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EXCLUSIVE: Trof To Run Brannigans And Green Room

But its Fallowfield bar is not for sale

Written by . Published on January 4th 2012.

EXCLUSIVE: Trof To Run Brannigans And Green Room

THE company that owns and operates the Trof bar chain has taken on the former Green Room unit on Whitworth Street West and the Albert Hall inside Brannigans, on Peter Street.

Joel Wilkinson, the managing director of Zecol Ltd, told Confidential the Green Room could be open by April with the Albert Hall following in 2013.

"It's a music hall with a chapel above it. It's an amazing building. We're looking to turn it into a restaurant and bar - a bigger version of what we already do."

"We signed the paperwork on the Green Room a couple of weeks ago, we just need to strip it back and refurb it," he said.

"We need to decide on the look and feel we're going to give the place, although it won't be radically different to the rest of the Trof bars. We just need to tweak it a bit.

"We're planning to turn it into a bar, cafe and restaurant venue with live music - similar to the Deaf Institute."

Wilkinson said the building was in good condition aside from "a few leaks here and there".

Zecol has also taken the lease for the Albert Hall, inside the now closed Brannigan's unit on Peter Street.

"It's a fantastic space that hasn't really been used for 60 years," he said. 

"It's a music hall with a chapel above it. It's an amazing building. Again, we're looking to turn it into a restaurant and bar - a bigger version of what we already do."

Wilkinson said he hoped the move would kickstart the rest of Peter Street, which has been littered with vacant units for several years. One national bar chain is understood to be looking at the former Square bar unit nearby.

"It just needs a bit of a kickstart," he said. "I think a couple of the units are being looked at but the area needs to become something different from what it was a few years ago."

Wilkinson also said the firm was pressing ahead with plans to convert the basement of Quay House on Quay Street into a bar, club and exhibition venue, which could also open before the summer.

"It took a year longer than we wanted but we're hoping that could open in April too," he said.

Another recent aquisition, The Salutation, off Oxford Road, is also undergoing a refurbishment to bring five guest bedrooms back into use. 

"We'd like to be able to operate that as a cross between a hotel, a hostel and a bed and breakfast," he said. "We had a good Christmas there and it's going well."

The expansion will mean an investment of more than £1m for Zecol, although Wilkinson said there are no plans to sell off any of its existing bars to help pay for it.

"We're not selling the Fallowfield bar," he said. "All these plans are three years in the making. We've just been on the hunt for good venues really but I think we're done for now."

If you want to see some pictures of the inside of the Albert Hall, there are some here, on the rather wonderful blog goneeightyfive, run by a group of people who like getting on top of or inside buildings they shouldn't.

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

JoshJanuary 4th 2012.

Will the wonderful bar manager that used to run Green Room's bar be back? She was one of the reasons we used to go there so often!

Jack HoltJanuary 4th 2012.

This is good good news. Well done Trof

MarkJanuary 4th 2012.

I'm a big fan of the Trof brand, and I was really pleased to hear that the Green Room will be opening again. But it's really sad that it will be with a different identity. It was a wonderful venue, and it's support of the local arts was much needed and admirable. It's a shame that so little is going on in Manchester these days. I think Zecol should think about getting some of the previous staff back (including the incredibly friendly and welcoming bar manager), and giving them the freedom to continue to organise literary and theatrical events.

Rad ManJanuary 5th 2012.

Interesting news and good for dead Peter Street

Josh RJanuary 5th 2012.

Trof NQ's reputation for poor service and puerile humour has put me off from going to that venue by choice. They will have to work hard to improve their image at other locations.

FentonJanuary 5th 2012.

Awesome news! One of the better bar franchises out there. Peter Street (quality/calibre of bars aside) used to be a decent little area 5/6 years ago so a revival will be well received!

Anne TuckerJanuary 5th 2012.

so glad that the original Trof in Fallowfield is staying ..., its our perfect place for breakfast, coffee, warming up after hard days working in the park.... Trof is the Friends of Platt Fields second home and employment for several of us. (I have to say the NQ version isnt a patch on the original!!)

Kevin PeelJanuary 5th 2012.

I'm pleased to see The Green Room and Brannigans come back into use and hope Joel, in consultation with surrounding residents, comes up with an exciting plan for both.

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2012.

Great to see the greenroom up even if in another form... I hope that they will support live Manchester based performance art there in some way.

Bob CoolJanuary 5th 2012.

Sweet. Fallowfield trof has the best value/quality food in manc. Only blot in the NQ one, but hopefully with their track record, the renovation of brannigans and it's chapel will be an amazing space. Lets just hope this isn't an aquisition to big to soon, which drags the other venues into admin!!

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2012.

I just hope the new and improved Peter street will remain a 'chav free zone'

Swiss JamesJanuary 5th 2012.

I go to the NQ one quite frequently- good breakfasts, decent drinks, great music, quiz night is good fun. Where's the beef?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGJanuary 5th 2012.

Agreed. I love it! Great news, too, on these new ventures :)

CBJanuary 5th 2012.

great news generally. I think that Zecol need to talk with some of the old Green Room management about integrating the arts programming they were so good at though. We need a space for avant-garde art in Manchester and I thought the Green Room did a great job of doing that for ages.

Hopefully if you can team a savvy commercial bar operator up with some of the old Green Room team then they could make this place work again.

Martin PilkingtonJanuary 5th 2012.

Excellent news! Big fan of all the current trof bars. Both of these should be great for respective areas. Looks like the Peter St area will continue to bring in a more decent crowd than it has in the past, going forward with taps, eperney and now trof... Let's hope the bar38 weekend lot stay on the other side of road.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Lee MarstonJanuary 5th 2012.


Tamsin DruryJanuary 6th 2012.

for anyone interested in the kind of performance programme that happened at greenroom, we're trying to keep the spirit of it alive through Word of Warning (http://www.wordofwarning.org) - it's a work in progress but you can subscribe to the weekly no frills mailer at that address. I run hÅb which was greenroom's associate producer and some of us (including Emma, the bar manager people are looking for) can now be found at Zion Arts Centre (http://www.zionarts.com) in Hulme.
who knows, we might even take something back into the old building in time to come!

AnonymousFebruary 4th 2012.

Let's hope they get a manager that smiles , not like the one in the deaf institute !

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