Corrie star to open St Ann’s bar

Space Invader, an interior design studio in Manchester, has been appointed by Coronation Street actor Jennie McAlpine and her partner Chris Farr, to design a new city centre bar and restaurant.

Annies, named after its location off St Ann's Square, will be a 4,600 sq ft bar and fine dining restaurant across three floors of the grade 2-listed Royal Exchange building.

Sarah Dodsworth, associate at Space Invader, said: "The brief was to create a place for friends and family to eat, drink and socialise in a relaxing environment that is tucked away from the hustle and bustle of the city centre. As a result we have carefully selected a variety of furniture and accessories, exactly as you would find in your own home. We have also included some subtle contextual details that reflect the building's history as one of Manchester's leading theatres.

"Designing a scheme for a listed building has its challenges, but having taken the project through listed planning consent with Manchester City Council we are confident that we have delivered a design that is sympathetic to its surroundings, while providing the venue with a striking new look and feel."

Jennie McAlpine added: "Working with Space Invader has been a really exciting process as we have seen Annies come to life through their designs. We wanted to create a friendly, intimate place where people can enjoy good food and drinks with all the comforts of home."

Chris Farr, co-owner of Annies and who has a wealth of experience in the food and drink industry having formerly run Smiths restaurant in Eccles, concludes: "We've talked about doing this for a long time and hope we can bring something new to the city centre. The 100 seat restaurant and bar will serve classic British food in relaxed, unpretentious surroundings and we are planning to have a grand piano in the basement for the odd impromptu sing-along."

Manchester City Council has approved plans for the vacant unit on Old Bank Street and works have now begun in preparation for the venue to open later this year.

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