It has been nearly a decade since they bought Losehill House near the village of Hope in the Peak District.
Now Greater Manchester born and bred Paul and Kathryn Roden, owners of the four-star Losehill House Hotel and Spa, and its award-winning restaurant, are bringing their passion for fine food into the heart of their big city.
Inspired by modern Manchester, the hospitality entrepreneurs are making a £1m investment into a 5,750 sq ft ground-floor unit at 55 King Street, formerly the home of Brasserie Blanc.
Creating 50 new jobs, the 190-seat Grafene will provide a cocktail and champagne bar and restaurant, with Modern British fine dining in an informal atmosphere, with a confident, selective approach to its food and drink menus.
During the past month a fantastic management team has been assembled who are genuinely excited by the opportunity to launch a new and innovative restaurant and bar on King Street, and recruitment of the remainder of the team is now well underway.
Under the direction of the group’s Executive Chef Darren Goodwin, a great new team at Grafene will offer an eclectic menu from Breakfast through to Dinner which will comprise a daily changing market based a la carte menu, a 7-course taster menu and interesting small plate options, all sourced from non-GM local or artisan suppliers.
The dramatic island bar will serve vintage champagne, local beers and cocktails inspired by the scientific innovation of Graphene. Staffed by some of the most celebrated mixologists in the North West offering an innovative approach, the bar will serve a selection of small plates and light food, and will be a destination in its own right.
Grafene will offer a superb wine list, creating an opportunity for tasting sessions in the dedicated wine room, along with wine matching for the tasting menus.
An open pastry kitchen in the heart of the restaurant will offer a visual and entertaining experience from breakfast through to lunch, afternoon tea and dinner.
Two intimate private dining areas will specialise in wine tasting, either as an accompaniment to the daily changing tasting menu, or as a dedicated activity tailored to each party.
The interior of the venue is being transformed into a dramatic elegant space which will be complemented by an al-fresco dining area on the thoroughfare between King Street and Chapel Walks, featuring a sliding glass wall to bring the outside in and an innovative light box changing with the moods of the day.
Paul Roden says: “We are inspired by the world’s first 2D material Graphene, first isolated at Manchester University. Grafene is our food and drink interpretation of this exciting new chapter in Manchester’s rich history, and of the excitement and energy there is around its possibilities for science and technology.
“While we are serious about our food, there is no need to take eating out so seriously that it stops being fun.
“With private booths and a big bar space, we will create a relaxed, unstuffy atmosphere for people to enjoy. Grafene will offer a truly unique experience in the heart of the city.”