A masterpiece of design occupying six Grade II* listed railway arches, under the historic centre of the city at Manchester Central conference venue in Watson Street, Manchester Gin have just launched their brand new distillery, bar and restaurant.
The interior was designed by Up North Architects.
The six arches are connected by intersecting vaults and three of these are open to the public, with the other three being used as bottling areas and offices.
Customers can visit the state-of-the-art distillery to see the gin being made, and even create their own unique bottle to take home.
According to the company’s owners:
“We wanted to create a fully immersive experience, so we invite customers to drink, dine and distill with us. Whether you want to drink gin, make it, or see how it’s made, the Spirit of Manchester Distillery welcomes visitors to experience Manchester Gin where it’s made.”
Another element of the huge interior space is the stylish Three Little Words cocktail bar. Design highlights include white and gold parquet flooring and a spectacular display of spirits behind the bar.
The gin menu includes including ‘Come Fly With Me’ – Manchester spirit vodka, lavender tincture, peach, apple, white cacao, tonka syrup, and a splash of butterflies; ‘Swipe Right’ – raspberry infused gin, rhubarb, ginger, fruit punch tea infusion topped with ginger ale; ‘Best Behaviour’ – aperol, elderberry tincture, elderflower, grapefruit, topped with soda, and ‘Longing Look’ – signature gin, campari, rose, cocchi rosa vermouth, custard syrup and cranberry topped with soda.
The third public arch accommodates a 70-cover restaurant featuring plush navy blue velvet banquette seating and white marble tables.
A ‘living’ wall at the back of the space faces out onto a small mezzanine with purple booth seating.
Patrick Thomas of Up North Architects said: “We were approached by the owners of Manchester Gin to design the venue and were really excited to be working with such a fantastic space. The CEO of Manchester Central was also keen to bring exciting tenants into the Watson Street site to attract more visitors.”
Due to the building’s listed status it was necessary for the designers to obtain listed building consent as well as planning permission to carry out the rather complex brief including all the technical and legal requirements of creating a distillery as well as the cocktail bar and restaurant.
Patrick Thomas commented: “We went through a very long and careful design process in creating what is one of Manchester’s best cocktail and dining venues. Great thought also went into designing the venue’s ‘gin school’ with places for up to 18 people and including mini-stills for creating the gin.
“We researched a number of cocktail bar designs in order to meet the client’s requirement for an interior which was both sophisticated and glamorous whilst also being very tasteful, reflecting the Manchester Gin brand of quality and simplicity.”
Design highlights include the stills themselves which are 5m high and made in copper. These have been installed behind a full height glazed wall set immediately behind the bar.
Patrick Thomas said: “We worked to create a ‘sparkle’ within the space through the use of mirrors, shimmering metal screens and other reflective materials such as copper and steel. We also created mirrored panels forming a backdrop to the arches themselves – which also serve to emphasise their volume. In addition we specially commissioned bespoke metalwork lighting to reflect the quality of the brand.”
Another bespoke highlight of the design is a hand-made replica gin shop which takes the form of a 2m diameter circle with glass doors. The clients were also keen to utilise the hexagon motif from the Manchester Bee symbol and this is featured throughout the interior.
Patrick Thomas concluded: “There are a lot of unique handmade elements which are enhanced by high quality fixtures and fittings such as the Italian marble bar counter. This project was a big responsibility.
“Since we founded Up North Architects three years ago our projects have increased in style and complexity and this project provided a perfect opportunity to blend listed architecture and interiors on this unique site.”
Manchester Gin has come a long way from small beginnings. Four years ago, the company’s founders decided to open a bar. By a twist of fate, it was this idea that led to them discovering small-batch gin distillation. This ignited their love of gin making and catapulted them to creating Manchester Gin – one of the most awarded gins in the country. Now, fuelled by their passion for drinks and cocktails, they have come full circle to open their first venue.
Custom Catering Solutions
Custom Catering Solutions specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke stainless steel bars and kitchens, along with all the equipment associated with these areas.
Custom Catering Solutions has been in operation for 16 months under Manager Director Ali Bruckshaw and was recently involved with the creation of Manchester Gin. The company worked alongside Tails & Tender consultancy to develop, manufacture and install a bespoke cocktail bar, capable of delivering quality drinks at speed and maximising the efficiency of bar staff.
The kitchen was also designed by Ali and Manchester Gin, with Custom Catering Solutions supplying and installing everything within the space. This included a canopy, walk in fridge, kitchen refrigeration, cooking equipment, bespoke sinks, tabling, gantry, a back of house KP area and ice machines.
“I was excited to work with Seb and Jen once I had met them as this was a dream of theirs and proud of what we provided and achieved for them.
“As a company we take pride in our experience, quality, reliability and most importantly, never missing a handover to the client.”
Custom Catering Solutions has also worked with the New World Trading Company, opening four sies with two more on the way.
Ted Todd makes and supplies fine wood floors, wall cladding, architectural details and installation essentials to architects, designers, and specifiers all over the world.
The company, which has been in operation over 25 years, started by reclaiming wood from old buildings and making floors from them. It still specialises in this today but now also sells high-quality, new timber floors, many of which are handmade in their Cheshire Workshops.
Ted Todd was recently involved with the creation of Manchester Gin, working alongside architect Patrick Thomas to design and handcraft a herringbone block. This was a bespoke twist on their Woodworks by Ted Todd Assier floor and aligned perfectly with the interior design vision of Up North Architects and the Manchester Gin brand.
Alan Griffiths, Head of Leisure for Studio Ted Todd, said:
“Manchester Gin is an internationally recognised spirit with its roots firmly in Manchester. We were very pleased to be involved in this exciting leisure project and having the opportunity to showcase our bespoke floors in this immersive new venue.”
Ted Todd has previously been involved with a number of award-winning projects, including Brasserie Blanc, Manor House Lindley and Hotel Endsleigh. Alan added:
“We take our environmental responsibility seriously, and we are the market leaders in appreciating the importance of sustainable sourcing. We have been FSC® compliant since 1997 – long before this was a mainstream issue.”
To find out more, please visit www.studiotedtodd.co.uk
Lancashire Shop Fronts
In operation since 2012, Lancashire Shop Fronts specialises in all types of aluminium shopfronts, frameless and seamless shopfronts, curtain wall systems, glass partitioning, office partitioning and all types of roller shutters.
The company has worked with well-known clients including Motor Fuel Group, Costa Coffee, Armani and Rolex to name but a few. Recently, Lancashire Shop Fronts was responsible for the shopfronts and roller shutters at Manchester Gin. The project was completed successfully despite challenges posed by a short turnaround at short notice.
Mr. N Singh, Director, said:
“As a company we take great pride in our work and always trying to meet the clients’ requirements. We work with great pride and integrity when completing a project, from the planning stage right through to completion.
“When it comes to aftercare, we know that things may not go to plan but we are always there to support the client’s requirement, if ever there is an issue after the project we will take great measure in order to get the problem resolved until the client is satisfied.”
To find out more, please visit www.lancashireshopfronts.co.uk.