New company Mission Mars has opened a “Bohemian pleasure palace” in Manchester
Over the past three years, the imposing former chapel Albert Hall on Manchester’s Peter Street has become a leading destination for live music, hosting gigs by the likes of Sam Smith, Johnny Marr, the Manic Street Preachers and The Maccabees. Bar operator Trof, which runs the 2,500-capacity venue, has now added a “Bier Hall and Cook Haus” in a new joint venture, Mission Mars, with Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, the original founders of Revolution bars.
After an investment of £3.5m, Albert’s Schloss has opened on the ground floor, based on the concept of a “pleasure palace” of old Bohemia, now the Czech Republic. Beer is a speciality, with 10 on draught including Bitburger Pils, Früh Kölsch, Hacker-Pschorr Dunkel and Paulaner Hefe-Weissbier, while fresh Pilsner Urquell “tankovna” lager is delivered by tanker direct from the Czech brewery every week. Alongside wines, it offers its own blended schnapps and “Alpine” cocktails such as an Apple Strudel made with Kraken Black Spiced Rum, apple liqueur, pear liqueur, cinnamon, lemon and apple juice.
The food menu, curated by group executive chef director Dan Mullen, features dishes of Bavarian, Bohemian and Alpine origin with contemporary twists like sausages, schnitzels and pork knuckle as well as modern classics such as burgers and steaks. There is also an in-house bakery making fresh bread, pretzels, pastries and puddings. Open 11.30am to 2am seven days a week, Albert’s Schloss hosts live music and entertainment on stage most nights.
The 700-capacity space, covering 28,000 square feet, was designed by hospitality specialist Millson Associates, taking inspiration from German-themed venues in London as well as beer halls in Germany. Millson Associates’ Laura Seddon led on the design, bringing to life the ideas of a “Schloss” as a noble’s house for recreation and an authentic German beer “palace”.
Drawing on their conservation expertise, they tackled the challenges of converting a listed 105-year-old building. “It was a delicate balance, and I’m proud of how we’ve blended the aesthetic juxtaposition of authentic, historic and contemporary features,” Laura says.
Two former bar spaces were integrated to create a spacious daytime dining area, adding industrial garage-style doors that can be opened up onto the street in warmer weather. As might be found in a “Schloss” or palace, bronze is a recurring feature throughout from door handles to Mission Mars’ striking logo of a bear holding a helmet, incorporated into the venue’s branding which is cast in bronze in the stone floor.
Laura says the design concept has been extended into every detail of the venue including the drinks. “This is a wonderful project for us and is fast becoming one of our most talked-about pieces of work.”
Albert’s Schloss, 27 Peter Street, Manchester M2 5QR
Tel: 0161 833 4040
Behind the scenes
Design: Millson Associates
Main contractor: Thompsons
Lighting: The Light Corporation
LED filament bulbs: Bright Goods
Loose timber benches: Peter Masters
Loose furniture: The Contract Chair Company
Lounge chairs, cushions: Mirmac Interiors
Table tops: Warings Furniture
Metal artisan items including bronze: Studio Jon Male