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Restaurant & Bar Design Show

Lead Station – New look for South Manchester ‘institution’

Lead Station

South Manchester’s legendary Lead Station restaurant and bar in Chorlton has been dramatically upgraded in a fast track refurbishment project carried out to stunning effect in just two and a half weeks.

Opened in 1995 and occupying a former police station on Beech Road, the Lead Station has been serving honest classic and innovative food and drink to an eclectic and fiercely loyal clientele from across Manchester for over 20 years.

The brief for the project was to bring this much-celebrated venue up to date without losing the unique, easy going atmosphere the venue is famous for.

Interior architects for the refurbishment were R2 Architects, with Silver Glide as main contractors for the fit out, who were praised for the high standard of their work on the project.

R2 Architecture’s Christopher Aitken-Smith explains: “The challenge was to develop a well-loved brand whilst identifying and retaining what makes the Lead Station so special. It’s not about starting again, but about peeling back the layers and maturing what was already there.”

“Regulars will spy key Lead Station features such as the lead-wrapped fireplace and large-scale mirrors alongside robust yet elegant new touches.”

Richard Eastwood, director of R2 Architecture said: “The main challenge of this project was the tight timeframe of just 2 1/2 weeks during which time the venue was closed. The works were completed on schedule and the desired result achieved. Silver Glide did a fantastic job and were very helpful and very pro-active.”

“The large scale element of this project was the structural work which was carried out to open up the space and create a spacious state of the art new kitchen. The additional space was taken from an area previously occupied by cells in the former police station. This was a very challenging process, which had to be completed within just one week – however the work went really well.

“Other works included the installation of built in furniture including banquettes of various heights in a variety of materials. New chevron timber flooring was laid at the front of the venue, with new ceramic tiled flooring to the rear within the conservatory.

“Undoubtedly the scheme’s showstopper is the new feature bar which has a lagoon blue Pyrolave bar top  comprising large slabs of basalt with a ceramic glaze, set against a gleaming brass back bar. New feature lighting was installed.

“The colour palette is graded with darker colours including blue/black to the front of the space and lighter colours including black and white to the rear

“The result is a grown up, sociable space that mixes hints of gentlemen’s club, northern swagger and comfortable dining room – and heralds the start of a bold new era.”

Owned by Nick de Sousa, Lead Station prides itself on its ‘honest homemade cooking’, which ranges from sandwiches and salads to burgers, steaks and twists on classic European dishes.

The seasonal menus of hearty comfort food are changed regularly, taking influences from across the world.

Working closely with local suppliers, the food offer includes daily specials made from fresh seasonal market ingredients.

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Ecovery Innovations Limited

Ecovery Innovations Limited specialise in the manufacture and installation of specialist kitchen systems designed to reduce cooking odours, air born grease and Co2 emissions. The company has been in operation since 2012 and within this time has worked on a range of projects, including Bombay Central and Deadwood Smokehouse, amongst others.

Recently, Ecovery Innovations Limited has been involved with The Lead Station. Working on this project, Ecovery Innovations Limited supplied and installed a KERS Heat Recovery System, which converts wasted flue heat from the kitchen fryers and re-uses it to heat hot water for the kitchens, bars and toilets.

Eric Phillips, Ecovery Innovations Limited, said:

“The Odour and Grease Emissions Control is an essential requirement of the restaurant’s planning provisions and we regularly assist clients to obtain their permissions by interfacing with Environmental Officers. Our KERS System greatly reduces utility bills whilst reducing Co2 Emissions.”

Eric added:

“At Ecovery Innovations Limited we manufacture our products in England and we are proud of the equipment we have developed. We have listened to the industry’s requirements and have developed solutions to meet their needs accordingly.”

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