Factory International, the new £210m cultural space tipped by Time Out magazine to be one of the best places to visit in 2023, has revealed details of its upcoming food offering – and there’s a lot to get excited about.
With plans to introduce a ground floor foyer café and public bar, as well as two auditorium bars when it opens later this year, the team has been busy looking for hospitality partners to come on board.
Today, bosses have confirmed that two of the north west’s best-loved operators – one of which is behind YES in Manchester and Ox Club in Leeds – will come together to service the new multi-million-pound arts venue.
Set to be known as Super Serve Manchester, the new hospitality collaboration will see operators Solitaire Restaurants Ltd and Square One join forces in a new partnership.
Together, they will look after all the permanent food and beverage services on site when it opens at the heart of the city’s new St. John’s neighbourhood, formerly home to Granada TV and next to the Science and Industry Museum, later this year.
With menus changing seasonally, the inaugural offer at Factory International will include brunch, grab-and-go options and a late-night street-style offering when it launches this summer.
Super Serve, alongside other local traders, will also provide catering for the much-loved Festival Square which this year relocates to the venues’ new river-side public spaces for the first time.
Solitaire Restaurants Ltd has a twenty-year proven track record of successful independent food and drink establishments and is well known locally for the busy bar and venue YES, which first burst onto the Manchester scene in 2018.
Solitaire is a well-known operator across the north west, with its team also responsible for favourites such as Ox Club, Belgrave Music Hall and Headrow House (Leeds) and Nightcrawler Pizza (Liverpool).
Square One, meanwhile, is an independent north west operator which provides infrastructure for events of all sizes, specialising in directing large-scale bar operations.
The team brings experience delivering support at scale in the north for the likes of Highest Point Festival, The Depot at Mayfield, Creamfields, Parklife and the Garden Party.
Speaking on the new opening, Super Serve Manchester Managing Director Stevie Mulgrave said: “With many of the team starting their hospitality careers right here in Manchester before going on to work with some of the best independent operators throughout the North West, it’s an honour now to be chosen as the Food & Beverage partner for Factory International.
“Already billed by Time Out magazine as one of the best things to visit in 2023, we can’t wait to be a part of this amazing project in the heart of our city.”
Solitaire Director of Operations Gemma Hampton-Stone added: “We’ll be taking our inspiration from dining tables across Manchester.
“We’re interested in working with the local community to deliver a diverse and accessible offer; working alongside suppliers who have the highest regard for sustainability and animal welfare and engaging in non-intensive and traditional techniques to create some of the best tasting and highest quality products around.
“We’re looking forward to presenting a seasonally changing menu that reflects the vibrancy the area has to offer.”
Sheena Wrigley, Venue Director, Factory International, said: “We are thrilled to be working with the newly formed Super Serve as our food and beverage partner.
“That two companies at the top of their game have come together to collaborate and created something new just for Factory International couldn’t be more fitting.
“Not only does the team bring a wealth of expertise as Soltaire and Square One and understanding of the Manchester and North West hospitality scene, but they also showed a real commitment to supporting our values including sustainability, community engagement, and accessible pricing.
“We are excited to be working together establishing a creative, eclectic, welcoming new social space and in a unique part of the city.”
Programmed and operated by Factory International, the team behind the world-renowned Manchester International Festival, the new venue will host a year-round programme of original creative work, music and special events – from intimate concerts to immersive installations. Outside, pop-up performances, events and markets will create a buzzing riverside destination for all to enjoy.
Audiences will be invited to preview the trailblazing new cultural space during this year’s Manchester International Festival which returns across the city from 29 June to 16 July.
The venue’s official opening will be in October with the production Free Your Mind, a large-scale immersive performance based on The Matrix films created by Danny Boyle, Es Devlin and the co-founders of Olivier Award-winning Boy Blue.
Featured image – Supplied
A massive spooky outdoor ice rink is coming back to Manchester this Halloween
It’s time to dig out your scare skates, as Manchester will soon be home to one of the UK’s largest outdoor ice rinks yet again this Halloween.
As the nights begin to draw in and the air gets colder by the day, we all know that means the spooky season is just around the corner, right? And, of course, that also means it really won’t be long before a whole host of ghoulish monsters begin to take their place on top of the city centre‘s tallest buildings just in time for Halloween.
While the iconic MCR Monsters will, once again, take centre stage as part of the annual Halloween in the City event, they’re not the only returnees to the scene.
That’s right, Scare Skate is back – and there’s some new additions this year.
Just like it has many years before, Cathedral Gardens will become become home to Manchester’s – and one of the UK’s – largest outdoor ice rink for October half term, as Scare Skate sees Halloween fans and fear-loving families take to the ice for some “frightfully good fun”.
Skaters can expect Halloween-themed music, lighting, and lots of themed props to help “ignite the fright factor”, and not only that, but new for this year, a frightfully-realistic giant spider wrapped in bright-white LED lights will stand front and centre.
Always a highlight in the city’s spooky social calendar, fancy dress is encouraged, and skaters are invited to capture those all-important photo worthy moments on the ice.
“Halloween is an integral part of the Manchester calendar, and we’re thrilled to see Scare Skate play an important part in the city celebrations for another year,” Kelly Baker, who is the Director of event coordinators, Managed Ice Rinks, ahead of the event’s arrival.
“Scare Skate is the perfect activity to bring the family together this season, and we’re looking forward to celebrating Halloween in the Cathedral Gardens grounds”.
Scare Skate will arrive in Cathedral Gardens from 27 – 31 October 2022.
Then, following the opening week of Scare Skate, the ghoulish spider will go into hibernation and a dazzling seven-metre Christmas tree will take its place and transform the area into the ultimate winter wonderland.
Tickets for Scare Skate are now on sale, and prices start at just £15.50 for adults and £12.50 for children – with discounted family, group bookings and season tickets also available.
Brickhouse Social is hosting a brand new Harry Potter-themed pub quiz
Everyone loves a good quiz and while we know there are some non-believers, we think it’s fair to say most people grew up loving Harry Potter. Put those two things together and what do you get? The perfect night out for a Potterphile.
No, we said ‘Potter-phile’.
Manc favourite hangout and popular student spot, Brickhouse Social, has just announced the launch of their new Harry Potter-themed pub quiz, the first of which is set to take place on 4 October.
And just like any good quiz team, any quiz worth its salt needs a good name. Let us introduce you to Brickhouse‘s first-ever ‘Quizitch’ night. Well played — five points to Gryffindor.
Playing host to a horde of fantasy trivia nerds (ourselves firmly included) across their three-storey venue, the quiz starts at 7pm and will put Potterheads to the test with several rounds of questions about the famous book and film series devised by their resident Harry Potter expert.
From Azkaban, muggle magic and the Forbidden Forest to Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them, Quizitch is set to be a Potterhead’s dream.
Better still, although it might not quite be the Triwizard Cup, there is going to be a veritable Honeydukes Express’ worth of prizes on offer, including bar tabs, slices of pizza and more.
Last but not least, the best part about this place is that once you’re all quizzed out, you can always head upstairs for a drink on the terrace, shoot some pool on the first floor or dance the night away at the Kable Club down in the basement afterwards.
You can reserve a table by simply emailing [email protected] or you can always give the guys a ring on 0161 236 4899.
Now, we’ll warn you: spots are being snapped up quickly so get in touch ASAP if you want to take part and even if not, you can always try your luck in case someone drops out. Either way, this won’t be the last time you’ll see Brickhouse diving into the Wizarding World.
Lastly, if all else fails, it’s not like there aren’t a whole host of other great pub quizzes going on around Greater Manchester all week long.