Pen & Pencil owners to open two new venues off Stevenson Square - including Berlin-inspired basement club
Kevin Connor and Dan Pollard, owners of Northern Quarter brunch favourite The Pen & Pencil, have finally revealed plans to open two completely different concepts in a ground floor and basement space at 14 Little Lever Street - just off Stevenson Square.
The pair had been keeping tight-lipped about their plans since Confidential reported that they had secured two floors in the former Flawless photography studios, next door to celebrity hairstylists Reuben Wood, back in March.
(That’s another two to add to our recent list of 25 upcoming Manchester openings.)
The ground floor is to become a 55-cover, all day restaurant called Bab, serving gourmet kebabs from the chargrill in an open kitchen. Marinated and grilled upmarket kebabs will include lamb adana, with feta cheese and pistachio labneh, as well as herb marinated hanger steak, with cumin spiced cauliflower purée, and molasses chilli sauce.
A vegetarian version will include homemade paneer cheese with roast carrot purée, pickled currants and crispy shallots. As well as kebabs, Bab will offer a range of Middle-Eastern inspired starters including charred baby octopus with thoum, a Lebanese garlic sauce and lamb bonbon spiced with Ras el hanout, with date chutney.
“This new concept, completely different from what we do at The Pen and Pencil, is all about the food”, said owner Dan Pollard. “Everyone’s eaten a kebab, often on the way home from boozy nights out, but these will be special - fresh, vibrant and full of flavour. There won’t be a greasy Döner in sight.
“Our chefs have spent the last six months creating the menu. We’re going make our own bread, our own paneer and have some amazing cuts of meats and fish with home-made marinades and sides. I can’t wait to get open.”
Underneath Bab, in the basement, will be Honey Trap Club - an underground dive bar with no airs and graces, just beer, whisky shots, dirty cocktails, a juke box and pool table. “I’ve spent time in Berlin recently and love their bar scene, so have created Honey Trap Club with it in mind,” adds Dan. “I know everyone says this when they open a new venue, but I am working hard to create something that I hope will look and feel different from the huge variety of places across the Northern Quarter.
"There’ll be no dress code, lots of debauchery, dancing on tables - literally anything goes.”
Both venues are expected to open by November.