Stretford is buzzing for The Hive’s grand opening on Saturday 14th March
Another new restaurant and bar is launching in Stretford Mall as part of the area’s ever-developing regeneration story. The Hive will be an all day, family-friendly, dog-friendly venue offering delicious food and a selection of drinks across two floors in the heart of Stretford.
Behind the new neighbourhood venue are long-time business partners and entrepreneurs Chris Herbert and Jamie Hoare. The pair, who own a successful table football business, have teamed up with local bar operator Andy Seale of the nearby Gorse Hill Pub to bring this brand-new concept to Stretford Mall.
We caught up with co-owner Jamie, ahead of the opening to find out more.
How did The Hive come about?
JH - "I met my friend Chris at university and we went on to run a gaming machine business for ten years. We both live in Stretford and have been aware of the redevelopment of the area and what’s been going on over the past two or three years, so we identified that we’d like to have a business here.
"Around about the time we were looking at the unit, another one of the directors, Andy Seale, who we’ve known for ten years was looking at doing something similar, so we decided to go into this together. He’s had 30 years pub and bar experience."
Where exactly is it?
JH - "The unit is in the old RBS bank on the front that’d been vacant for about three years. We know this town. The Stretford Food Hall has done really well, there’s lots of footfall in the area, so we decided to open a bar restaurant in Stretford, as there’s nowhere similar."
What's the food going to be like?
JH - "Stretford is busy from first thing in the morning until last thing at night, so we’re going to be open from 8am for breakfast every day. We’ll be offering three different menus throughout the day as well as coffees and cake.
"The breakfast menu will include all the classics (with vegetarian options) plus a few interesting twists. Lunchtimes will offer kind of small plates, soups, burgers and sandwiches. Then in the evening, we’ll have a la carte, starters, mains etc. including beef bourguignon and moules frites, to fish and chips or cauliflower steak. Everything will be home made. There’ll also be a healthy children’s menu and a fine Sunday roast at weekends.
"Our chef, Sid Talha, is from Paris and has over 25 year’s experience in kitchens. He trained under Michelin star chef Raymond Blanc for nine years (including working at Le Manoir in Oxford) and has run various kitchens in Manchester since then. He’ll be making everything from complimentary homemade biscuits to go with the coffees to lots of other bits and pieces.
"Sid has a Moroccan heritage, so there’ll be some of those influences on the menu such as breakfasts like shakshuka, and mezze for lunch. In Paris the falafel is really good and he has a great recipe so we can make our own. We’re hoping it will appeal to al the people in Stretford really. We’ll adapt and change our menu on a regular basis until we know what people are responding to. There’s nothing similar to us in Stretford so we’re hoping to provide something for all tastes."
Can you describe look of The Hive?
JH - "The unit is split into two sections. On the ground floor there’s a bar side and a restaurant side with capacity for around 140 seats – though you’ll still be able to eat food on the bar side. It’s quite big, which I think is one of the things that will separate us from the competition in places like Chorlton, which has a lot of smaller places.
"There’s lots of space for families to come in with their children and bring pushchairs, it’s a nice and big and not too cramped. The mezzanine will be available for private hire, to watch sporting events or for birthdays, christenings, any corporate or private functions and we can provide the food up there as well. There’s not really many other 60 capacity private rooms for hire in the area. It also give us an opportunity to offer community workshops, and things like that."
What about the drinks?
JH - "We’re just finalising the drinks list at the moment but we will be stocking local producers such as Manchester Gin and one or two breweries. We’ll have a good wine selection, premium lagers and spirit lead cocktails. We’re not really pushing the craft beer side because there are already a couple of places nearby who do that side really well."
Tell us more about the décor
JH - "It’s industrial brick, and mostly black and white. We have a feature mural wall on one side of the bar made by a local graffiti artist Qubek. He’s created a puzzle of Stretford that if you look at, you’ll be able to work out all the references."
What else should people know about The Hive?
JH - "We’ll be having DJs on Friday and Saturday nights 10pm-2.30am. We’ll be doing bandeoke once a month and lots of different events such as pecial food evenings and wine events, once every couple of months. If people want to find out more, then they should visit us on Facebook or Instagram."
The Hive, Unit 124, 125 Chester Rd, Stretford Mall, Stretford, Manchester, M32 9BH