Manchester Smokehouse and Cellar
Manchester Smokehouse and Cellar, an American-style restaurant serving up BBQ food, craft beers and ales as well as putting on live music, recently opened on Lloyd Street in Manchester City Centre.
Based in the old Boutique Bar and Club venue, the site has been transformed to suit subterranean dining and drinking. The 160 cover restaurant and bar sits within the Grade I listed building and is an open plan space with the kitchen on display to allow customers to enjoy the theatre of cooking. The development process began as an excavation, and then moved to a renovation and then finally a refurbishment.
As the site had been night clubs for three different genres over the past 20 years, the interior had undergone multiple face-lifts which had to be ripped out in order to reach the site’s fundamental design.
The interior was stripped back and sandblasted to expose the brick work as well as the old lift shaft and cast iron columns. “We worked with the natural beauty of the building in order to enhance what was already there,” commented John Rennie, Director of Manchester Smokehouse and Cellar. High-end fixtures, fittings and furnishings along with bespoke, sourced antique lighting were used to create a similar style to a New York loft. Within the design there was a lot of metal work and fabrication in terms of the fixtures and fittings for the reception area, the bar, the wine racks and the front of the kitchen.
Externally, the major work to the restaurant focused on the large windows which feature both at the back and front of the site. Once excavated, they had to be repaired and renovated in keeping with the Grade I listed nature of the building.
The restaurant and bar also features Pilsner Urquall tank beer, the second bar in Manchester to stock Pilsner tank beer, alongside Albert’s Schloss. The beer sits in four large, copper tanks in the centre of the site allowing customers to see the beer transported fresh to the bar.
The design of the restaurant creates an atmosphere that allows people to relax and enjoy themselves whilst dining on food freshly cooked in either a wood-fired pizza oven, a fire pit or a huge char-griller barbeque.
With flame-focused cooking at the heart of Manchester Smokehouse and Cellar, it is down to the Pitmaster, Jason Latham, to smoke the meat with a blend of hickory, oak and apple wood to create the American style fare expected from a smokehouse. There are many dishes that are cooked overnight in the smoker including the 12 hour slow cooked pulled pork, ribs and brisket. The produce used in the creation of the delicious menu are all sourced responsibly with the meat coming from local suppliers and the fish caught ethically.
The bar, licensed until 4am, serves a selection of craft, draught and cask ales, along with the Pilsner tank beer. It will also host free live entertainment at the weekend, with bands and DJs helping the space move seamlessly from restaurant to late-night bar from 10pm. As it is situated across from Heron House (Manchester’s registry office) and near the Town Hall, the area is an ideal location for such a restaurant which is open seven days a week from 12 noon until late.
It was John Rennie himself that renovated the site with a close group of contractors. “I’ve put a lot of work, time, effort and money into the Smokehouse. I believe in it and it is my intention to roll the theme out in the future to continue the chain.”