202 kitchen gets a permanent home and a million pound makeover

When 202 Kitchen popped up next to Manchester Hall in 2020, it was like an incongruous blob of neon pink bubblegum stuck to the side of the iconic grade II listed building. 

Sweeping into 2021 like Nicki Minaj in a pink Lamborghini

Who knew the bar and restaurant would be such a runaway hit with the Instagrammers and the Tiktokkers? Generation whatever, starved of social contact during the first lockdown, descended on the outdoor space in droves, lining up for their chance to pout and pose as a real-life Barbie (or Ken) in the life-sized, hot pink Mattel box. Others reclined on a cow print sofa in their bovine boudoir of ice cream dreams.

A baby pink Barbie house front door, a neon sign that reads "Left my man at home", bubblegum pink graffiti, pastel pink wrought iron tables, there's no doubt, it was the pinkest place in town. 

The lacquered from head to toe bougie set, all lashes and lips, bloody loved it. Good for them. As someone who can barely be arsed putting on mascara in the morning, the dedication involved in achieving such a look is admirable. No wonder they're selfie-obsessed.

2020 08 13 202 Kitchen
202 Kitchen's pop up spot at Bridge Street was a huge hit in 2021

The food and drink element was almost a side-hustle, the "trap box" cuisine featured metal trays of deep-fried everything piled high and dusted with edible gold leaf. Cocktails in every shade of - you guessed it. 

Then, as the pandemic raged ever onwards, 202 Kitchen had to lock up its pearly pink gates just like everybody else. 

Now, sweeping into 2021 like Nicki Minaj in a pink Lamborghini, 202 Kitchen is back and putting down roots in perhaps its more natural habitat of Spinningfields' Leftbank. 

The gargantuan 7000sq ft space overlooking the river Irwell will accommodate around 200 covers including plenty of outdoor terrace space. 

We're not sure what Instagrammable features the £1 million makeover will facilitate but if any of the designers are reading, we're hoping for blancmange pools, candy floss machines and a unicorn carousel at the very least.   

202 Reasons To Drink Neon Sign And Cocktails In Manchester
Neon signs and colourful cocktails will go down well on the terrace

The press release tells us the menu will be (hold the front page) "Street food with a 202 twist" so expect mac 'n cheese, waffles, fried chicken, burgers, and grilled seafood. 

202 Kitchen Directors, Leon Beckford, Panikos Myrritis and John Sambo, said: “We are looking to move out of lockdown by making significant moves and the future looks bright for 202 Kitchen.

“Having successfully tested our concept in two cities during a difficult year for the hospitality sector, we are now perfectly placed to expand our operations, starting with Manchester. 

“The waterside Manchester site will now be the brand’s flagship venue and we can’t wait to reveal our plans for the fit-out.”

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