First Metropolitan Pub Co site in the north will take over Memorial Hall site in Albert Square
There’s a new pub on the block, well the square, and it's taking over the iconic Grade II listed, 155-year-old Memorial Hall. The Fountain House, the latest pub from the London-based Metropolitan Pub Co, will open its doors to the public on November 11.
With a name nodding to the Victorian fountain in Albert Square, which was also designed by the building’s architect, Thomas Worthington, the site has been bought by the Metropolitan Pub Co and given a full renovation, top to bottom, ahead of its reopening this month.
The location of The Fountain House, right in the centre of Manchester’s business district and focal point of the Town Hall, tells you everything you need to know about its potential
Known for its fleet of high-end gastropubs in London, The Metropolitan Pub Co is aiming for “a chic yet charming pub atmosphere, and premium dining in the heart of Manchester”, with the upper floors of the five-floor building are tipped as function rooms for events as varied as weddings and private dining functions.
Manchester tempts another big brand up North
The latest addition to Manchester’s pub scene is another example of the city’s pull when it comes to big brands looking to dip their toe in the northern market. The Fountain House will be the first venture north of Watford for The Metropolitan Pub Company (the premium wing of Greene King) which operates mostly in London and Southern England.
The brand’s varied collection of pubs mixes exclusive West London AA Rosette foodie pubs with upmarket neighbourhood venues that encompass a live sports and dartboards feel whilst also keeping the age limit 21 and above.
Future patrons of The Fountain House can no doubt expect a decent pint of Guinness, taps and pumps sporting local clips as well as high-end pub snacks and wines. The menu embraces British cooking with heritage ingredients - expect starters such as lamb belly fritter with anchovy and caper ketchup or torched leek hearts with maple syrup; while dishes such as charter pie with chicken, ham hock, mushroom and tarragon fill out the mains. There will of course be a full complement of pub classics, Sunday roasts with all the trimmings (including vegan option), while sides such as clotted cream mash potatoes are sure to beat the winter blues.
The post-lockdown premium pub experience
The brand is also keeping things local, with the appointment of Lawrence Hallows, who worked at the Memorial Hall’s previous incarnation, The Albert Square Chop House. Lawrence has worked at the site’s various iterations, in multiple roles, since 2014 and was chosen to ensure the place channels a touch of Manchester spirit.
Commenting on the refurb, Lawrence said:
“It’s no secret that lockdown has fundamentally changed eating and drinking habits for customers. Now restrictions have eased, people tend to go out less often, but spend more when they do go out, to make the most of the experience.
“The location of The Fountain House, right in the centre of Manchester’s business district and focal point of the Town Hall, tells you everything you need to know about its potential.
“Local city workers, tourists and premium weekend drinkers are all looking for a high quality space with an equally outstanding food and drink offering, and that’s what The Fountain House will provide.”
Michael Horan, managing director of Metropolitan Pub Company, said:
“We are really excited to bring our first pub to Manchester. The Memorial Hall site is perfect, as it will allow us to team our premium gastropub experience to customers in the heart of the city.”
The new opening from a Greene King umbrella brand follows news that the Greene King itself has acquired The Deansgate pub at the end of Deansgate next to The Hilton. Details on what form the pub will take remain muted but if The Fountain House takes off, perhaps the group might well consider a few more.
The Fountain House The Memorial Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF
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