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EXCLUSIVE: Brewdog Shifts Focus In Manchester

Northern Quarter is out; Peter Street is in

Written by . Published on January 24th 2012.

EXCLUSIVE: Brewdog Shifts Focus In Manchester

SCOTTISH beer maker and bar company Brewdog has pulled plans for a bar in Manchester's Northern Quarter - but still intends to open in the city.

Instead, the firm is lining up the former Electric Boogaloo unit on Peter Street, opposite the five-star Radisson Edwardian hotel.

"I think there'll be more than one (bar), but I'm talking long term - more than three years. We just want to get established in the city first."

Bruce Gray, head of bar operations at Brewdog, told Confidential he'd been alerted to Peter Street by the firm's Manchester-based solicitors.

He also said their original plans to open on Newton Street had changed because of the time it was going to take to get a licence for the premises.

"There were just too many potential complications with the Northern Quarter site," he said. "It was looking like six months before we got a licensing decision, and that's before you even get in to start refurbishing the place.

"But we just want a presence in Manchester and we'd been looking at other places. Electric Boogaloo already has a licence and although there's nothing concrete signed yet, it is a place we're looking at.

"It could be signed in three days or it could be three months. There's still a bit of paperwork to do."

Gray said he was encouraged by operators like Trof moving into Peter Street (see our story on the Trof revived Albert Hall here).

He also said the firm may open a second bar in Manchester at some point in the future.

"I'm led to believe there's a different vibe on Peter Street these days," he said.

"The area is being re-invented more in line with what we do as a bar operator, compared to the way it used to be.

"I think there'll be more than one (bar in Manchester), but I'm talking long term - more than three years. We just want to get established in the city first."

Gray said the firm had kept an open mind about where to open its Manchester bar, however, adding that there was no shortage of units to look at.

"We'll look anywhere in a city. Some are off the beaten track, others are slap bang in the middle of the main drinking area of the city, but they just work," he said. "It just has to be the right spot for that particular bar."

Brewdog was set up in 2007 with a £30,000 bank loan and has since grown into a company set to turnover £6.5m for 2011. It also offers customers the chance to buy a stake in the business through its 'Equity for Punks' share scheme. More than 1,000 people have invested so far.


This is the second positive step in re-vitalising Peter Street. The take over by Trof of part of Brannigans was good news and this is good news too. 

It's also best for Brewdog as a company.

The Northern Quarter is perhaps becoming over-heated with venues. There is huge potential for another intelligent bar operator in this part of town - the success of Gaslamp and Oast House not far away prove the point. 

Stephen Miles, the manager of the Radisson Edwardian Hotel opposite the Brewdog site, told Confidential a couple of years ago that he hoped the decline of barn-bars such as the odious Squares would see a better type of establishment, more individual and responsible, arrive on Peter Street.

He's getting his way. 

We've also had the announcement of the arrival of All Star Lanes bowling alley this week very close to Brewdog - the third Peter Street exclusive Confidential has had this month. Another quality operator in the area.

With Bar 38 up for sale all we need is a really good company to move in there, and one in the old Chicago Rock site, to almost complete the metamorphosis. (JS)


Fyg 057Illuminated sign still working on the ex-Electric Boogaloo bar - Brewdog may get rid of this sign but isn't it post ironic funny for a beer bar? 

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

Alan GreenhalghJanuary 24th 2012.

"I'm led to believe there's a different vibe on Peter Street these days," - There is, it's dead and there are good reasons for that.

Fitz LinsonJanuary 24th 2012.

As a share holder, this is just bonkers!

AnonymousJanuary 24th 2012.

Brewdog vs Trof

You know it makes sense. good move.

Man in a ShedJanuary 24th 2012.

Will be nice to have a bit of decent beery focus on Peter Street, will fill in that annoying gap between the City and the Knott

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

I'd heard that one of the other vacant bar units - either Chicago Rock or squares has a new tenant lined up too, so with three new operators on there, it could be a very different feel

1 Response: Reply To This...
Simon BinnsJanuary 25th 2012.

There's talk of Revolution going into Squares Anon. We're asking the question.

Alan WharrierJanuary 25th 2012.

Its a war zone, Brannigans, Bar 38, it will be completely incongruous ... It would do much better somewhere in Ancoates within walking distance of Port Street, The Marble, The Angel, Fringe, Castle Hotel et al... Or by the Knott and the Britons, or Liverpool Street ... Anywhere but Peter Street

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGJanuary 25th 2012.

Are you for real? Brannigan's closed ages ago and Bar 38 is never busy any more. Peter Street is dead! Peter Street, a prime piece of city centre real estate, is about to undergo a small revolution... (so long as the Revolution doesn't attract too many village idiots...)

EditorialJanuary 25th 2012.

Alan, keep up to date, Peter Street is not what it was five years ago, and read the comment section under the piece please.

Alan WharrierJanuary 25th 2012.

Sorry Ed didn't read the comment mybad!! Hope it works out ...

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Wasn't someone attacked and put into a coma outside a bar on Peter street just a couple of months ago...? It may not have all of the terrible bars that it once had, but it looks like the clientele have not yet moved elsewhere. Here's to a change...

Alan WharrierJanuary 25th 2012.

I'll retract that Ed now I've just read Revs is rocking up down there!?

Kevin PeelJanuary 25th 2012.

I'm sad not to be getting it round the corner from my flat (!) but I'm pleased to see a new vibe developing in Peter Street and look forward to having a pint there when it opens. I hope, as ever, that Brewdog will work with me and residents in the area!

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Will fit in nicely with Royals, Bar 38 and Revolution just seconds away... that part of town has always been a crossroads for idiots, placing a bar that sells real ale there isn't going to change that... as Taps which is in the same area has proven.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGJanuary 25th 2012.

Do you mean 'Royales', which hasn't been in existence for many years. It's had a couple of reincarnations since then but is not the place it once was. Printworks and Deansgate Locks seem to attract most of the troublemakers at the mo.

Pete RansomJanuary 25th 2012.

Very positive news. The NQ has more than enough bars to keep it going and I agree with the other posters who commented on the need to fill a gap in this area of the city centre.

JS3January 25th 2012.

Makes sense and am looking forward to see the transformation. It should actually be one of the more upmarket areas, particularly with the Midland and Radisson on the doorstep, Brannigans et al just weren't suitable.

JayJanuary 25th 2012.

Just need someone to clear out Walkabout now and then it'll be quite nice around there

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

My main problem at the moment is with the clientele at Manchester 235... The lace seems to be attracting scrotes of the worst kind at the moment, noisy, fighting ones as well!

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Trof and Brewdog are not right for that area but then neither were Brannigans and Squares. With the Opera House at one end, the Palace Theatre at the other, the Library Theatre and two of Manchesters finest hotels inbetween it is a shame that the area couldn't have been utitlised as bit of a Theatre Area, particulary with the Theatre Royal and the unused hall in the Brannigans building along there as well. Could've chucked in the demolished Odean for good measure.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Once they gave the ok for raves at Quay House the feeding frenzy was sure to follow ,get ready for the return to the streets of blood ,spew ,drugs and rent a thug .

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Charlie BJanuary 25th 2012.

Oh dear. Try a little harder with the grammar dear lady and maybe put the negative preconceptions away.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Sorry didn't know you had to be university educated to voice an opinon and I thought the idea of posting as anonymous was so your name or gender didn't enter into it.Obviously Mancon has it's own vested interest.

Kevin PeelJanuary 26th 2012.

Anon, after interventions by me and local residents, there will be no raves at Quay House.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

well you've seen nothing yet. When the gov free street music up an MCC pedestrianise move streets at night you will have a rave on every street. I didn't know Revolution is for the chattering classes more the glassing classes. Raddie guest will just love it.

Sounds an extension of the declining Liverpool Road

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Kevin PeelJanuary 26th 2012.

Anon, MCC submitted a response to the government's consultation on this - at my urging - strongly arguing against de-regulating live and recorded music from licensing.

ShuttyJanuary 28th 2012.

Why do you think that Liverpool Road is declining? Haven't several restaurants opened in empty units there in the last 3 years? I would have said it was one of the more active/improving areas in the city.

Ryan O'hanlonJanuary 25th 2012.

Can we start giving it a silly name like 'The Northern Quarter'. We can't possibly just refer to it as Peter Street can we.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

Peter's Fields?

SpencerSpurchJanuary 25th 2012.

Pure funny when people like Anonymous make people aware of their preconcieved ideas and then end up getting found out. Open your eyes you ThroatStoat the times the are a changin.

AnonymousJanuary 25th 2012.

This will be a great spot for Brewdog, there's more scrotes in the NQ than here nowadays anyway. Speaking of Peter Street, is anything known about the rumoured music venue at the former Theatre Royal?

Lorna HooperJanuary 26th 2012.

I am excited about this! I work in one of the offices along peter street and it would be nice to have a few options for an after work bevvy other than Bar 38 (Terrible Service) or leaving the area entirely!

Tyson ThebeerhoundJanuary 26th 2012.

"The Northern Quarter is perhaps becoming over-heated with venues."

Eh? Hardly, dear boy. I'm happy for Peter St, but the original venue near the Port St Beer House was a more natural fit. Trof are certainly a step above Brannigans, but hardly exceptional for Manchester these days. Peter St will require a lot of work to bring it up to scratch and most punters will not leave the confines of the N/4 easily.

user1770January 26th 2012.

Years back Peter Street used to be a favourite haunt of mine and it's made me sad every time I pass it recently, a bit of life down there (as oppose to some of the recent pond life) will be most welcome

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