The property, which trades as the Dry Bar across the ground and basement floors, was sold with planning permission (obtained by the previous owners) for a 69-bed boutique hotel to be developed across the four floors, which will offer a total occupancy of 148 beds.
The property was sold to a multinational hotel chain, looking to expand their existing UK operations and portfolio. Situated in what is a heavily dominated bar and club district of Manchester, a hotel will be a welcome addition to the area.
Keith Stringer, an Associate Director at Christie & Co who handled the sale comments, “We were delighted to act in relation to the sale of the iconic Dry Bar and the associated hotel development opportunity. City centre freehold leisure opportunities remain highly desirable assets which attract interest from both national and international investors and leisure operators alike. We continue to actively seek similar opportunities to meet current demand.”
Considered one of Manchester’s longest-standing drinking establishments, Dry Bar’s doors were first opened in 1989 by Factory Records. The idea was to replicate the ‘cafe culture’ of Barcelona and Los Angeles.
The late Tony Wilson, co-founder of both Factory Records and Hacienda, and a dominator of the Manchester club music scene, stated that “Dry was to be to the bars what Hacienda is to the clubs.”
Since Dry Bar’s establishment, the Northern Quarter bar scene has flourished. Introducing a hotel offering to the area will signal a shift of focus towards increasing accommodation in what is now considered to be the city’s trendiest food and drink district.
The freehold was sold off an asking price of £4 million.