Leading Manchester bar set to close due to new development

Elixir Tonics & Treats

A leading Manchester bar has announced it is to close after being told their building would be demolished to make way for a new £70m development.

Elixir Tonics & Treats has been living on borrowed time since plans were revealed last autumn to demolish Lincoln House and other buildings in Deansgate for new offices and shops.

However, the team were not expecting to be given notice so soon that their lease would not be renewed. The bar, opened in November 2013 by Jess and Dan Purnell of Escapade Bars, is now set to close on June 25.

In a statement on Facebook, the bar’s owners said: “The news came as a shock to our team and with much sadness, a little panic, disbelief and confusion but quite quickly followed with a quiet understanding that everything has to end, nothing lasts forever, change is inevitable and evolution takes many forms.

“We shouldn’t fight it when it’s beyond our control. We will ride the wave and hope there’s something great for us on the horizon.”

But they added: “At this time we don’t have any new premises to move to. We aren’t sure what the future holds.”

Elixir Tonics & Treats was set up to offer cutting-edge drinks using experimental methods and unique ingredients alongside high levels of service. It has been a destination for the trade thanks to hosting masterclasses and other events such as the annual Liquor Market held as part of the Manchester Food & Drink Festival

“Our vision just over two years ago was to bring something soulful to Manchester, a sanctuary away from pretence, something real, a place where cocktails were the key to unlocking a door in ourselves and our customers – all we had to do was push,” the owners said.

“Behind the door we hoped there was a room, without inhibition or exclusion, somewhere that ignited fun, imagination and conversation. What a joy it’s been for us to watch magical nights unfold, faces light up, memories made and troubles forgotten.

“It has been a pleasure to be embraced by this great city, a place where an independent, owner-operated, small and indistinct cocktail bar can seemingly appear so big and shine so bright. Only in Manchester!”

The new mixed-use development, from Preston-based Marcus Worthington Properties, is opposite the historic John Rylands Library and forms part of wider plans to redevelop Brazennose Street and Lincoln Square.

“The building will be quashed and with it goes Elixir, one of the last remaining independent businesses on Deansgate,” the Elixir team said on Facebook. “The corporate jungle is relentless and we are powerless to its brute force.”

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