Dukes 92, the iconic Manchester bar, will reopen on Friday 8 April revealing a contemporary £1million pound refurbishment designed by SpaceInvader, the award-winning interior design studio based in Castlefield.
The 6,000 sq ft project, which was completed in just three months, sees the bar and restaurant stripped back to reflect its industrial heritage with the use of bricks, wood and black metal work as a nod to its original use as a stable block for the horses that pulled the barges along the Rochdale Canal. The focal point of the new space is a dramatic 50ft long brushed brass bar with a spectacular full height diamond form bottle display above it. The wooden floorboards have been replaced with a cream concrete floor, and dark grey walls and window blinds add to the simple lines and urban-chic colour palette. Oak tables with spalted tops, mink-coloured leather booths, antique-glass mirrors and midnight blue seating complete the look.
The neutral tones spill into the gallery space with its large balcony, soft seating and its own bar whilst the private dining area features exposed brickwork, bespoke feature lighting and planting trellises to create an urban garden grotto feel.
Bringing more of the outdoors in, concertina glass doors have been added to the front of the building on both floors to bring in more light and allow easy access to outdoor areas in the summer. Trees and foliage feature heavily inside the bar and will extend right through the building to a large covered terrace leading to an upgraded canalside outside space.
John Williams, director at SpaceInvader, said: “Working on the re-design of Dukes 92 has been both daunting and extremely exciting for the whole team. As such a well-known and loved bar we were very aware that whilst we needed to move the interior design on, and bring it up to date, we also didn’t want alienate any of the bars regulars – the space needed to evolve, but remain familiar, warm and welcoming.”
Converted into a bar in 1991, the reopening of Dukes 92 marks the 25th anniversary.
James Ramsbottom, Managing Director of Dukes 92 and Alberts Restaurants said: “To retain the character of the old building yet bring it into the 21st century was always going to be a challenge but with SpaceInvader’s help I think we’ve pulled it off and I’m really pleased with the result. SpaceInvader has designed a glamorous space with an elegant feel that is still very ‘Dukes’. They have enhanced the character of the building and created a space with chameleon-like qualities that works across all seasons and all days of the week. It was great to work with the team as they really understood the brief and captured what we wanted with flare and creativity.”
The completion of Dukes92 is a prime example of SpaceInvader’s growing presence in the leisure sector and its involvement in the design of high-end hotel and urban bar interiors.
Williams added: “While the majority of our work comes from developing inspirational and productive working environments, we have consciously invested in growing our expertise in the hotel and leisure sector over the past few years. As a result we now have a dedicated leisure team based in our Manchester studio and a proven track record of designing exciting schemes for clients that include bar owners, small boutique hoteliers, large international hotel groups and independent investors entering the market. We are very excited about some of the projects we have on our books currently and look forward to sharing them in due course.”
With thanks to Paul Marc Adams Photography.