Beeswing is set to open as a wine bar and shop in Manchester’s vibrant Kampus site next month.
A collaboration between Anna Tutton, previously of Vin-Yard at Hatch, and chef Joe Maddock, Beeswing promises to be a welcome addition to an area which has been described as “an intimate garden neighbourhood with secret streets, gardens and terraces”.
“I just can’t wait to actually get open and be ourselves, rather than people in building clothes,” says Tutton. “It’s quite stressful dealing with all the building work, the electricians and plumbers.”
Since Tutton was forced to move from her previous premises (“I got kicked out of Hatch so they could take over the wine bar”), she has been trading online and working with Maddock on this new venture. She says that with the rising costs of building materials and the unexpected outlay of £10,000 for the cooker extractor, their joint investment of £130,000 is almost depleted.
“Putting a kitchen in definitely makes things more complicated,” she says. “It’s a bigger premises than I had last time, and we’ve got an outdoor area to kit out as well.
“Last time the concept was simpler, and this time we’re going bigger and better. We’ve had to compromise on a few things but luckily the designer is a friend of mine and she’s been able to prioritise the things we really can’t skimp on, such as the lighting, whereas a polished concrete floor is no longer an option.
“We want to look like we’ve made an effort. We’ve gone for quite a bold look with aubergine colours, and metal – lots of textures and some rugs on the floor to break up and soften the industrial feel.”
With budget being an issue, the pair are considering turning to crowd-funding to allow them to complete the project. Tutton believes that their location and type of business will appeal to many potential backers.
“We are trying to bring that neighbourhood feel to the city, and have a friendly local, community vibe. So I hope it’s what people will want to invest in.
“Also we are right next door to the Gay Village, which is a big community in itself. They are lacking a wine bar so I think it will be really good for those guys. Between them, our friends, the Kampus community and people who generally want to support independents, I hope to attract some final investment.”
Maddock will show off his skills with seasonal plates to accompany the wines, which will all be available by the glass.
“That’s my point of difference,” Tutton explains. “I get annoyed when you go to a bar and only a few wines are available to have by the glass. Sometimes you only want one or two glasses and you might want to drink something different to your friends.
“I’ve got a Coravin and I’m looking at Le Verre de Vin, but that’s more money I have to find. I want to go off-piste with some of the wines as there is so much good stuff out there. I’ve always loved Liberty and I’ll have a good chance to show off their wines, and Hallgarten have some really amazing things.”
There will be space for 48 covers inside, and there’s a terrace area too – a suntrap overlooking the water – and the Kampus gardens. Tutton says: “For me, it feels like a grown-up area – a bit of peace and quiet in the city.”