Beautiful “La Bussola”

A story submitted by Julia, a Bold Street Blog reader….

“Back in 1970 I travelled up and down Bold Street every day, being a young Lecturer in Art at the ‘College of Crafts and Catering’ in Colquitt Street, round the corner.

Bold Street had an air of individuality and excitement about it, leading uphill from the underground and the cafe at the bottom of the street, where the waitresses wore a uniform of black dress with white apron and cap, rather quaint even then but delightfully so. They also had tablecloths and hat stands and served tea in shiny metal teapots with hot water as well all on a silver tray, and sugar cubes with tongs to help yourself.

The rest of the street always seemed to me to be terribly smart, a little bit like London!! It just had that air about it. There were shops, I seem to remember a shoe shop, and at least one had a very fancy ‘old fashioned’ curved glass window.

Travelling uphill, on the right hand side and adding to the cosmopolitan feel of the street was the Italian restaurant ‘La Bussola’. This restaurant for me was a delight and for me it is the part of Bold Street I remember the most, holding many happy memories!  It was a far cry from the pizza parlours that abound nowadays and was a very special place to dine.

You went down some steps at the entrance and once inside you could sit in a small bar area before going to your table. I remember my favourite dish was veal a la marsala, followed by zabaglione. I was lucky enough to be taken there several times and probably chose menu this every time! It was always exquisite!

There was music, and next to the dining area was a small and intimate dance floor and this was a new phenomenon to me, being so young. It was wonderful!

Bold Street in the 1970s was for me a very special place, in a very special city!”

6 Responses to “Beautiful “La Bussola””


  1. 1 Bill Prestwich Sep 28th, 2010 at 12:33 pm

    In the 60’s We were the band at the La Bussola I was lead singer also the drummer and leader of the band called The Fiddlers Three
    I played there for over six years till 1971 when I left for a new life in Australia. soon after the band split up.Great days
    Bill Prestwich

  2. 2 Pat Booth nee Roberts May 8th, 2011 at 4:35 am

    My Father worked at GBE the Vauxhall car showroom on Renshaw Street, the one with the huge concave windows opposite Lewis’s.
    I would go to work with him on a Saturday sometimes and getting bored would wander down to Bold Street, passed the hairdressers, a posh one I cannot recall the name, and end up in La Bussola coffee bar. I thought I was the bees knees, in my home made mini skirt and white pvc boots. Happy days !!!!

  3. 3 graham roberts Apr 30th, 2012 at 6:43 pm

    When clearing the loft I recently came across a menu from mid 60’s. Pink and opens from the centre like opening doors.
    I seem to recall having cheese and mushroom on toast! Not very Italian!
    I can remember sitting for hours listening to a trio/quartet.

  4. 4 Patrick Fox May 2nd, 2012 at 5:26 pm

    Hi Graham

    How strange to come across the menu! We would absolutely love to see the menu if you have a scan of it - it must’ve seemed like the epitome of continental chic at the time - I only wished we could have visited it! If you have the menu it’d be great to post on the blog jog some other memories maybe!

    thanks so much for your post

  5. 5 Karen May 4th, 2014 at 8:31 am

    I love listening to stories about Liverpool. I am so passionate
    About the buildings and heritage of our
    Great city.
    My mum worked in the La Bussola. I remember
    Her taking me there as a child. I was so excited. Keep the stories flowing.
    Karen

  6. 6 graeme Aug 18th, 2014 at 10:22 pm

    I was at Colquitt street 1967-1969 and the venue after classes was The Kardomah coffee bar about halfway up on the right.I recently went back and could n’t find anything.Even the college seems to have vanished and try as I may I can’t find any history or pictures of it.

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