Welcome to our first blog, in which we hope to get you up to speed on "the new place" and all the exciting things we have planned for Manchester's vegan food scene in 2016. We've broken this down into a few Frequently Asked Questions we've been getting both in the shop and online so give it a look and tell your friends!
Are you still moving? - YES!
As you may remember, we announced our intention 6 months ago to move from our current premises at 88 Oldham Street (where we've been since 2011), to a bigger, better, brand new site on Edge Street, our favourite spot in the Northern Quarter. At this point, construction on the building we're moving into was already 12 months over schedule. We were assured we'd be able to get the keys early in the new year but were already jaded by budged deadlines, so played it safe in saying we'd be moving in "early 2016"...
Why's it taking so long? ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
We won't bore you with the details but suffice to say the construction of our new premises has continued to run over target. It's been a long stressful slog but we have a brilliant architect on board helping us plough on, and our new landlord has been incredibly helpful in trying to move things along.
When are you moving then? - Soon... Really!
We don't want to make any promises we can't keep and timelines still need pinning down, but we will be getting in there finally this month (June 2016). From this point we need to allow roughly 12 weeks for fit out. We're getting the shop as an empty shell which needs a full commercial kitchen, loos, a staff room and an office fitting in the basement, as well as a diner upstairs (obvi) and a lift between floors. That stuff takes time to do properly, and after waiting so long for the very best, we don't want to rush and spoil things at the last minute. So, if we had to give a rough target, we're now aiming for an August/September opening.
Will the Oldham Street premises close? - YES!
The whole reason we're moving is that we have outgrown where we are. We initially rented this premises 4 years ago as a shop for vegan food supplies and records. To our astonishment and great joy, this has somehow morphed into a pretty popular diner (still with a vegan food shop), but that's never what it was intended or designed to be. At the moment our whole menu is prepped with one plug-in oven, grill, toaster, blender and coffee machine, and at busy times (which are growing more and more frequent), customers have to wait for one of our 8 tables or opt to take out. We love 88 Oldham Street dearly and will miss it when we leave, but it's time to grow!
Will there be more tables? - YES!
Currently we can seat around 20-25 people in the shop if we get out the "spare chairs" and everyone crams in a bit. At Edge Street there will be 60 covers, and we hope this will translate to tables for everyone, even at very busy times like weekends.
Will there be a shop still? - Kind of!
There will be a shop but, due to the rise in availability of many products we sell elsewhere and our need to maximise covers in the diner, this will be significantly smaller than at present. If you need any help finding things we used to stock elsewhere we'll be happy to point you in the right direction. Eventually we plan to grow our own branded product offer, for example our burger sauce, cookie dough and other convenience junk foods.
Will there be a bar? - YES!
We have a liquor license and will be offering wines, beers, spirits, cocktails and boozy milkshakes that you can be confident are entirely vegan (no more drunken scrolling through Barnivore trying to figure out what's been filtered through fish guts or has honey in!). There will be virgin cocktails and a great selection of soft drinks like Fritz Cola and Club Mate for our customers who choose not to drink alcohol.
Will you be open longer? - YES!
We will be open until 11pm! We haven't locked down our opening times yet because we need to work out our staffing and demand and all that tricky stuff, but it will most likely be brunch time, earlier than our current opening of noon.
Will there be a bigger menu? - YES!
Finally having a proper commercial kitchen means we can do chips (and loads of other deep fried treats), and offer way more menu items. We don't want to give too much away, but it's gonna be awesome!
Will there be more gluten free options? - YES!
As above, with the space and equipment to keep allergens separated and to prep everything from scratch, we'll be doing what we can to make V Rev more accessible to our gluten free customers.
Will there be more cake? - YES!
Will the premises be fully accessible? - YES!
Our Edge Street premises are fully wheelchair accessible, with a lift from the diner upstairs to customer toilets in the basement, which will be for all-gender use with vending machines for organic sanitary wear and vegan condoms. Large print easy-read menus will also be available on request from your server.
Will dogs still be allowed? - YES!
We love our canine customers and they will remain VIPs at V Rev. We may reserve the right to refuse entry to dogs late at night if the diner is very full or getting pretty loud, but this is from an animal welfare perspective rather than us being party poopers: Our primary concern is that any doggos visiting us feel safe and aren't stressed out. We will have complimentary bowls of water and Tender Vegan Bakery vegan dog biscuits on offer to assist in making them feel welcome.
Are you looking for staff? - YES!
Once we get properly stuck into fitting out the new place we will be able to share job specs and recruit for front of house, bar, kitchen and bakery staff. If you would like us to include your CV in our search, please e-mail a copy to firstname.lastname@example.org (a short covering letter explaining why you're interested in working with us and what skills you could bring to the V Rev team would be a bonus too!)