Latest launch heralds ‘transformational year’ for expanding bar business

Bar group Arc Inspirations has established its first landmark venue of 2023 and says it remains on course to unveil three more openings before December.

The opening, in Sheffield, will be followed by multi-million pound venue launches in Birmingham, Newcastle and Nottingham, in what is a period of significant site growth, following investment in the business by BGF (the Business Growth Fund).

Manahatta in Sheffield city centre includes a 14-metre feature bar and a first-floor balcony overlooking City Hall.

The Sheffield launch follows a strong Christmas period for the Leeds-based operator.

Total like-for-like sales for the six weeks to the end of 2022 across Manahatta, BOX and Banyan were up by 3.2% on 2021, and 25.5% on 2020. And pre-booked sales accounted for a record 49% of total sales.

Arc Inspirations has confirmed that its 20th launch will be BOX, in Birmingham’s Brindleyplace, in early June.

The group, which posted record revenues for the year ending 31 March 2022, is planning to open at least two more sites in the next 12 months – BOX in Nottingham, and Manahatta in Newcastle.

In Nottingham, the company has been granted a license to open the 12,000 sq ft former All Saints store on Thurland Street, while planning and licensing have been approved for a site at a former Allied Irish Bank branch on Collingwood Street in Newcastle.

Group co-founder and CEO, Martin Wolstencroft, said: “2023 is going to be a transformational year for us, so we’re delighted to have delivered such an incredible opening for Manahatta in Sheffield.

“This has been a fantastic effort from all our team, who have worked together to open so smoothly and with such great impact, resulting in brilliant feedback and very encouraging trading so far.”