Be At One
Boasting one of the most extensive cocktail menus in the hospitality industry, Be At One is a drinking destination unlike any other. Founded in 1998 by bartenders Steve Locke, Ryhs Oldfield and Leigh Miller, Be At One serves up a range of tempting cocktails from new creations right through to reimagined classics.
The latest bar in the Be At One collection is Be At One Manchester, which is housed within a basement space below Barton Arcade. Be At One Manchester opened its doors in March to become the 30th Be At One cocktail bar and offers up a range of blended cocktails, from the sweet and salty popcorn-topped Popster to the superfood-packed Beetroot Retox.
Be At One Co-founder, Steve Locke, said:
“Be At One is a cocktail institution, providing great service and unbeatable party atmosphere, and most importantly with a pretension free attitude. Manchester is a major step for us, the city has a thriving cocktail scene and one we are very excited about joining.”
Keen to find out a little bit more about the design behind Be At One Manchester, Premier Hospitality recently caught up with Jonathan Richardson, an Associate at Fusion Design & Architecture. Fusion Design & Architecture worked alongside main contractor Rocket Interiors on Be At One Manchester and has a strong working relationship with the Be At One brand.
“We’ve worked with Be At One for about eight years now, so we have a good understanding of what they expect from each bar. With regards to the Manchester site, they came to us around a year ago with this great space in a great location – it’s a Grade II Listed building and the perfect setting for Be At One’s first Manchester bar.”
With Be At One Manchester being located within a basement space, Fusion Design & Architecture were keen to maximise the potential of the venue as much as possible. In order to do this, the practice began with the entrance, incorporating standout features such as striking neon signs and creative use of mirror to really capture the customers’ attention.
“We used the entrance lobby to maximise the shop floor, attracting as many people as possible into the basement. The neon elements work well in conjunction with a large feature chandelier, situated over the spiral staircase.”
Moving down into the basement, the venue has retained many of the building’s original features, including a considerable amount of exposed brickwork, glazed brick, steel columns and floor tiles that contrast with contemporary finishes such as a mix of wall tiling and wall panelling. The use of quirky neons help create a cosy environment of contrast, which is sympathetic to the original building.
“Within the basement there are two separate bars in Be At One. Although visually connected, the bars vary in their appearance, the first having a more classical feel to tie in with the overall look of the building. The second bar is slightly more striking with the use of a vibrant blue to the bar joinery and wall panelling, the colour being significant to the Be At One brand. The second bar also features a DJ booth with the latest sound technology, which is used throughout.”
A notable feature of Be At One Manchester is the site’s two large bespoke LED chandeliers that are linked into the venue’s music system and react to the music to create a varied lighting design and moods to suit the time of day or night.
Following the success of Be At One Manchester, Fusion Design & Architecture have been involved with Be At One Birmingham which is currently being fitted out within Piccadilly Arcade. Similar to Be At One Manchester, this latest venue is also housed within a basement space taking over from what was formerly a snooker hall.
“The space was previously a snooker hall, sat beneath a shopping arcade. Prior to the arcade the building was a cinema so the rake of Be At One ‘s ceiling follows the rake of the old cinema seating, meaning we have another dramatic space to work with. Upon entry the ceiling is low but rises towards the rear of the bar area with a large island bar at the centre of the space. It is an extremely interesting site and another great project to be involved with.”
“Be At One is a great client to work with. When we first started working with them they were relatively small, but they have grown considerably in recent years.
“With each bar that we work on the design becomes more ambitious and that matches the ambition of Be At One, who continue to go from strength-to-strength.”
For more information about Be At One, please visit: www.beatone.co.uk.
Established in 1992, Electracoustic Ltd specialises in sound system installations to commercial venues – nightclubs, bars and live music venues mainly – however the company has also worked on restaurants, recording studios, religious centres, hotels, wedding venues and various other settings.
Electracoustic has worked on numerous projects large and small, including Heaven Nightclub for Virgin Clubs and Hotels, installing Turbosound systems throughout five rooms. The company has also delivered at The Black Heart, Camden, voted UK live music venue of the year 2014 (Music Week), and carried out all Be At One bar installations since 2010.
Premier Hospitality caught up with Jonathan Trotter, of Electracoustic Ltd, to discuss the company and its involvements with Be At One (Manchester and Birmingham). Jonathan commented:
“We designed, supplied and installed the sound systems for both locations, and carried out the acoustic treatment at the Birmingham site. The venue was large and very reverberant so we considered treatment essential so get the best out of the sound system installation. Fortunately this was successful. We are pleased with the results in both venues.
“We have a long established working relationship with Be At One, they are a great company to work with.
“We are a small company and we pride ourselves on high quality work, a personal approach and good service backup.”