Mars Comes To Birmingham As Rishi Sunak Boosts The Leisure Sector
It takes a special kind of confidence to wear a crop top to launch a wellness initiative (pictured), and even more confidence to open a new dining venture at a time when up to 1 million hospitality jobs are on the brink of being lost.
In the week that Rishi Sunak, the chancellor of the exchequer, encouraged Britons to get out to a restaurant and spend, offering a £10-a-head voucher to diners, Manchester-based Mission Mars has revealed plans to expand into Birmingham.
After several viewings and what Creative Retail call possibly the fastest negotiation and legal work in recent property history, Mission Mars exchanged a lease with Digbeth landlord Oval Estates just seven days later.
The background music could not be bleaker: The Restaurant Group, which owns Frankie and Benny's, among other casual dining brands, said it would close 125 sites and shed 3,000 jobs. It follows Café Rouge and Bella Italia in a long list of shutterings.
However, a cautious reopening sees cult Indian food chain Dishoom open its 7K SF Birmingham debut restaurant later this month, an event postponed from April.
The new bar and live music venue, Zumhof Biergarten, will occupy the 1920s factory building, which has been empty for a decade.
It will feature speciality beers such as "unpasteurised pilsner" and a food hut serving bratwursts and burgers alongside Rudy’s Pizza, another Mission Mars brand, provided fresh from the Bennett’s Hill Store every day.
Mission Mars’ Bavarian steampunk-inspired Albert Schloss Bar in Manchester won Bar of the Year at the CityLife Awards.
“The former nightclub sits in a very prominent corner location within the Custard Factory Estate. The building has been vacant, and it is great to conclude a letting within a matter of weeks, whilst in challenging circumstances, to a successful and proven leisure operator,” Creative Retail Director Ed Purcell said.