January 29th, 2015

Living Ventures Takes Over Room Restaurant for New Grand Pacific Venue

By Dianne Bourne, Manchester Evening News

Living Ventures Takes Over Room Restaurant for New Grand Pacific Venue

Living Ventures boss Tim Bacon has long admired the Room site, and when it came empty in January snapped it up to become a new Grand Pacific

Just weeks after Room Restaurant closed, Living Ventures boss Tim Bacon has swooped to claim the site for a lavish new Grand Pacific restaurant and bar.

Foodie midas Tim has long admired the historic venue at the top of King Street - since its days as the famed Reform bar.

And when he heard that Room had closed earlier in January, he got straight in touch with owners Bruntwood to snap up the prime site.

It will become an 11th city centre Living Ventures venue, joining a stable that includes popular bars and restaurants The Alchemist, Artisan, The Oast House, Gusto and Manchester House.

Tim says: "It was the quickest deal in Living Ventures history!

"As soon as I heard Room was closing I was on the phone to Chris Oglesby from Bruntwood, because I just thought I can't let that building go. With one text message the deal was done.

"So yes, the evil empire that is Living Ventures strikes again!

"It's such a cracking dining room, I've loved it for a very long time, back since the days of Reform.

"In fact, I was tempted to just recreate Reform back in there because I loved it."

However, the master plan for the venue is to become a huge new version of Grand Pacific, currently the terrace bar residing at the rear of Australasia on Spinningfields, and is scheduled to open late Summer.

It will boast a menu of Pan-Asian small plates cuisine, with a focus on contemporary interpretations of sushi, fish and meat dishes.

But the venue will also be as much a bar, with a late licence and state-of-the-art DJ booth with "Emulator" touchscreen technology as seen in Australasia.

It's set to be a huge refurbishment of the existing interiors, but Tim says he and interior designer Michelle Derbyshire will now be looking carefully at the Victorian building, known for its huge fireplaces, pillars and wood panelling, for a sympathetic renovation.

He says: "At this moment in time I don't know quite how it will look, it will have to be a ‘deregulated Australasia'. I like the idea of all of our spaces being different, so no, it's not going to look like Australasia or the current Grand Pacific."

In turn, the existing Grand Pacific will be re-branded as Australasia Terrace bar, Tim says hopefully by April.

The new Grand Pacific is set to boast a 100 cover restaurant and a large bar area across the 5,000 sq ft site, while the separate room at the back of the venue will be used as a private dining room and events space for the venture.

The building was originally built in 1871 as The Reform Club, a gentlemen's club for Manchester's Liberal Party elite, and was officially opened by the then Prime Minister William Ewart Gladstone.

 

Tags: Grand Pacific, Manchester Evening News, Tim Bacon
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