The company behind 17 bars across the north of England under its Banyan Bar & Kitchen, Box and Manahatta brands has secured planning permission for a new site at 125 Deansgate – with opening scheduled for early 2021.
The new venture marks Box’s first opening outside of Yorkshire, where it boasts sites in Headingly and in Leeds city centre, which won Best New Bar at the 2019 Publican Awards.
“It’s been a challenging few months for the sector and for our business, but we’re now looking with excitement to the future,” Arc Inspirations CEO Martin Wolstencroft said.
“Manchester has always been a key location for us and when the time is right and consumer confidence fully returns, we will debut our Box brand in the city.
“The opening fits perfectly with our strategy of opening in clusters with complementary brands and we’re confident our guests in Manchester will love the Box experience.”
The £32m turnover group reopened all its sites at the earliest opportunity after Prime Minister Boris Johnson gave operators the green light to resume trading on 4 July.
Off the back of a surge in bookings in the days and weeks prior to reopening, Arc Inspirations’ CEO revealed the group had seen an understandably mixed performance from city centre and suburban sites over the "Super Saturday" weekend.
“First and foremost, it was great to see guests back in our bars enjoying themselves over the weekend, creating a buzz and all respecting safe distancing,” Wolstencroft said.
“Overall, sales were, of course, down year on year, mainly in our city centre sites, which remain impacted by the slow return of retail and consumers’ confidence still fragile to venture into centres.
“Our suburban sites were in growth, which was really pleasing and I’m convinced sales will improve further in the next few weeks once confidence builds and people understand that hospitality is managing reopening in an expert and professional manner.”