The team behind award-winning Manchester bar Kosmonaut have opened Ply, a bright new bar, restaurant and creative space, in Stevenson Square in the city’s Northern Quarter.
It offers antipasti and Neapolitan pizza cooked in a giant mirror-ball pizza oven, built by a team from Naples, alongside a selection of craft beers, spirits from around the world and artisan coffee. It is also a creative space to produce work and exhibit and features a library and book exchange and a doodle wall.
The branding and interior styling are by Ply’s creative partner, Instruct Studio, which was tasked with creating a cohesive visual style throughout the venue and across all printed and digital collateral. This overall control allowed colours and typefaces to flow through the space, from the signage icons to the stationery.
The 5,500 sq ft former textile warehouse was stripped back, revealing the services of the building. Walls were then whited out to enable colours and textures to breathe around the space. Pastel tones cover Formica laminate tables, bright gradient colours shine from light boxes in every window and a layer of warmth is created with a tiled cork floor.
Keeping the space largely open plan, the lighting has been carefully designed to create sections within the space, featuring Italian Flos drop and Nud cast concrete pendants, which create a more intimate atmosphere at night.
Furniture is a mixture of classic and crafted pieces, with classic Eames designs sitting alongside custom pieces made in Manchester. Instruct worked with Islington Mill’s Workroom Industries to build various items from light boxes to signage.
John Owens from Instruct Studio said: “When working on the concept with the owners of Ply, we wanted to keep things interesting, and took our inspiration from beyond Manchester. We looked for ideas in new places, including the cities and countries we’ve travelled to and the venues where we’ve felt most social and comfortable.”
The permanent artwork that forms part of the space is by Layla Sailor, who was introduced to Ply as part of its 2014 preview, the #PLYin90seconds exhibition, which featured seven internationally renowned creatives, who each created a 90-second pizza-themed film via their own artistic medium. Starting with illustrator Will Broome last month, the work of the #plyin90seconds artists will drive the bar’s 2015 exhibition programme, using the whole space as a creative canvas.
Kosmonaut in Tariff Street, also in the Northern Quarter, was opened three years ago by Joe Fearnhead and Alex Johnson. The team also owns Alphabet Brewery whose beers are available at Ply.
Ply, 26 Lever Street, Manchester M1 1DW
Tel: 0161 711 0401