The refurbished Albert’s Didsbury - by the design team from SpaceInvader’s Manchester office - has been shortlisted for two major hospitality awards. First, in late July, the restaurant was shortlisted for its use of colour at the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2020, with the same project now also confirmed as a finalist in the Restaurant Category of the SBID Awards 2020.
The project was commissioned by clients Elle R Leisure to commemorate the highly-successful venue’s tenth anniversary. Albert’s is a family-fun business that started out with the conversion of Uncle Albert’s (hence the name) former city centre tool shed in Manchester, before expanding to multiple sites. The brief for the Didsbury project was to create a lighter and more welcoming overall interior feel, as well as increasing custom at the restaurant bar and enhancing the al fresco terrace dining experience. A further requirement was to improve acoustics within the space, whilst not detracting from the venue’s buzzy atmosphere.
SpaceInvader improved the space plan in order to create a larger bar seating area, including new circular, fixed booths for groups wanting to enjoy casual dining and cocktails, as well as integrating an enlarged terrace space with a softer, more inviting feel. The new booths were one of many bespoke feature joinery elements in the scheme, which also included the feature bar, waiter stations and outdoor terrace booth seating. A new acoustic ceiling finish was seamlessly incorporated to combat sound reverberation.
The new-look interior features an earthy brown, gold and bronze palette alongside an outside-in, predominantly green, timber and nature-inspired concept, from luxurious green velvet banquettes and bar seats to the bold use of green for the restaurant’s walls, bespoke green-and-white geometric floor tiles, planting throughout including an eye-catching living wall, plus unusual green highlight items such as green sinks in the bathrooms. Feature lighting from Enigma Lighting also includes nods to nature, from origami bird-shaped lights (the Perch Light Branch from Mooi) to the delicate and butterfly-like Parachute pendant lights over the tables from Ligne Roset.
Client Sarah Ramsbottom of Elle R Leisure commented that SpaceInvader were ‘always ahead of the curve in terms of fashion and trends. It’s one of their strong points. They’ve always got some really cool ideas and they’ll sit and scratch heads with you.’
Rachel Withey, Associate Director at SpaceInvader and a specialist in hospitality design, commented that ‘Although most awards ceremonies have been put back this year and many are having to take place virtually, their importance in these challenging times and the boost they can provide to both venues and design agencies right now is more significant than ever’.
The results of the Restaurant & Bar Design Awards 2020 will be announced as part of a virtual ceremony on October 15th, whilst the SBID Awards 2020 are open to public vote, closing on September 30th. To vote for Albert’s Didsbury in the SBID Awards, vote here.