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Faces behind the Business – Iain Hoskins – Ma Boyle’s Alehouse & Eatery


In edition seven of our ‘Faces behind the Business’ series two, we caught up with Iain Hoskins, Owner of Ma Boyle’s Alehouse & Eatery; a historic waterfront bar.

Faces behind the Business – Iain Hoskins - Ma Boyle's Alehouse & Eatery

When did you first get into the industry?

As a bartender when I was at University in Liverpool. I worked at the original Baa Bar in Fleet Street, in a landscape where you just had nightclubs and pubs – there was very little in-between. It was an incredible time to be working there. Times were changing and you could feel it in the air. Liverpool’s renaissance through its nightlife and culture was beginning and the energy was palpable.  I made a strategic decision to move down the road to MelloMello after a year or so, as I was desperate to work for Cream in Ibiza – and my many overtures were going unanswered. The Cream HQ was above MelloMello (which they owned), and working at MelloMello again was an incredible experience. Those two university bar jobs, actually became seminal in long term relationships and opportunities that developed years later; I was Director of Marketing years later for Baa Bar when they rolled out sites nationally and also Cream’s Director of Music and Marketing. Never believe that something is just a pocket money job, opportunity finds itself in the strangest of places.

How long have you worked at Ma Boyles/Ma Egertons and what is your job role?

Against every bit of professional advice, I bought Ma Egerton’s Stage Door in 2012 as I needed to be my own boss. At the time it was a closed business that had been abandoned by its previous landlady and was under threat of being demolished. The flat above was almost like a squat but I needed to be on site 24/7 and the income from renting my flat was paying most of the staff’s wages. Those first few years were incredibly tough, every available credit source was totally maxed out. But little by little it started to work. In 2015, I bought another business also considered in terminal decline co-incidentally another Ma, Ma Boyles – and again it was a long tough road back, but eventually we did it. In 2017 I opened Bock Biere Cafe in Manchester. Last year I sold both Ma Egerton’s and Bock and this coming year we open Tempest on Tithebarn in the space that used to be Hus in Liverpool.

What is Ma Boyles ethos?

Ma Boyle’s celebrated its 150th year in business in 2020 and I think in a world where bars open and close so often, I think there’s something to be said about surviving for so long as the world and the city has changed so much. Our approach very much is a simple proposition of having great service, in a great environment with great products and we try to excel at all three. The proposition ebbs and flows depending on what the customer wants and demands from all three but, basically, that’s it.

Faces behind the Business – Iain Hoskins - Ma Boyle's Alehouse & Eatery

What’s the best bit of advice you could give to anyone looking at working in your line of work?

I think everyone should be aware of the opportunities can present themselves in the places you least expect them and the roads are not always a straight path. The great thing about hospitality compared with other sectors its usually very easy to get ‘an in’ – it might be at the bottom but if you’re good you will get noticed. Relationships matter, someone who works under you, could be your boss in a few years. People talk and reputation is everything.

What do you love most about Liverpool?

I’ve worked and lived away for many times, over the years but Liverpool’s kept me coming back. I love its resilience and ambition and I love that culture, leisure and entertainment are the lifeblood that powers the city, economically and strategically. To me that’s much more enriching than living/ working in somewhere that’s just about finance or manufacturing.

If you could describe your business in 3 words what would they be?

Quality. Classic. Timeless. 

Follow @ma_boyles_alehouse_and_eatery

Are you a business in the Liverpool City Region and want to feature in our Faces Behind the Business series? Contact us now by emailing hello@explore-liverpool.com or get us on WhatsApp on 07568 532 537.

READ MORE: Faces behind the Business – Paul Durand – The Little Shoe

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