We chat to co-founders Marko Husak and Mayur Patel ahead of their second Manchester opening
A soon-to-open second site for Bundobust in Manchester is no secret, but its exact location was closely guarded until recently. Never ones to choose the easy route, the lads have eschewed the more predictable city hotspots for a former car park on Oxford Street. With obvious notable exceptions, this part of town is not known for having a buzzing food and drink scene in the same way as say the Northern Quarter or Ancoats.
There will be nine tanks in total which can brew up to 28 thousand pints a month
But Bruntwood’s continued investment and support of independent businesses in the area - which encompasses creative tech epicentre ‘The West Village’ along with the ‘innovation district’ of Hatch, Circle Square and University Green - could see this new Bundo as one of the indies that leads the way in making it the newest ‘place to be.’
When you step into the site, the huge glass atrium draws your eyes upwards. The space is light, bright and packed with interesting features offering clues to its many former lives as - amongst other things - a theatre, a calico fabric printers with its own horse and cart route, and a car park.
Andrea Green, director at Bruntwood said that they knew as soon as they saw the ‘wonderful’ space that there could only be one operator for it. “We’re chuffed to bits that they’ve taken the space and excited to see what they’re going to do with it.”
While the same excellent vegetarian Indian street food will be on offer, the dominant element at this new site will be its in-house brewery.
“We’ve always wanted to do some kind of brewery,” said Mayur. “We saw the height of the ceilings and immediately started mapping out where we were going to put the tanks. Looking at the similarities with Piccadilly really drew us to it. The atrium, the glazed brick, it fits.
“We want to keep as much original detail as possible. It will have an industrial look to it. The windows are going to have lighting behind them and graphics. We think it will have a really nice, Bundobust feel.”
So what about the new brewery?
There will be nine tanks in total which can brew up to 28 thousand pints a month. The brewhouse will be at the back of the space, with the beer hard piped across the ceiling and transferred into the tanks at the front where it will be fermented.
Marko enthuses, “It will have a beer hall vibe. We want to be brewing great collaboration beers with friends and people in the industry.”
There will also be a core range of beers - a sub-brand with its own logo but still under the Bundobust umbrella - that will include “a nice 4% pale ale - quite a bitter one, a proper northern pint but with modern hops - an unfiltered lager, and maybe a fruity, juicy pale ale. We’d like to experiment with the ingredients we use in the kitchen and the tropical fruit that goes so well with Indian food. We’re going to have fun.
“We’ve been interviewing a few head brewers, so we’ll be making an announcement on who’s going to be brewing the beer in a few weeks. We are launching with six collabs. The first confirmed one is Mikkeller in Denmark and will be brewed over at the Baghaven site. It’s a big thing for us because they’re top of the beer game. There’s probably also going to one or two Manchester based ones and a Leeds one.”
Other ideas for the future include live brewing events, so people can watch the brewer do their thing, food pairing and tasting events and collaborative events with other brewers to tie in with tap takeovers.
With Leeds their original home, it’s interesting that it’s Manchester that has gone on to have two Bundos. Marko says, “We’d love to do another one in Leeds too, but Manchester is a bigger city and warrants having two sites. The people are there, the streets are busy. Our current one’s full, we’re turning people away.”
Bundobust, 86 Oxford St, Manchester M1 6ET
Bundobust's second Manchester venue is hoping to open early summer 2020