped ouzo and Greek coffee, tables were danced upon and English was barely heard. It was like the Basement had been stuck in a Tardis and flown to Greece. It would stay open till 4am (naughty in those days!) and the international revellers would overspill into Charmers, a secret nightclub on the first floor that only foreign students and their friends knew about. This place was an oasis of friendly, happy party animals in boozed up Liverpool and was the gateway of meeting lots of interesting characters.
The Kebab House was definitely a hidden gem in the fact that a quiet meal could become a lively, Mediterranean style night out, a refreshing alternative to the usual nightspots. Sadly, the Kebab House is no longer with us, nor is Charmers, so if the old owner is reading this, please come back! You made my student years complete!