Living Ventures opened its latest Gusto branch in Manchester city centre on Lloyd Street in December 2014.
The 8000 square foot venue is based within the impressive Grade II Listed Elliot House in the city centre taking its design inspiration from the traditional European grand cafes.
Living Ventures are the restaurant and bar group behind concepts such as Australasia, The Alchemists, The Oast House, Artisan, Manchester House and Blackhouse. Part of the site which Gusto now occupies was being used as Manchester’s temporary City Library, the other part of the venue was the former Olive Restaurant on Lloyd Street, as well as the city’s former registrar’s office.
Charles Evans Shopfitters acted as the main contractor during the scheme removing the dividing wall between the library and Olive Restaurant, as well as undertaking localised structural enhancement of the fabric of the building.
The venue comprises a spacious open dining room with rows of cast iron columns which makes the space light and airy during the day and warm and intimate in the evening. The dining room’s centre piece is an impressive island bar that stands centre stage dominating the space. Raised level dining and areas of seated dining located around the bar adds to the decadence of the space.
The display kitchen enables diners to enjoy the hustle and bustle of the space whilst at the comfort of their tables. Guests to Gusto can see into the kitchen which boasts a food fired oven enabling them to watch their meals being cooked first hand.
The stylish bar-restaurant comprises a number of elegant design touches such as patterned marble floors and counters, polished plaster and stained glass.
The venue’s private dining room offers diners an intimate space to enjoy small gatherings, family events and celebrations.
The venue comprises an array of black and white marble, rich dark oak, as well as brass and bronze features. Green polished plaster also features heavily in Manchester’s new Gusto as does gloss black paint. The polished and elegant finish to the venue gives the space an air of importance making it the must-visit destination in the city centre.
Macaulay Sinclair, lead designers on the project, was approached by Tim Bacon, from Living Ventures, to oversee the re-brand and design the group’s new restaurants. The initial planning process for the Manchester venue began at the start of 2014 in a bid to develop the Gusto brand, making it more current and individual in the marketplace.
A spokesperson from the design practice commented:
“Living Ventures are a great client and it’s a genuine pleasure to do business with them. It is really rewarding to work with like minded people who understand the value of good design.”
The on site team did encounter a few difficulties during the process because of the Listed status of the building. The team had to attain Listed Building approval for the works on site in order to ensure the fabric and character of the building was not affected.
Sue Crimes, Managing Director of Gusto, commented:
“This is a very exciting time for myself and the Gusto team – the Manchester restaurant will set the standard for the Gusto brand going forward. After this city centre opening the group will roll out the new look branding across the existing estate within the next 18 months in addition to opening new restaurants across the country.”
There are already a number of Gusto restaurants dotted around Greater Manchester in Alderley Edge, Cheadle Hulme, Didsbury and Knutsford. Diners visiting Gusto can sample dishes from the mouthwatering menu which features classic and contemporary Italian dishes, with pizzas, deli boards, pasta, risotto, seafood and meats as well as a generous selection of wine.