Manchester’s new arts and culture venue Factory International has awarded its lucrative food and beverage contract to Super Serve Manchester a new collaboration between two established operators, Solitaire Restaurants and Square One.
The two operators behind YES in Manchester and Ox Club in Leeds, and have experience of delivering large-scale bar operations across the North, have come together to provide catering for the venue.
They will be previewing their food and drink offering during Manchester International Festival this summer, ahead of a full roll-out when the venue officially opens in October.
Solitaire Restaurants Ltd has a twenty-year track record of independent food and drink establishments and is well known locally for the busy bar and venue YES which opened in Manchester in 2018. Solitaire is also behind Ox Club (Leeds), Nightcrawler Pizza (Liverpool), Belgrave Music Hall (Leeds) and opening soon, The Ring O ‘Bells (Lathom).
Square One 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 Lancaster’s Highest Point Festival, The Depot at Mayfield, Creamfields, Parklife and the Garden Party.
Super Serve will look after all the permanent food and beverage services on site including the ground floor foyer café and public bar, and two auditorium bars, providing a diverse daytime and night-time offer which responds to the wide range of needs for the flexible space. With menus changing seasonally, the inaugural summer offer will include brunch, grab-and-go options and a late night street-style offering. 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.
Programmed and operated by Factory International, the team behind the 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.
Super Serve Manchester Managing Director Stevie Mulgrave: “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: “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.”
Square One Director Charlie Loftman: “A commitment to staff training and development is a core value of our business. We believe that investing in our team not only helps them grow and reach their full potential, but it also enhances the guest experience. We are proud to support our local community by employing local people and providing opportunities for them to flourish within our organisation”.
Sheena Wrigley, Venue Director, Factory International says: “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.”
Manchester International Festival 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.
The venue will be at the heart of the new St. John’s neighbourhood, formerly home to Granada TV and next to the Science and Industry Museum, which is being designed with a focus on cultural enterprise, creation, and production.