Trendy hotel chain plans £25m revamp of Liverpool's former George Henry Lee department store

Mama Shelter Paris Sports Bar3
Mama Shelter's sports bar at its hotel in La Defence, Paris. Credit: Mama Shelter

Developers say they are in talks to take over a well-known former department store in Liverpool and transform it into a 'flamboyant' hotel and rooftop bar.

The landmark George Henry Lee building was vacated by John Lewis in 2008 - it's since been occupied on the ground floor by a pound store.

A pair of developers say they'll spend £25 million developing the site into Mama Shelter Liverpool - the hotel brand’s first hotel outside of London.

The French chain, Mama Shelter describes itself as "affordable, irreverent, popular, sassy, and sexy".

It's known for its playful approach to hospitality, featuring looney tunes masks in the bedrooms to karaoke rooms, in-house cinemas, DJ sets, and signature rooftop bars.  

It has 17 hotels across France and in cities including Los Angeles, Lisbon and Rome.

The rooftop bar at Mama Shelter's hotel in Los Angeles. Credit: Mama Shelter

Vic Alfa, UK Director of developer Landlab, said he hopes to open the hotel in 2025.

He added: “As a Liverpudlian, I’m incredibly proud and excited to be bringing Mama Shelter to my hometown.

“With its colour, vibrancy, and off-the-wall approach, it will inject life and energy back into one of the city’s most iconic buildings and offer something completely new to the people of Liverpool and visitors to this amazing city.” 

The former George Henry Lee store in Liverpool. Credit: Google Street View.

The former George Henry Lee building was built in the mid-1800s, the building began as a bonnet store before being sold to John Lewis Partnership in 1940.   

The building’s interior will undergo a £25 million redevelopment which will see the 153,000 sq. ft space transformed into 175 rooms as well as a Sports Bar, a spa, karaoke rooms, 10-pin bowling, a Cinemama, co-working space and a rooftop bar and restaurant.

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