Grafene – Innovation at King Street
This month has seen the unveiling of Manchester’s new restaurant known as Grafene, inspired by modern Manchester. Situated on affluent King Street, the 190-seat Grafene has introduced a cocktail and champagne bar and restaurant, whilst creating 50 new jobs.
Greater Manchester born and bred Paul and Kathryn Roden, owners of the four-star Losehill House Hotel & Spa in the Derbyshire Peak District – and its award-winning restaurant – have brought their passion for fine food into the big city.
The hospitality entrepreneurs have made a £1million investment into a 5,750² ft ground-floor unit at 55 King Street, formerly the home of Brasserie Blanc.
Under the direction of the group’s new Executive Chef Darren Goodwin, a fantastic new team at Grafene presents an eclectic menu from Breakfast through to Dinner, comprising a daily changing market based a la carte menu, a 7-course taster menu and smaller plate options, all sourced from non-GM local or artisan suppliers.
Modern British fine dining is at the heart of Grafene, served in an informal yet tasteful atmosphere. Confident, selective food and drink menus are available at the restaurant, offering mouth-watering dishes and an extensive list of beverages.
Stylish and sassy, a dedicated wine room allows for customers to indulge in the superb wine list through tasting sessions, along with wine matching for the tasting menus.
Two intimate private dining areas are ideal for exclusive parties, specialising in wine tasting, either as an accompaniment to the daily changing tasting menu, or as a dedicated activity tailored to each individual party.
Paul Roden said:
“We are inspired by the world’s first 2D material Graphene, first isolated at Manchester University. Grafene is our food and drink interpretation of this exciting new chapter in Manchester’s rich history, and of the excitement and energy there is around its possibilities for science and technology.
“While we are serious about our food, there is no need to take eating out so seriously that it stops being fun.
“With private booths and a big bar space, we will create a relaxed, unstuffy atmosphere for people to enjoy. Grafene will offer a truly unique experience in the heart of the city.”
The design process commenced just prior to Christmas 2015, with the developments starting onsite in early April this year.
The interior of the venue has been transformed into a dramatic elegant space complemented by an al-fresco dining area on the thoroughfare between King Street and Chapel Walks, featuring a sliding glass wall to seamlessly bring the outside in and an innovative light box coordinating with moods of the day.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Daniel Dickinson, Managing Director of Daniel Dickinson Design, to discuss the new restaurant. Daniel commented:
“Our design brief was to work closely with Paul and Kathryn Roden bringing our ideas together to create a quality British food offering in an environment which is friendly, welcoming and laid back.
“We wanted to create a space which has many diverse areas and environments, giving customers a very different feel on each visit.”
Up on entering the venue, customers are greeted with the bar and a dramatic back fitting display, where they can relax and enjoy a drink from the extensive wine list or playful cocktail list.
The striking island bar serves vintage champagne, local beers and cocktails inspired by the scientific innovation of Graphene. Some of the most celebrated mixologists in the North West bring a fun and quirky approach to the servery, making this bar a destination in its own right.
Following this, a beautiful feature tiled wall to the left leads to the state-of-the-art wine cellar, and ahead to the right is the restaurant area including the dedicated pastry kitchen. Situated in the centre of the restaurant, the open pastry kitchen presents a visual and theatrical experience from breakfast through to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Moving down toward the private dining area customers will find intimate seating booths on the way, offering a cosy place for drinking and socialising. High raised booths allow customers to enjoy an exclusive experience dining and drinking between both bar and restaurant areas.
“Grafene in its anatomical form can be seen throughout with the use of hexagonal shapes and through the signage. Some softer curves have also been introduced to offset and balance the overall feel.”
Contemporary and stylish, the venue displays ‘Grafene greys’ married with warm blues and strong highlights of daring yellow throughout. Shiny metal cladding presents a contemporary and timeless appearance to the space.
“Our biggest challenge overall was converting an empty white retail space into a warm and welcoming space. I think that the new venue will bring life back into a currently underused area.
“Being a relatively young company, Daniel Dickinson Design is delighted to have been presented with the opportunity to work with Paul and Kathryn on this project.”
Daniel Dickinson Design
Daniel Dickinson Design is an independent interior design practice specialising in the commercial leisure and hospitality sector. Passionate about design, Daniel himself has a creative flair and vision, with the ability to focus and work independently yet also work in collaboration with other industry specialists to bring ideas to reality.
Pushing boundaries whilst being commercially aware, Daniel Dickinson Design strives to find new cutting edge and exciting ideas to give all clients an advantage over their competition.
Daniel Dickinson Design has the ability to develop ideas from conceptual design and sketch form through to full design and drawing package stage, offering a wide scope of services to clients. From here management of the design onsite through to completion is also available.
Services include conceptual design, detailed tender drawings, bespoke drawing services, planning applications, listed building applications, licensing drawings, specifications and schedules, measured site surveys and on site design management.
Clients of the past and present include Greene King PLC, Marriott International, Renaissance Pub Co, JMDA and Concorde Design.
Being an independent designer means that Daniel himself can provide a very personal and tailored service for all clients – no project is too big or too small, too traditional or too contemporary.
According to Daniel:
“My attitude towards the work I do and the service I provide is to create exciting and commercially effective solutions, to create interiors that spark excitement into its users and of course deliver schemes that are on time and on budget.”
Design Workshop UK Ltd
Design Workshop UK Ltd is a design and build specialist, with metal fabrication and project management capabilities, working throughout the hospitality industry. The company has been in operation for 18 years and within this time has worked with numerous independent clients, as well as various major hospitality chains.
Most recently, Design Workshop UK Ltd was appointed as the principal contractor on Grafene. As the principal contractor, Design Workshop UK Ltd worked closely with Grafene owners, Paul and Kathryn Roden, to ensure the project was completed to their client’s exact requirements.
Jed Hawes of Design Workshop UK Ltd, said:
“After meeting with Paul and visiting his hotel, Lose Hill, we were excited to be part of his vision for what Grafene has become.”
“At Design Workshop UK Ltd, we pride ourselves on our high quality work, our knowledge of the industry and our diversity. Our fabrication department was created to meet the hospitality industry’s growing need for custom metalwork and this is an area we really excel in.”