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Atkinsons in Manchester

10 January 2018

Since a young Thomas Atkinson opened the Grasshopper Tea Warehouse back in 1837 Atkinsons HQ has been firmly rooted in Lancaster. So when the opportunity arose for us to open a café-roastery in Manchester, it felt like a seismic move for us, but one that was too good to pass up.
On our first visit to the Grade II listed Mackie Mayor building back in March 2016 we were in awe at the scale of the undertaking. Nick Johnson and Jenny Thompson, the brains behind Altrincham Market, had a vision that was big, to restore this once Victorian Meat Market, built in 1858 to its former glory as a destination for food and drink lovers. In effect to supersize the already successful Altrincham Market.  It was all about local producers, highlighting the range and quality that is available here on our doorstep and showcasing it all under one roof. “It had to exceed expectations.”

We were to be allocated a street facing space which looked out towards the Northern Quarter, our mission, to bring Atkinsons to Manchester!
We got to work and as mood boards, materials pallettes and bar layouts changed, one thing had to remain integral to the design, we had to do what we did best, roast and brew great coffee. In order to graft our own brand DNA onto the new build we plundered centuries of motifs from the original Shop. Subtle references, like the Georgian fretwork on the border design of the counter. We have dusted down the Canisters 1 - 10 that have been in storage for decades and given them their own shelves. We restored a 1919 Shop Roaster, half the size of the one on China St. It is the only known vintage Roaster in existence to have had missing parts produced in a 3D engineered environment. On the tea front, we have replicated the rows glass jars, with their aroma domes that invite the customer to smell before they buy. Our designs underwent several permutations until finally after a 10 week build out we opened our doors.
Located on the Goadsby St. Eagle St. corner of the Mackie Mayor, one length of the space features a shop and f  with 1919 Uno roaster (a 3kg version of the one that sits in our Lancaster shop) and home brewing equipment to accompany a range of seasonally changing coffees and speciality teas. Along the other length stretches a marble bar equipped to make the best of our current crops as espresso and pour over with three group SanremoOpera, three Victoria Arduino Mythos grinders, four Marco SP9 Brewers and an Mahlkeonig EK43.
Opening our third café has been a historic moment for us and we couldn’t have to wished to be in better company. With food from Little Window, Honest Crust, Baohouse, Nationale 7, Tender Cow, Fin, beer from Jack in a Box, Wine from Reserve and coffee and cake from Wolfhouse it makes for a really special gastronomic experience.

See you there soon!
Natural Wine / Cantaloupe / Rooibos
Not Neutral Mug
White / Ceramic
Private: Aeropress
Versatile / Lightweight / Coffee Maker
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