AND we thought Halloween was over – or maybe it’s a preview of the upcoming Venice Carnival that has just dropped in the ToM mailbox? Welcome to the face of Vanitas, the glamorous 400 capacity late-night bar and club launching in Bridge Street’s Manchester Hall on November 15.
It will occupy the stunning, vaulted memorial hall, a welcome stride forward for the venue after a previous high-profile venture, Fable, pulled out, leaving only the rather jolly restaurant/bar The Masons to hold the fort. So why the rather ominous Latin monicker?
Here’s the accompanying explanation: “Drawing on the 17th century artist genre, the name ‘Vanitas’ dwells on the symbolic themes around the inevitability of death and the transience and vanity of earthly pleasures and achievements.” That sounds more like a requiem for near neighbours Artisan and Manchester House, which closed recently.
The good news is: The team behind Vanitas decided to put a positive twist on history, focusing on celebrating and enjoying life. Their new tagline mirrors this perfectly: ‘Life’s short, so let’s live it!’.
Certainly that seems to be the focus of the entertainment-packed opening night, then permanent special features that include a Vanitas branded rose petal flower wall, and a VIP champagne lounge.
Manchester Hall owner Stephen Cliff told ToM: “Vanitas sees us move in an all new direction here at Manchester Hall. It is the perfect addition to what has become a social hub and a go-to venue for dining, events, weddings – and now for socialising.
“We have recently celebrated our first year of business since our launch event/being open to the public – and what a wonderful year it has been! We have also recently announced the additions of our rooftop area, Dishoom and Honest Burgers. We are also looking forward to opening our eight boutique bedrooms next year.
“Vanitas follows in the footsteps of Manchester Hall, with links and references to the rich history of the building. We want all visitors to experience unbelievable entertainment and show-stopping acts every weekend, right in the heart of Manchester. We want them to receive the full Vanitas experience.”
Following the grand opening, the bar and nightclub will be open every Thursday to Sunday from 7pm to late, with a license until 4am.
Joining Vanitas in Manchester Hall from December 6 (soft launch from November 25) will be Indian comfort food kings Dishoom (below).