Mikhail Leisure’s big ambitions for former Cains Brewery

Andrew Mikhail and wife Vicky

Entrepreneur Andrew Mikhail embarks on the renaissance of an historic Liverpool site tonight, August 23, in a bid to turn it into a visitor attraction in its own right.

Punch Tarmey Liverpool is officially opening within the former Cains Brewery on Stanhope Street, Toxteth.

The brewery closed in 2013 and the site, formerly Higsons, is now home to a thriving market development.

But the founder of St Helens-based Mikhail Leisure announced a £7m investment in July this year for the Cains licence and brand, to redevelop the former Cains buildings and create around 200 jobs over four phases of development.

Up to 50 jobs have been created so far in the first £2m phase of his plan to turn the location, next to the thriving Baltic Triangle area, into a prime destination for families, sports fans and revellers.

Mr Mikhail, the son of a Liverpool GP, made the shift into the licensed and leisure industry after building up a successful sports car and performance car sales business.

His family had a history in the leisure industry and he had worked behind bars while developing his own business.

Mikhail Leisure was founded in 2014 when the Eccleston Bar & Grill was acquired in St Helens and turned into a bar, restaurant and boutique hotel in March 2015.

Mr Mikhail then turned his attention to Southport where he bought the Bold Hotel on Lord Street and undertook a multi-million pound refurbishment. The business now boasts a 95% occupancy rate.

More recently he acquired the former Khepri club, opposite the Bold, which will open this Friday as the Lord Street Hotel.

He said this is part of his bid to create a thriving ‘hotel quarter’ in the area.

“I want to create a more up-market area, which I hope will encourage other investors into Lord Street, and Southport,” he said.

Southport is also the site of a Punch Tarmey pub which opened at the same time as the Bold refurbshment.

Mr Mikhail explaineed: “My great grandfather was a renowned bare-knuckle fighter nicknamed Punch Tarmey.”

Other deals by Mikhail Leisure include the acquisition of the former Cains pub, Dr Duncan’s, on St John’s Lane in Liverpool.

But Mr Mikhail said his biggest project is now the Cains site in Toxteth, where around 100 tradesmen have been toiling over the past couple of months to ready the 15,000 sq ft Punch Tarmey Liverpool for its opening tonight.

Future phases include plans for a micro-brewery which will open next March where most of the Cains back-catalogue will be resurrected, starting with its popular Raisin Ale.

Also on the drawing board are a food hall, an hotel, and a sky bar in the top floor of the former Cains HQ.

The deal includes a 100-year lease at Cains and Mr Mikhail said he aims to put the site, which holds a special place in Liverpool’s history, back on the map.

“I want to make this a visitor attraction in its own right,” he said.

“I want to work with other stakeholders in the area, such as Baltic Creative, to help develop this into a family-orientated destination of choice.

Punch Tarmey’s Liverpool