The bowling alley and American diner in the Great Northern Warehouse will roll no more

All Star Lanes - the American-style dining spot and bowling alley famous for its outrageous cocktails and Big Lebowski references - is closing for good, it has emerged.

​The venue was about to reopen for bowling when the stricter social distancing rules for Greater Manchester came in

In a public post on social media yesterday, Tuesday 11th August, the general manager of the popular party venue stated that All Star Lanes had closed and that they and their team would be made redundant ‘with immediate effect.’

170511 Great Northern Warehouse
The Great Northern Warehouse houses many drinking, dining and entertainment spots

While it had already reopened for eating and drinking, the venue was about to reopen for bowling when the stricter social distancing rules for Greater Manchester came in and they had to backtrack. These further restrictions on movement, at a time when the furlough scheme is winding down, will have had a disastrous effect on many multi-purpose venues - especially those with a huge emphasis on larger group outings.

Despite claiming to have ‘the cleanest balls in town’ as well as introducing contactless ordering and payment, staff PPE, reduced capacity and screens between lanes, it seems the venue has not been able to recover from the catastrophic blow that COVID-19 and its accompanying social distancing measures have had on the hospitality industry. 

Manchester’s All Star Lanes, which opened in 2013 with a £2.5 million investment, was the first venue for the London-based chain outside the capital. Its opening prompted 500 people to apply for 65 jobs at a time when unemployment was still high following the last recession. The current one is already looking much worse. 

This news follows the closure of fellow Great Northern Warehouse residents Home Sweet Home at the end of last year. While other bars and restaurants like Almost Famous continue to thrive, bolstered somewhat by Eat Out To Help Out, this is more bad news for the huge complex which also houses a 16-screen Odeon cinema, also currently closed due to COVID-19. The GNW recently announced the opening of its outdoor eating space, Community Kitchen On The Square - a welcome alfresco dining option supporting restaurants within the complex who have limited outdoor space.

As always, our thoughts are with all the staff who have lost their jobs and we wish them well in finding new employment. 

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