BRAND new bar, canteen and garden, The Merchant, opened its doors to the public for the first time at last night’s launch party in the heart of Liverpool’s Ropewalks district. Local entrepreneurs Richard McGinnis and Lewis Boardman invited guests to enjoy a variety of drinks from the bar’s dedicated gin parlour, which stocks over 50 brands, and a selection of craft beers, including brands from the city’s own Liverpool Craft Beer Co. and Mad Hatter breweries, plus Cloudwater Brew Co. from Manchester. There was also an array of food on offer from the Merchant’s own pizza brand, Nightcrawler Pizza who were giving away huge New York style slices all evening. Guest residents Patty Smith’s also served up their pimped-up session fries and burgers. Music on the evening was provided by Chibuku and Circus residents plus No Fakin DJs, and guests happily partied away into the early hours. The venue opens officially today (April 29) and will host a weekend of celebrations over the bank holiday, including an exclusive DJ set from Mercury Prize-winning, Jungle.