Strategic Hospitality Design that Screams “Liverpool” at the ACC Liverpool’s Echo Arena.
The ECHO Arena, a dramatic waterfront venue in Liverpool, England, plays host to some of the
world’s most recognizable performers and live events. Part of the ACC Liverpool arena and
convention centre complex, it is a prime destination for visitors from around the country. The
ACC Liverpool leadership brought in Centerplate to help create new spaces along the retail
concourse that emphasized the local community and created a complete representation of
Liverpool from design to menus to execution.
Centerplate worked with Adam and Matt Locke of Liverpool’s award-winning restaurant,
Spire, to create one-of-a-kind menus based on the region’s identity and history. Named for
Merseyside, the honest working-class dockside neighborhood, the new concepts reflect
Liverpool’s unique culture that is at once unpretentious and focused on authentic, high-quality
presentation. The headline concepts, Mersey Eats and Mersey Drinks, are announced on title
boards replicating the neighborhood’s street signs , superimposed atop a backdrop of the
Liverpool skyline. Menus offer guests an “Only in Liverpool” experience, offered only at the
ECHO Arena. Even the menu’s story boards—positioned at each point of sale to provide context
for the menu items—are framed atop a background of sheet music by the Beatles (another
The first order of business was defining new signature dishes, so we started by creating the
Scouse Dog. “Scouse” is a classic regional stew, and the term is used to refer to both the local
population and the dialect.
The lightly-smoked, handcrafted dog is made for us by Andrews Quality Foods exclusively from
North West-sourced humanely-raised meat. Topped with Chef Matt Locke’s scouse recipe and a
sweet house-made red cabbage served on a fresh roll, it has been proven to be a showstopper out
of the gate.
Keeping with the “Only in Liverpool” theme, the Centerplate team pushed the envelope a
little further with the creation of the Famous Fish Pie. One of Spire’s most popular dishes, the
flaky crust and tender seafood are worthy of Liverpool’s dockside culture and celebration of its
honest culinary heritage.
Even the nachos were given a hometown twist—fresh tortillas (made in the arena’s kitchens)
topped with local favorite Mrs. Kirkham’s Lancashire cheese and a housemade fresh salsa.
To get into the spirit, local hot spot Alma de Cuba was tapped to help develop signature cocktail
recipes. “Strawberry Fields for ECHO” (yes, named for “that” Strawberry Fields reference), a
refreshing elixir of strawberry liqueur, blackberry liqueur, cranberry juice, fresh-squeezed lemon,
and muddled strawberries spiked with vodka.
A line-up of batch-made craft cocktails, draught beer, and a new premium wine selection round
out the new Mersey Drinks selections.