The founders of Revolution bars have acquired a 50% stake in leading Manchester group Trof with plans to open new venues.
Roy Ellis and Neil Macleod, who opened the first Revolution in east Manchester in 1991, have joined forces with Trof Group, which operates three Manchester venues including Gorilla and The Deaf Institute.
They are setting up a new company called Mission Mars, which will begin by investing £3.5m in developing Albert’s Schloss on the ground floor of The Albert Hall events venue in Manchester’s Peter Street.
Trof has operated the 2,500-capacity main space in the former chapel for the past two years as a live entertainment venue, hosting more than 130 sell-out events including gigs by Sam Smith, the Manic Street Preachers and The Script.
Albert’s Schloss will be a food, drink and entertainment venue, described as a “Bohemian pleasure palace”. It aims to be bohemian in nature and spirit but is also inspired by Bohemia, the former name of the Czech Republic, bordered by Bavaria. “Schloss”, which is German for castle, refers to a “noble’s house for recreation”.
Freshly brewed Pilsner Urquell lager will be delivered by tanker direct from the Czech Republic every week, and on-site blended schnapps will be made in a specially created vault.
The food menu, curated by group executive chef director Dan Mullen, will contain items of Bavarian, Bohemian and Alpine origin with contemporary twists in addition to other modern classics. There will also be an in-house bakery providing fresh bread, pretzels, pastries and puddings.
Live music and an eclectic mix of performers will feature most nights on the stage and at weekends from 10pm. It is set to be launched in mid October.
Joel Wilkinson, who founded Trof Group with Adelaide Winter, said: “We operate some of Manchester’s most successful and exciting venues with Gorilla and The Deaf Institute firmly established on the live band and club scene.
“When we acquired the 3,000-capacity Albert Hall on Peter Street, we knew of only two people who had the knowledge and experience that could help us achieve our ambitious dreams for this beautiful and iconic Manchester landmark.
“The addition of Albert’s Schloss to Albert Hall completes the vision we had back in 2008 when we opened The Deaf Institute. It was our dream to have beautiful venues, hosting world-class entertainment with hospitality, food and drink to match.
“We can’t wait to open the doors and invite music lovers in to enjoy an incredible experience, the only one of its kind in the UK. We are also going to be offering private parties, corporate events and conferences along with the weddings we launched last year.”
Roy and Neil both stepped down as directors of Revolution operator Inventive Leisure, now Revolution Bars Group, in 2013 after Mark McQuater took over as chief executive of the business.
Roy said: “Our new company, Mission Mars, has been formed to create the best entertainment venues and bars in the world. We aim to have the very best venues to work in, be entertained in, and invest in.”