Sneak preview: Inside new £1m bar The Botanist on Deansgate
We get a sneak peek of the latest flamboyant bar from Living Ventures - which sees boss Tim Bacon return to site of his first-ever Manchester business
With giant antique pot chandeliers, cabinets filled with horticultural trinkets and a vast aged vine walkway, it's not hard to see where the £1m has been spent on Manchester's latest new restaurant and bar The Botanist.
The venture is the latest from bar titans Living Ventures and its New World Trading Company, which is behind The Oast House on Spinningfields and other Botanist bars in Alderley Edge, Chester and Leeds.
The Diary headed for a sneak preview on the Deansgate site, before it opens to the public on August 4, and we were wowed by the eclectic and eccentric interiors of the place which they hail a "reinvented pub".
It is unrecognisable from its former incarnation as Label bar, with an airy orangerie-style room at the entrance with pot plants leading through to the distressed wooden bar area and on into "The Barn", via that vine walkway, which resembles an antique potting shed.
For Living Ventures boss Tim Bacon it has been a particularly emotional acquisition, as he owned the site back in the 1990s when it was JW Johnson's, his first Manchester bar.
Tim says: "It is quite surreal walking back into where it all began 21 years ago, Manchester was such a different place then. A lot of memories of all sorts, emotional even! I look forward to breathing some new life into the old girl."
He and his team have certainly done that, and New World managing director Chris Hill said he's been delighted with how the refurbishment has turned out.
He said: "I think the design team have been incredible in creating this mildly eccentric setting that can't help to make you smile. That is what we aim to do.
"This is the reinvented pub, we want people to walk in and feel comfortable, they know what they are getting with the menu, but then we exceed their expectations with what we deliver.
"If you were to nostalgically look back and think of what you would ever want from a local pub, that is what we aim to create here. It is everything for everyone."
The menu includes deli boards, home comforts like pie and chips and scampi, as well as the famous "hanging kebabs" that prove popular at The Oast House.
Roast chicken fresh from a rotisserie is also on the menu, and can be spied in the open plan kitchen at the rear of the venue.
On the drinks menu there will be a huge range of 45 cocktails, four local real ales on tap as well as an almanac menu of 57 bottled beers.
The bar opens to the public from Monday, August 4, and a VIP launch party is being held on Thursday August 8.
Bosses are also promising live music very night at the venue, with an electric piano taking pride of place on its own plinth next to the bar.