Bar operator Arc Inspirations is set to expand its successful portfolio of premium venues with its biggest ever development – having secured approval to launch a £2.5m Manahatta bar in Newcastle.
On the site of a former Allied Irish Bank which has been vacant for 10 years, approval for the investment by Newcastle City Council is particularly noteworthy as the granting of new licences in the town is exceptionally rare. The company had to demonstrate its status as an ‘exceptional’ operator in order to overcome significant opposition, given Newcastle’s established ‘cumulative impact’ policy, and due to the location of the proposed bar in a designated so-called ‘stress’ area.
The scale of the development of the grade-II listed building on Collingwood Street means it is the largest investment in the group’s history. With a capacity for 500 guests, the development will create nearly 100 new jobs in the city.
Commenting, Arc Inspirations co-founder and CEO Martin Wolstencroft said:
“We’re absolutely delighted to be bringing our Manahatta brand to Newcastle. We love the city and can’t wait to open what will be our second venue here, after Banyan. It’s an extremely challenging and rigorous process to win the necessary approvals here, so to do so is a tremendous reflection on the quality of our business, our people and our operations.”
The Newcastle Manahatta will be the eighth site for the brand. Current locations include Leeds, Manchester, York, Harrogate and most recently, Birmingham, which opened six months ago. The group currently operates a total of 18 premium bars, under the brands of Banyan Bar & Kitchen, BOX and Manahatta.
The new location is close to Arc Inspirations existing Newcastle Banyan branch, nearby on Blackett Street, aligning to the group’s strategy of operating in clusters; complementary brands located in close proximity to each other in key towns and cities in the Midlands and the North.
“Expanding our Manahatta brand in the city of Newcastle perfectly aligns with our growth strategy following our new banking agreement with HSBC, and after a record-breaking trading performance last year, both in profit and in sales.
“We’re an ambitious growth business so this win is a true testament to our strong culture, high standards, and fantastic teams. We are confident that the Manahatta brand will be a popular addition to both the Newcastle social scene and our business, as we seek to significantly expand over the next three-to-five years.”