GOOD SERVICE in bars is sadly fading. Whether it’s a result of the masses wanting four vodka Red Bulls for a tenner or the giggling groups of girls that spend hours in a cocktail bar but only order vodka diet cokes (always diet, give them regular and you’ll hear about it), good service is becoming an increasing struggle to find.
"You'd be surprised how many girls want to, they nearly wrench you across the bar for it."
Jenny’s Bar is a welcome change to the bars that are more interested in taking your money, getting you rotten and pushing you back out onto the streets than being a good host.
The place, from those behind Berry Street's Berry & Rye, has been on the list of places to visit since it opened last year. However, being located in the city's traditional business district, further afield from the usual haunts along Seel Street, it can easily, and frequently, slip off the radar.
Inside Jenny's Bar
Jenny’s is small and could easily tag itself with the ‘speakeasy’ title that so many bars are fond of, but that would be unfair. Why diminish a bar that stands out above the rest? Jenny’s service, atmosphere and the drinks (of course) are what will make me walk from Seel Street down to Fenwick Street in my teetering heels in future. Or pay for a taxi.
Housed in the legendary Jenny's Seafood Restaurant on Fenwick Street, it's easily missed.
The interiors are elegant and the green and gold colour scheme runs throughout. It's even incorporated into the ceiling design, which I'm told was designed and sourced by the owners themselves even though it took months to do.
On the face of it, the whole place has a 1920s nostalgic feel about it, as if The Great Gatsby had been set in Liverpool it could have played out in here.
However it's the cocktail menu where Jenny's truly excels. Not cheap and sitting around the £8 mark but it's worth it.
The round - Jenny's Daisy (£8), Pink Lady (£7.50), Strawberry Fizz (£7.50) and Treacle (£8) came in at £31 (see the main picture).
Again that's not cheap but the effort and service is what comes at a price. With ingredients such as fresh egg whites, dried hibiscus and fresh strawberries, at least you know your drink is, well, fresh. None of this purée packet stuff or tired watery juices that have been sat around since prep was done at 3pm.
Whilst our barman, Ash, made our cocktails I noticed his uniform; a leather welder's apron. "Do you want to feel it?", he joked. I declined but he continued: "You'd be surprised how many girls want to, they nearly wrench you across the bar for it."
Now I am a lover of leather, but surely a heavy workman's apron designed to protect against the heat of welding pieces of iron together isn't the most ideal for working behind a busy bar?
"They're not so bad now, they were really stiff when we first got them and we had to break them in," he continued.
Our cocktails were perfectly presented, and each was strong but not enough to make you recoil or nurse the end of your drink when the flavour leaves only the spirits and dregs of ice. Our second round was just as good. Costing £30, a saving of a quid compared with the first, you can easily see how your payday wages will disappear in here.
Whilst Alma de Cuba and the like might ask the same in terms of price, Jenny's focuses on details and building a relationship with their customers: such as the locked bottle-keep on the wall, allowing punters to buy their own alcohol from the handy off licence next door, which they and the barmen can access throughout the evening.
Positive as I am about Jenny's there is one aspect where it lets itself down: double toilets.
I don't understand, nor do I want to, why two women would ever want to share a cubicle and go to the toilet side by side? You would never have caught an F Scott Fitzgerald heroine in one of these, however caught short.
Also it begs the question, as it's the only cubicle in Jenny's girls toilets, what do you do if you walk in at the same time as a stranger? Briefly acknowledge each other and gamely share, or lock them out and make them wait while you enjoy an overly large toilet cubicle?
Still it's a minor reason to fall out with such a well executed bar, and not one that would stop me from returning.
Jenny's might not be the most easily placed if you're more fond of Seel Street and Parr Street for your nights out but the service and attention to detail are definitely worth a look.