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5.1 /6 Excellent 85 Reviews

Pen Factory

City Centre European, British ££ +100
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About Pen Factory

British food and drink is undergoing a renaissance, and at Pen Factory on Hope Street in central Liverpool, they are riding the crest of that wave. Culinary entrepreneur Paddy Bryne – once of the bistro at the Everyman Theatre next door – and head chef Tom Gill have built a menu of small plates that changes twice daily to ensure diversity and freshness, as well as an extensive repertoire of beers, wines, cocktails and desserts. A great spot close to the many attractions of the city centre’s Rodney Street conservation area and the Georgian Quarter, bookings are advised.

Opening Hours

  • Monday Closed
  • Tuesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Wednesday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Thursday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Friday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Saturday 12:00 - 23:00
  • Sunday Closed
Pen Factory, 13 Hope Street, L19BQ Liverpool

Further Information

Paddy Byrne and Tom Gill are old hands in the Liverpool restaurant trade, with years of experience. They were previously involved at the iconic Everyman Theatre bistro just next door, and their latest effort in the city centre’s award-winning Hope Street Quarter (north of the Georgian Quarter proper), the Pen Factory, has the potential to be even better. The ethos is based around small plates to share – with an emphasis on British cuisine – and a beer menu and wine list built to go with the food.

The food at Pen Factory is predominantly British in origin, but with plenty of variation. Cheese & onion crisp butties, potted shrimps from Southport and broad beans are combined with traditional tapas favourites – patatas bravas, kikones, chorizo – and small plates from further afield, such as baba ganoush, chicken and chickpea curry and chilli linguine. Central Liverpool has few places that can compete with the Pen Factory’s menu, and this hasn’t been lost on the foodies scouring the city centre: so make sure you book a table in advance to avoid disappointment.


85 Reviews

5.1 /6 Excellent 85 Reviews
Quality/Price: great value
Food: heavenly
Service: friendly
Waiting Time: short
Atmosphere: excellent
Noise: average
43 6
25 5
10 4
3 3
1 2
3 1
Jeff G.
1 review so far 6
28.01.2017 16:40

Perfect for a catch up with old friends. The menu is always changing and has something for all tastes. Proper real ale from a handpump too.

Penny J.
1 review so far 6
29.11.2016 22:28

Service and atmosphere were great - food was outstanding and amazing value. First time visit but have recommended to all my friends - go, you won't regret it!!

Thuy N.
1 review so far 6
20.11.2016 17:08

If you liked the Everyman Bistro and Keith's you'll love The Pen Factory. Fantastic wholesome food. Plates a little on the expensive side. But very delicious. 2 for £10 3 for £14 would be more appropriate. The boards were excellent pricing I highly recommend them. Lovely people, ambiance and fitted out great.

Kevin D.
2 reviews so far 6
02.11.2016 23:37

Wonderful as ever. Lovely staff, great food and service. And all on an early and unusually quiet Saturday evening pre-theatre. So I keep thinking we were going 'upstairs' after we'd eaten. Can't get the old Bistro out of my head - but since Paddy and the team have moved this is better than ever.

frank g.
2 reviews so far 6
13.08.2016 19:03

The Pen Factory was very busy and vibrant when we arrived on a Friday evening. Our party of nine ordered a couple of small plates each and these arrived at timely spaced intervals. Each and every one of the dishes were absolutely delicious and a good size. Fabulous bread, beautiful salads. There was a good selection of well kept beer, great wine, lovely friendly efficient staff and a great if sometimes noisy atmosphere. Totally cracking night out, very reasonable pricing and absolutely recommended for those enjoy informal, relaxed settings. Every single member of my party commented on how much they had enjoyed the evening.

Jennifer B.
1 review so far 5
25.07.2016 15:54

Lovely hidden venue; food was excellent, reasonably priced and didn't take long to come out at all. Beautiful garden which catches the sun, I'd recommend the Pen Factory for snacks & a few drinks or full evening meal. Only negative was that waiters were slow, hard to get hold of and seemed to forgot drinks we had ordered more than once! I'd definitely go again, hopefully the poor service was a bit of a fluke.

Frank M.
2 reviews so far 6
14.02.2016 08:08

The Pen Factory is a really relaxed place with good food and drinks and friendly service. The crisp butty is a must! Great for pre-theatre at the Everyman or for sharing a tapas board over a glass of ine or beer at lunchtime. Definitely one of my favourite hangouts in Liverpool.

frank g.
2 reviews so far 6
18.08.2016 15:37

Another great night at the Pen Factory. Magnificent array of small tapas like plates, all outstandingly good. Staff and service are great even though the place was very busy. Excellent real ale and good wines at reasonable prices. The coffee is good too. i love it!

Bee H.
1 review so far 6
27.10.2016 21:31

The food and atmosphere were fab - the staff really attentive and looked after us really well. The only improvement I would suggest is that the labelling for veggie, vegan and gluten free options on the menu could be a bit more consistent - a few things that we could see no reason they wouldn't be vegan (so also lactose free) or veggie weren't labelled as such which caused a bit of confusion when ordering (though our waitress was very helpful). Overall a great evening, and everyone left well-fed - thank you!

kate w.
3 reviews so far 4
17.04.2016 16:13

We visited on a busy Saturday night. The staff were lovely there were just too few of them. We counted only 2 waitresses for the whole busy restaurant. We had to ask to be seated, ask for menus and then send reminders for drinks orders on a couple of times. The food, when it cam was delicious and worth the wait. There was some confusion over what was still available which the waitress handled admirably. Some of the cars may be because there is no defined eating area, so bar drinkers share tables with diners. The atmosphere, interior design and lighting were all great. It did get very noisy later on so wouldn't be the place for an intimate evening. Once again, the waitresses did what they could but hey needed to at least double the numbers.

Helen m.
1 review so far 5
19.05.2016 05:42

We were a group of 20. We loved the relaxed atmosphere and the fact that we weren't rushed off our table . They were very accommodating adding extra to our group last minute. Would be good to have a separate gluten free menu ( we were told there was but we had to work our way through the normal menu) waitress wasn't too helpful re: how many tapas to order per person and she wasn't rushing making sure we all had cutlery - had to ask 3 times. That said food was absolutely gorgeous and we would definitely go back!! Bar staff were brilliant too! A great night out!!

Graham C.
1 review so far 5
25.07.2016 18:01

Really enjoyed this visit with colleagues. It was a warm day and it was not a problem for us to switch our table to outside. Food was ace, everyone really enjoyed it particularly the Spanish Chip Buttie. Only slight criticism is that you seemed very understaffed so service was a little slow, this was not the waiters fault at all as they were very friendly despite being obviously rushed off their feet. All in a pleasant place which we will definitely go to again, Graham

Angela H.
1 review so far 6
11.12.2015 20:05

quirky menu but delicious. My first time to the Pen Factory and would highly recommend it. The staff were efficient and friendly and the food was extremely tasty. Will definitely be back .

Kevin D.
2 reviews so far 6
21.02.2016 07:47

Great tasty food served with imagination and a smile. Good wine and beer choice and buzzy atmosphere, albeit a bit noisy at times. Paddy's Pen Factory goes from strength to strength.

Therese I.
1 review so far 6
27.04.2016 06:47

We can recommend the Pen Factory. The service was great. The food was good. The real ale was well served and there was a good choice.

Simon P.
1 review so far 5
27.01.2016 21:46

Really enjoyed the visit, as it was our first time there, we had a lot of questions about the menu. The server while friendly was a little lacking in knowledge so needed to go back and forth to the kitchen which extended the ordering time a little but nothing terrible. The food was excellent and arrived promptly, overall a very enjoyable meal.

graeme r.
1 review so far 5
02.11.2016 18:34

Food was excellent and service was great once we were seated. Only negative was us standing around for a long time waiting to be seated. We even got the attention of one of the staff members and told them about the reservation, only to watch them continue wandering around looking for glasses to pick up without telling any other staff.

Maria D.
1 review so far 5
03.02.2016 17:23

Food was lovely and the service was perfect. Only one small peeve, was that they had no prossecco. I think someone should have made an executive decision and nipped ans bought a case from a nearby bar, because when a table of 6 ladies have no fizz its time to move on. Other than that it was a lovely afternoon/evening

Lizzie O.
1 review so far 6
08.10.2016 18:41

Great food. We got veggie platter, Spanish chip butty and Southport shrimp. All amazing. Good value for money. It's a bit noisy for those that done like a noisy restaurant. Not really sure the live music really goes with trying to eat, would be better to start later on.

Patrick M.
1 review so far 6
15.10.2016 03:27

Table for 6 on Saturday night fantastic food and marvellous beer. Reminiscent of the old Everyman bistro and every bit as good. Atmosphere was just right with plenty going on. Service was great and added to a very pleasant chilled night out. Will be returning as soon as possible.

Claudia F.
2 reviews so far 5
05.04.2016 17:52

I like this place, lively yet laid back, staff is friendly and attentive, they have a nice choice of drinks and I was impressive a rose wine (I can be quite fussy about it) I really liked, and I went with Spanish friends who were really impressed with the choice and quality of tapas, so will definitely return

Anita G.
1 review so far 3
25.06.2016 14:27

It was a great evening ! Food was as good as usual . The problem I had was that I called the pen factory earlier in the week to specifically book the table at the back by hope street and was assured that I was being given that table. This was not the table we were given and it was consequently very noisy. This experience will unfortunately deter me from booking the pen factory again for a prebooked group.

kate w.
3 reviews so far 6
14.06.2016 14:52

There's a great vibe in this funky kitchen bar. The food is tapas style and delicious. Atmosphere is relaxed with many people drinking rather than eating. There's a lovely outdoor space so would suit al fresco dining too

Julie C.
1 review so far 5
18.02.2016 17:54

Lovely food but the order got a bit mixed up by waiting on staff who were new. They managed to sort it out very quickly though. Overall , really enjoyed the food and atmosphere there and would return at the drop of a hat.

Kate L.
2 reviews so far 5
14.09.2016 18:42

Service really good, coping with a large group of people cannot be easy. Food was lovely and we all had a good time. Only thing would be that it would be good if there were sufficient pudding for everybody to want to order.

Robert C.
1 review so far 6
23.03.2016 19:41

excellent food and not rushed to leave as we were there for my 60th birthday and stayed for about 4 hrs excellent service and very relaxed atmosphere well worth it and well recommended

Dawn W.
1 review so far 6
09.12.2015 19:41

Had a Christmas get together for family & friends Friday 4th Dec. Fantastic food, interesting drinks, brilliant, friendly staff & a brilliant atmosphere - really great place and looking forward to going again!

Kate S.
1 review so far 5
09.02.2016 17:32

Absolutely delicious food (highly recommend the baked Camembert) and nice, reasonably-priced wine too. Only downside was having to wait for a long time (about ten mins) until a member of staff acknowledged us and took us to our seat.

Pete H.
1 review so far 6
15.04.2016 19:56

Excellent food and drinks as ever. The small plates always have some interesting combinations. Yesterday's aubergine fritters with honey delicious. Friendly and efficient service. Just what you need when time is short.

James S.
1 review so far 6
26.03.2016 16:49

Superb. If you can, try the prawns with garlic and chilli. The Liverpool gin is also great if you've never tried it before. Portion sizes were great and staff were brilliant.

Natalie P.
1 review so far 6
20.02.2016 16:23

Great service- friendly and helpful. The food was delicious and came quickly. Puddings looked great but sadly I was too full. A relaxed atmosphere. I'll definitely be heading back there soon.

Denise C.
1 review so far 6
06.06.2016 05:20

Great food and atmosphere. Service very good and ease of booking using the on line system made it really hassle free - a great place to eat and chill out

Eileen T.
1 review so far 5
03.03.2016 01:58

When we arrived my table was for a table for 6 when my reservation was for 12 people, however this was quickly resolved and couldn't fault the staff or the food. We had a great night.

Shelagh C.
1 review so far 6
15.10.2016 01:26

Great atmosphere, great food and drink, and great staff. I love this place. The range of dishes is varied and I have never had a bad experience at this venue.

Christine B.
2 reviews so far 6
21.10.2016 16:00

Food as ever very good. Service excellent. Beer excellent. Atmosphere excellent. Only slight criticism is that when it's busy it is very noisy - could do with some noise cancelling.

Jill S.
1 review so far 5
24.03.2016 16:52

The staff were very pleasant. There was an interesting menu and the food was really tasty. The choice between small or large portions suited our group very well. The only downside was the noise level.

Dawn C.
1 review so far 5
20.09.2016 14:49

Great atmosphere allowing the dog in too just a little cramped sun the corner due to a table change, Food was excellent though and the waitress was fantastic, more room would have got a 6.

Carmel W.
1 review so far 5
08.10.2016 17:03

Food was very good and very good value for money, as were the glasses of wine we had. Servers were quick and very sweet, but run off their feet. Good ambience, if a trifle loud.

Elaine A.
1 review so far 6
21.10.2016 22:11

Very helpful staff especially as our booking was made on line and they couldn't find confirmation of it. They quickly found us a table. Food very good as well.

Philip D.
1 review so far 6
21.12.2015 15:34

Excellent setting and service: Tom Gill is a fine chef. It is good to see Paddy Byrne renewing the success he had with the old Everyman bistro. Great place

Shonagh W.
1 review so far 5
31.08.2016 20:16

Great bar, friendly staff, food very tasty except for soggy aubergines - staff responded really well to feedback on this one dish - no quibbles over the bill - great service. Would definitely recommend.

Daniel H.
1 review so far 6
01.08.2016 04:33

Superb, great service, wonderful staff. Beer choice is ace and food is delicious, Checked the dishes to make sure they were gluten free for one of our party.

Rupert L.
2 reviews so far 6
09.04.2016 06:18

Excellent food, service and atmosphere. The menu changes daily but we had beautifully cooked hake and lamb shank with home made hummus and fresh bread first. Thoroughly recommended.

Paul W.
1 review so far 5
14.02.2016 17:09

My booking had mistakenly been written down as 8pm and not 7pm. However they still managed to find a table for all six of us. The food was delicious and the service attentive.

Mandy W.
4 reviews so far 5
23.10.2016 19:44

Really enjoyed our first visit and had a beautiful bottle ( or two ) of a lovely red Australian Shiraz wine. Great location for a pre theatre meal right next to the Everyman.

Denise C.
1 review so far 6
19.03.2016 16:29

great atmosphere and friendly staff tapas was really good just enough portions for people who like lighter bites - something for everyone and would highly recommend

Naoimh G.
1 review so far 6
06.09.2016 17:05

We went here for a friends leaving party. Staff were very welcoming and accommodating. Great food, great drinks and great craic. Will definitely be back again.

Lyndsay M.
1 review so far 6
13.08.2016 14:21

Food was great, baked Camembert was so hood I could eat it forever. For a Friday night, it had a really lovely chilled but vibrant atmosphere

Elizabeth E.
1 review so far 6
15.08.2016 01:03

Great restaurant, food (especially the Spanish chip butties), service and atmosphere. Definitely going to visit again & also recommend it to other friends. Also great location!

1 review so far 6
28.07.2016 18:17

Friendly staff, excellent choice of food, particularly for the vegetarian. Top class real ales on sale. Very relaxed and comfortable... what more could you ask for.