Client focus – Maray
Named after Le Marais, a vibrant neighbourhood located in the 4th arrondissement of Paris, Maray brings a tasteful piece of Parisian culture to the people of Liverpool.
In June 2014, Bold Street welcomed its latest independent venture, Maray.
Opened by three co-founders Dom Jones, James Bates and Thomas White, Maray serves a carefully developed selection of beautiful small plates all inspired by middle eastern cuisine.
Inspiration for the menu was developed over many enjoyable meals at Parisian food icons such as the falafel stand Las Du Fellafel and atmospheric restaurants Miznon and Au Passage.
We had the pleasure of speaking to Thomas White about the journey so far:
“I have been working in the hospitality industry since I was 15 – working a server. I left to study illustration at university. Around 2012/13, I returned to work as a bartender in Hackney, London. This allowed me to sink my teeth into obtaining first-hand experience managing a bar.
From there, I met Dom and Jay in Liverpool. Jay dreamt of opening a food business known for offering the best Falafel in Liverpool. Whereas we [Thomas and Dom] wanted a bar. Together, combining all of our ideas, the stars aligned – in June 2014, Maray opened for business. We developed so quickly, not just as a business but as people! No one told us we’d be in the trenches when we first opened, working 100 hours a week. The passion we have for providing the best experience for people, ensured we pushed through these growing pains.”
Since opening, the past five years have been very rewarding for Maray. After building a cult-like following from foodies near and far, they expanded into their second venue on Allerton Road in 2016 and most recently into their third at the Royal Albert Dock in 2019.
Over the past few years, Liverpool has built a reputation for offering fantastic food and drink, rivalling cities like Manchester and Leeds. Driven primarily by an enthusiastic and creative independent scene, the hospitality sector in the city looks promising.
Thomas had this to say on the food and drink scene in Liverpool and Maray’s place in it:
“[The food and drink scene is] Very strong compared to 6 years ago after a slew of really strong openings and young operators. Part of our success is having the virtue of working with such quality talent in the past such as Sam Grainger who went on to open Belzan on Smithdown Road, and Chris Ineson who opened Oktopus on Hardman Street.”
[Talking about their successes and challenges] We were fortunate enough to get a Jay Rayner (The Guardian editor) review in 2016. This came at a perfect time for us, as it allowed us to spread our wings, growing even further. Our biggest challenge with this growth is making sure our perception stays pure, ensuring our flame stays lit, and offering the same, quality service that our customers have come to expect.”
Maray recently launched a brand-new autumn menu and their Christmas menu will be coming in early December. They are also offering private areas for 30 people at Allerton Road and the Royal Albert Dock.
To finish we asked Thomas two very important questions:
Q: Describe the Maray menu in three words
A: Fresh, fun and f****** delicious!
Q: If you could only eat one thing from your menu for the rest of your life, what would it be?
A: It would have to be the cauliflower.
Maray’s passion to create a great hospitality experience shines through into their menu, quality and service. If you haven’t been, you’re missing out!