Menagerie – A show to remember
A marriage between gastronomy and theatre, Menagerie is the new show-stopping Salford bar restaurant, offering up something quite diverse compared to the average restaurant.
As guests walk in, an area to the far left side of the restaurant presents contemporary cream banquette seating and plush cream chairs positioned around elegantly dressed tables. Feature lighting in the form of large bulbs are suspended from the ceiling above the dining space adding an industrial edge, with tropical installations to the ceiling and walls surrounding.
The use of gold is a key element in the space, with a bar that is covered in gold leaf, gold manikins and a striking VIP area in the form of a large ornamental bird cage, housing luxurious gold leather sofas.
Beautiful fumed oak flooring makes the stunning foundation for the venue, with intricate oak herringbone which runs throughout the bar and restaurant. The surrounding bar area includes raised booths with more banquette seating and swanky stools in a greeny-blue palette, off-setting the gold perfectly.
Innovative paper cranes are suspended above the bar area, on display from one side of the venue across to the other, with a mesmerising sculpture of the Greek god Hermes taking the spotlight.
At the bar, customers are able to select from an exciting range of drinks including the Mine Tastes Better Than Yours, a cocktail with a fake £20 note garnish which is set on fire for a impressive touch of drama.
One of the most prominent features of the venue is the catwalk which is situated in the heart of the room. The walkway runs through the centre of dining tables, presenting fashion shows and theatre performances in short bursts, to keep customers engaged and immersed in the performance.
Premier Hospitality interviewed the Owner of Menagerie, Karina Jadhav, former co-founder of Spinningfields bar restaurant Neighbourhood. Karina commented:
“Being situated right next to Salford Central train station we know that there is a high footfall in this area, and along with the New Bailey development which has increased footfall even more so, this seemed like a fantastic opportunity for a prime location. I believe that Menagerie will bring something vibrant to the local area, offering excitement and intrigue. I’m lucky that I have the experience to know what people in Manchester want and love in terms of the hospitality industry.
“The venue combines the best elements of a restaurant with the best elements of a bar or club, creating a space that is theatrical and interactive, yet doesn’t forget about the importance of dining – as you can see the majority of the restaurant is dining space and we have some amazing food on offer which is served in some of the most theatrical ways!”
Playing a major role in the essence of performance and art at Menagerie, the food is presented as entertaining as the venue interiors are. Head Chef Yalcin Ibrahim-Ali has devised a varied menu of modern American dishes, served to the 250-cover restaurant, with diners able to choose from small-plates such as oysters menage a trois, garlic prawns, or pan fried scallops. A playful Ferris wheel holding a selection of cakes is a stunning little gem on the dessert menu.
“The concept of Menagerie is a theme of performance and art, exploring the immersive side of the dining and drinking experience that we are offering. There are all of these fantastic features that are in place to get customers’ engaged and keep their attention whilst at Menagerie.
“I couldn’t have done any of this without my friends and family and everyone who has helped out – it really has been a great team effort. I’m so grateful to everyone for getting involved and we have all spent so much time together in getting Menagerie ready that we are like our own little family – I truly believe in five years’ time we can all look back on this and be proud of what we have achieved.”
Known as the happy hour chandelier, one special feature displays a light fitting which by night is accompanied by a performer pouring champagne into glasses held in the air.
Other unique additions that Menagerie includes a bath tub next to the bar which is filled with champagne and dancing girls – another theatrical element which conveys a great sense of luxury to guests. The selfie mirror is an ingenious addition, in the form of a large mirror with a gold frame, allowing guests to take selfies and upload them to various social media sites.
The mezzanine level acts as private dining space, offering exceptional views for diners to watch the performances take place below on the catwalk. Balconies provide the ideal space for performers, with a DJ booth also raised up on this level.
Responsible for the design aspects at Menagerie, Keane is made up of a team of talented interior designers, conceptualisers, graphic designers and marketeers. Creating beautiful designs in the hospitality industry is what the company specialises in, with offices and teams in the UK, The Middle East and Asia.
Keane works with some of the world’s largest and best restaurant operators from Michelin Starred one-offs to the giant casual dining brands. Examples of clients include Nandos, Wolfgang Puck, Burger&Lobster and Café Rouge. Bars and clubs that Keane has worked with include Soho Bar & Grill, Fifty9 at Berkeley Square and the lounge on level 12 at Manchester House.
Joel Barker, Senior Designer at Keane, told Premier Hospitality:
“Karina approached us back in January about the concept of the project and we just went from there. The design involved creating a venue with a collection of experiences, so rather than categorising it into a bar or restaurant, its part bar, part restaurant and part theatre!
“We wanted to create a wild and exotic venue with ways in which the customers could be a part of that adventure, and from a design point of view, that lead to the question, ‘what kind of setting should that be in?’ so we explored several different routes and it found itself wanting to be almost a neoclassical renaissance period. This led to the textures and finishes that we incorporated within the venue, as well as the palettes. We then explored the idea of colonial ruin and making something appear as if it had been there for hundreds of years.
“I think naturally it is every designer’s dream to be working on something that has never been done before, as it means you’re pushing forward something that is straying away from the rest of the crowd. It’s fantastic to have had this opportunity, especially in such a big upcoming location as Manchester.”
Established in 1998, Taylored Flooring specialises in the provision of flooring for use within the hospitality industry. The company source all their floors from suppliers who are respectful to the environment and they pride themselves on their end-to-end service, offering full installation of either solid or engineered wood, safety floors and luxury vinyl tiles, as well as remedial work such as sanding, staining and sealing.
Projects for Taylored Flooring have included Tattu – Manchester; Yu – Alderley Edge; Yang Sing – Trafford Centre; CAU – Wilmslow; Bacchus Restaurant – Prestbury; Seven – Derby; Neighbourhood – Manchester; remedial sanding work for the Shire Hotels Group and at present, the company is involved in the reception areas of the Manchester Royal Exchange. Most recently, Taylored Flooring has been involved with Menagerie Bar and Restaurant– Manchester – a brand new venue.
Working on this project, Taylored Flooring supplied and installed all the fumed oak floor including the intricate oak herringbone which runs throughout the bar and restaurant.
Chris Taylor of Taylored Flooring, said:
“At Taylored Flooring we strive to meet our customer’s highest expectations. We ensure the finished work is always 100% satisfactory to our client and we always offer advice to assist customers to choose the right floor for their establishment. We not only offer new installation, we also specialise in remedial work including floor repair, sanding and lacquering/oiling (which is virtually dust free) and offer a comprehensive range of aftercare maintenance products.”
Need a bespoke floor? Taylored Flooring colour-match to suit customers’ individual requirements, giving full flexibility to meet designer’s aspirations and this flexibility includes board widths, lengths and thickness. Taylored Flooring offer smoked oak where the customer can choose their specific smoking intensity and they offer a choice of finished surface textures, from smooth to varying degrees of brushing. The choice is yours!