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NEW: Living Ventures Takes Room Restaurant

Confidential wonders if the King Street site deserves more than a new Grand Pacific?

Published on January 29th 2015.


NEW: Living Ventures Takes Room Restaurant
 

MANCHESTER restaurant kingpins, Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts of the Living Ventures group, have reportedly secured the prestigious former-Room restaurant site - exactly two weeks after staff from the doomed venue found the doors to work chained shut.

A spokesperson for LV confirmed they expected the new restaurant to be open by October 2015.

On Tuesday 13 January, Confidential revealed that the Harrogate-based HRH Group - which runs multiple hotels, pubs and restaurants around Yorkshire - had finally given-up on 'the most beautiful space in Manchester dining' and scarpered with anything not nailed down - read here.

Not ones to hang about, Knutsford-based bar and restaurant group Living Ventures - which recently confirmed plans to open thirteen new restaurants in 2015 to add to their 32 sites across the UK - have pounced on the King Street location owned by Bruntwood.

RoomRoom

Grand PacificGrand Pacific

LV intend to turn the former Reform Club - opened by Prime Minister William Gladstone in 1871 as Manchester's Liberal club - into Pan Asian restaurant Grand Pacific.

A spokesperson for LV confirmed they expected the new restaurant to be open by October 2015.

If the name seems familiar, Grand Pacific is currently the diminutive café bar sibling of Australasia, tucked behind the Armani store on The Avenue in Spinningfields.

Grand Pacific's food menu (£5-£23) has always been a watered-down extension of the Australasia menu (none of the more expensive 'big plate' stuff), and we're told the new venue will 'not quite match the level of Australasia' but is likely to be 'a more inexpensive and accessible brand to roll-out down the line'.

Confidential wonders if this is good enough for the space. The glorious first floor room demands exception rather than roll-out. This is what happened when Reform Restaurant first opened a decade or so ago. The refurbishment and menu matched the ebullient interior - although things quickly went downhill in terms of running the door.

A reinvention of the former Reform Club, where Manchester's great and good once made decisions that had global ramifications on the markets, surely deserves something as distinctive as its first incarnation as a restaurant, albeit with better management systems.

livingventures.com

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34 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

rinkydinkJanuary 29th 2015.

Good news. They'll make a better job of it than Room ever did

pollolocoJanuary 29th 2015.

GP serve, imho the worst oysters in Manchester. Expensive small plates for people that don't do eating. Such a shame as this is a really excellent location.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

I disagree about the small plates, I really like them, have to agree about the oysters though, they were pretty poor.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Living Ventures, great service, great drinks, poor food.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Not so sure about that. Takes about 3 weeks to get served at The Oast House. Far too crowded.

VickyJanuary 29th 2015.

Let's hope LV learn to make a good Mojito! Theirs is one of the worst I've been served, which is a shame because Room's was one of the best.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

LV takes over this location. There goes the neighbourhood.

CWJanuary 29th 2015.

Anybody that visited Room in recent times knows it was desperately in need of some TLC that it wasn't getting, I'm glad it's in good hands now.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Snore. Surely (if it had to be LV) they could have done something so much better than GP.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

To be fair, it needs to stand out as it faces two Italians, but Pan-Asian food?

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Indeed. GP is probably the blandest of the LV brands.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Lack of ambition for such a grand site.

Rick22January 29th 2015.

I know its the usual gripe but i wish that a small independent had taken over this, with a new idea/identity or a least someone new to the city. I don't mind LV but there is enough of their brand of restaurant/bar in the city

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AVOJanuary 29th 2015.

I doubt a small independent would have the funding to refit the place and service the high rents, rates and utilities required of such a large city centre site.

Rick22January 29th 2015.

I suppose your right, it ain't going to be cheap! but you have to speculate to accumulate!

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Shame they are not opening something a bit different to what's already on offer in the city centre

Simon TurnerJanuary 29th 2015.

A menu of Pan-Asian small plates cuisine and a DJ with a gimmick. Depressing use of a building that was built with such ambition and good taste.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

That DJ booth is a load of wank. Totally laughable from the perspective of anyone in music.

Helen TaylorJanuary 29th 2015.

Disappointing, I was keeping my fingers crossed Aumbry would move in.

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

So many great dining spaces on this part of King Street, but we get Zizzi, Miller and Carter, Pizza Express, Panama Hatty's, Jamie's, Browns and now this, what a depressing food scene this city has.

HENRY VJanuary 29th 2015.

Mr. Bruntwood, you are simply the custodian of this space. Whilst I love LV, they are the wrong people for this space. It screams Old British. Please go and see what Dinner has achieved in London. Grand Pacific is far away from what this venue is suited for. This is a knee jerk appointment on your behalf. The people of this city will erect a guillotine for you. You, as trustee for one of the finest dining rooms, if not the finest dining room, in the North West must take a long hard look at potential operators who can deliver something that adds brilliant seasoning to the recipe that is making this City appear on the must visit lists across the globe. Mancunian. Mancunia. Manc. PLEASE PUT THIS APPOINTMENT ON HOLD

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Yes. Traditional British food. Hearty meals and the cuts of meat that are becoming more popular in recipes and with TV chefs. A great warm atmosphere and common sense service would attract a great crowd of people I think. Proper portions too and good value pricing. Not everything has to be fine dining and have a 'twist' on the traditional.

Ron TowerJanuary 29th 2015.

Spot on, Henry V & Anon...

Simon TurnerJanuary 30th 2015.

Henry V is speaking with big sense, love what he's saying.

Hero
Dom77January 30th 2015.

Bored already of LV - Disneyfied interiors with average food - this space deserves much better than 'Pan-asian' - can only hope the interior is listed before it's turned into a pseudo Junk marina!

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

Looks like Living Ventures' tired old formula has become a bit too formulaic for most now. People are more canny these days, they know when they're being sold a theme rather than quality and good value plate of good.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

*food

Chris HandleyJanuary 30th 2015.

Just what Manchester needs, it's 382th Living Ventures bar/restaurant, via another Grand Pacific, 4 minutes walk from the other one and Australasia. Boring, but I guess it was only a matter of time before LV flexed it's muscles on King St. I love LV, but come on, its getting very boring now and pretty soon you wont be able to eat out in Manchester without it being at one of their outlets, which truth be told, are mainly quite similar in market and style, apart from the decor.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 30th 2015.

The other Grand Pacific is closing and this one is going to look different to the existing one. They're good at what they do - just wait and see before judging. If they can do what they've done in the God-awful looking tower that houses Manchester House etc then there's a good chance they can deliver something quite wonderful here

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

I have a manky old birdcage, a kaleidoscope and a vintage urn in my loft. I wonder if I could flog them to Living Ventures for their next bar / restaurant 'concept'. Or maybe Rinkydink would take them off my hands, £15 the job lot. Deal?

rinkydinkJanuary 30th 2015.

Bet it's not all that's manky and old. Tell you what dear, why don't you get them all and put them in your mouth?

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2015.

No, I dont think I want to do that, thanks for the suggestion though.

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2015.

Never commented before, but this is very sad. This is a wonderful space that needed an equally great idea. Isn't Mary Ellen Mctague in need of a new home?!?

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2015.

We all might have our own idea of a wonderful restaurant (or anything else) which would fit perfectly into a wonderful space. Sometimes it happens, but often it doesn't. You might remember a restaurant called 'Establishment' which was situated in the beautiful building now occupied by Rosso. It was (I thought) a really promising fine dining restaurant absolutely perfect for the building, but commercially it was a failure and closed. So embarking on an exercise of trying to 'fit' a particular type of restaurant into a particular building seems to me a bit dubious. The main thing is that the building (including the interior obviously) is protected and continues to be used and remains accessible. Actually I am optimistic that LV will have the cash to make that happen. In that context, whether you happen to like the food or not is neither here nor there.

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