Galkoff’s Kosher Butcher

Galkoff Kosher Butcher • Liverpool Museum

Galkoff’s was a kosher butcher shop in Liverpool’s Pembroke Place. The building itself was Georgian, built in 1820. In 1907 it was bought by Percy Galkoff, a Jewish immigrant from Poland, who turned it into his shop. In 1933 he added the beautiful green tiles. The business was run by the Galkoff family until 1979, when it was sold to Liverpool City Council.

The gorgeous shopfront was taken, tile by tile, from Pembroke Place to the Liverpool Museum where it was put back together and put on exhibition in the museum’s People’s Republic gallery. The emerald green tiles were carefully conserved, or in some cases replaced where the damage, due to weather exposure, was too great. The result is an impressive life-size reconstruction of the iconic façade with the original gold Art Deco embellishments and Hebrew signage (the Hebrew words mean ‘kosher’).

The building itself, minus its tiles, still stands as a listed building in Pembroke Place. It is protected by an external hoarding featuring a mural designed by local artist Donna Berry in collaboration with the pupils of King David school in 2007. The mural depicts the history of the Jewish community in Liverpool, and notable people (such as singer Frankie Vaughan, Beatles manager Brian Epstein, and Lord Mayor Louis Caplan) and places (Princes Road Synagogue, Harold House Community Centre).

Galkoff’s in 2018 © Rodhullandemu

We love this treasure for its lovely colours and the immediacy with which it transports viewers back to 1930s Liverpool and the vibrant Jewish community that flourished there.


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