Thousands of pounds worth of stock stolen in lead up to bar's busiest weekend
It was one of the bigger success stories of the Manchester bar world this year. Now Mala in the Northern Quarter has had a devastating break-in just before a fully booked weekend of Xmas parties.
We have had so many bookings. This couldn't have happened at a worse time.
Mala opened in April 2021 and was an instant hit due to the huge demand for outdoor eating and drinking options as the pandemic continued to rage.
The "secret" beer garden adjacent to Chapter One books has continued to attract crowds with its apres-ski, chalets and blankets vibes and fun cocktail menu. It is also possible to order food from local restaurants including breakfast from House of Habesha, vegan kebabs from What The Pitta, South African food from Chakalaka and crumble desserts from Crumbled.
Now, as the bar owners were looking forward to their first Christmas in business, a break-in has left them scrabbling around for stock.
Originally, the bar didn't take bookings at all but now takes bookings only if the party is six or more. In spite of Omicron fears causing cancellations across the board, Mala owner Sakib tells us this weekend is fully booked.
A large delivery arrived on Tuesday (14 December) in preparation for their busiest weekend yet.
But overnight, the bar was broken into and Sakib estimates the stock that has been stolen is worth £12-15k. Stolen items include champagne and high-end whisky.
"They've taken almost all our Christmas stock," Sakib told us in a phone call this morning, "We are going through our stockroom now to see what we have left so we can open today and tomorrow. We have had so many bookings. This couldn't have happened at a worse time."
CCTV footage has so far not been very helpful but there is one partial image of a person in a beanie hat captured as he turned the camera away to avoid being seen. You can see this image above. If you recognise the person in the video, please contact Manchester Police and quote the crime reference number: CRI/06A2/0030948/21
Please support Mala if you can by visiting the bar and not cancelling your booking. Mala Director Artyom says: "We will still be opening this weekend, but there may be some drinks not available, please bear with us."
Mala 19 Lever St, Manchester M1 1BY
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