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Oast House Date Announced

Manchester's craziest new venue opens in week of 10 October

Published on September 19th 2011.

Oast House Date Announced

AS exclusively announced in Confidential a few months ago, an Oast House is due to arrive in the city. The picture above shows how close to completion the building is.

Here's the offiical press release, followed by a few words from us.

'A traditional Oast House is certainly not something you expect to see - around these parts. Usually associated with the fields of the Kent countryside and not Spinningfields in Manchester, The New World Pub Company, courtesy of Allied London, are providing a new home for a very old building.

'Due to open week starting 10 October this version of an Oast House – a building developed for the roasting of hops – has been brought brick by brick, from Kent via Ireland, and reassembled at its new city centre address.

'Offering a fresh take on the time honoured establishment that is the pub Living Ventures has never played host to anything like this before. Tim Bacon, Managing Director of the Living Ventures Group, is incredibly excited about this new project and can hardly wait to get his lips around that first pint of cask ale.

'Offering the levels of hospitality you’d expect from the Living Ventures family who in recent months have added The Alchemist and Australasia to their highly successful Gusto and Blackhouse brands, you’ll find locally brewed cask ales, no less than 40 bottled beers and ciders from around the world not to mention a selection of the finest champagnes, wines and spirits.

'There's a deli style food menu that includes meats cooked on the rotisserie and an external barbeque (a challenge for the chefs in a chilly Winter).' 

CONFIDENTIAL was asked what we thought about this idea right at its inception.

We loved it.

Diversity of streetscene makes for local colour and good talking points, this crazy building surrounded by courts and posh shops acheives that perfectly. It's like someone left an ugly troll's house in fairy land. Funny. 

The corrugated roof is especially amusing. A bit of folksy down-to-earth silliness next to £1000 suits in nearby windows.

Still by twisting things a bit the roof has local relevance.

It was ET Bellhouse (click here) with his Eagle Foundry in Manchester that took corrugated iron and turned it into the original prefabricated building. These were used all over the British Empire in the nineteenth century and in the US and Australian gold rushes. 

Some of the latter still survive - see picture below. Given that Bacon, a boss of Living Ventures is Australian, this provides another nice association.

Still Confidential will be looking in close detail at the type of ales in this new business.

The oast house was a building form developed to provide an ingredient to flavour English ales. If all we get is Blacksheep and Pedigree plus four hundred lagers on draught and in bottles it will be a betrayal of the building.

Good north western micros and Manchester's own independent big-hitters should be the order of the day here, plus lots of British bottled ales with a smattering of top-notch German and Belgian offerings.

That will wash down the meat-based barbecue perfectly.

Bellhouse Prefabricated House Melbourne

           ET Bellhouse prefabricated house surviving in Melbourne


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

RaySeptember 19th 2011.

Sounds terrific! Goes to show that funky and real ale are not mutually exclusive, as many would wrongly think

AnonymousSeptember 19th 2011.

So a new bar lands in Spinningfields. Big deal. Bars, shops, resturants. Boring, boring, boring. What's missing is a really high profile, quality leisure offer that will appeal to families. You wouldn't believe the number of tourists that leave their hotel, hop on a bus and do a circuit of Old Trafford, Legoland, Trafford Centre then back. If the developers had lured an operator like Legoland to this plot, you can be guaranteed that the place would be vastly busier than it is currently and the demographic much wider.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2011.

Legoland? In the centre of Manchester? It's completely wrong for the area - the kiddie/family demographic would not want to haul their little cherubs into a city centre, and shoppers don't want crowds of screaming kids and dawdling families clogging up the streets. Bars, restaurants, shops - isn't that what a city centre IS? Yeeesh.

ChorltongalSeptember 20th 2011.

@Anon: Eh - what the bloody hell has Legoland got to do with it, or anything for that matter? I didn't even realise there was a Legoland near Manchester... And working in the Hotel trade as I do myself, granted, you got the Old Trafford and Trafford Centre trips right - but a lot of our guests purposefully go to Spinningfields to check out the architecture, bars, shops and restaurants. If what you are getting at is that there is nothing for kids, then you are clearly a bit mad as Spinningfields is primarily a Business District. They don't have Legoland at Canary Wharf or Brindley Place do they!?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 22nd 2011.

Brindley Place actually boasts an art gallery and a flippin Sealife centre! Canary Wharf is different as it is self contained and rather isolated from the centre of London. The developers here are clearly trying to drive footfall into the district but they're not going to succeed in widening its appeal or increasing spend in the shops by plonking another bar in there. The city should cater for everyone. You can't have too many family friendly attractions in a city.

Inspired by this silly Oathouse building, couldn't you imagine a building in the form of an outsized, brightly coloured lego brick here instead? You could even have a bar on the ground floor...

LucylancasterSeptember 20th 2011.

Walked past this building at weekend with journalist. We both thought hideous and totally out of character with its environment. Come on folks - it looks UTTERLY RIDICULOUS amidst all the steel and glass. Why in the glorious surroundings of Spinningfields do we have to have another throw back to the past? And not even a throw back to Manchester's past - we've never had hop picking in the North West ........ Spinningfields is about 21st century Manchester and living - why is Manchester so terrified of embracing this?

HopmanSeptember 20th 2011.

Lucy, it's funny. It's great.

AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

What are you doing Spinningfields? You need to put something interesting in amid all those office blocks.

What are you doing Spinningfields? You can't put something interesting amid all those office blocks.


AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

Brick by Brick? funny as I saw the modern timber slat framework construction... so it's a theme pub?

Calum McGSeptember 20th 2011.

Brick by brick is bollocks! The bricks are a brick veneer! What a load of PR crap. Looks quite fun tho.

Liam McDonaldSeptember 20th 2011.

I've heard Burger King have just secured a large rental plot next to Giraffe Cafe.

AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

I presume the Burger King post was supposed to be a joke?

KalSeptember 20th 2011.

In a bit of an odd position between two courts, wonder what the clientele will consist of?

AnonymousSeptember 20th 2011.

@Kal. The usual PR darlings of Manchester (there's plenty to go round), lots of emperors with no clothes, gaggles of drunk, boorish, uncouth journos and the 'movers' and 'shakers' of the city - whoever they may be at the time. Oh, what a cynic I am...

SleuthSeptember 20th 2011.

If only there were more uncouth journos Anon, we try our best but most journos are so well mannered these days they shame their profession and reputation

Kevin PeelSeptember 21st 2011.

This looks fantastic, can't wait to get down there.

AnonymousSeptember 21st 2011.

I'm from Kent, and grew up amidst oast houses and hop fields - whilst I think it's utterly random to have an oast house in the NW, and certainly in Manchester's very modern city centre, I love the idea of it. This could be a Marmite venue, done well - it'll be amazing, anything less and it'll be a crass imitation. Fingers crossed for the former.

mix it upSeptember 22nd 2011.

I really enjoy the contrast of scale and materials to the rest of Spinningfields - it's fun & unexpected and I'm all for it!

AnonymousOctober 10th 2011.

As a Man of Kent I have to say that that is just wrong.

AnonymousOctober 24th 2011.

Especially as I don't believe Lakeland Stone was ever used in Kentish Oast Houses. Looks ridiculous...

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