The world of start-up coffee shops is both fierce and competitive. You only have to think about how many independent coffee shops filled with MacBooks there are in the NQ alone, and you’ll struggle to think how so many of these places manage to stay open.
Well, Ed Barry from Over Under wasn't afraid to take the risky leap into the coffee world. He now has three coffee shops spread across London and Manchester, so it seems they’re doing something right. But what is it?
Could it be the exceptionally good Colombian coffee? The impressive and innovative switch from coffee shop to cocktail bar? Or the modern and minimalist chic design? Or could it be the UK and Kiwi background from his parents giving him that effortlessly cool ‘from down under vibe’ we all so very much desire to be?
One thing to note of importance was the difference in customer that Ed has noticed (between the two cities). With friendly and unpretentious people, Manchester is not only cool and super friendly, it perfectly matches the effortless and cool brand that Ed has tried to build up from scratch.
One of Ed’s aims with Over Under was to find the niche between people who like a good coffee and a good cocktail, combining the two to turn their coffee shops into evening cocktail bars.
Once that last flat white has left the espresso machine, the shop literally flips into a bar. And it's so much more than just dimming the lights and turning up the music.
Using innovative design techniques, walls literally turn, tables flip upside down, and a bar cabinet is revealed behind the breakfast menu.
The concept behind Over Under Coffee is to strip back-to-basics, make good quality coffee and cocktails and keep menus simple. The coffee is excellent quality, while the cocktails are refreshingly modern.
The two industries filled to bursting with a passion for innovation and amazing service, it’s actually a fantastic pairing. “Baristas and mixologists both not only love what they do, but they quite literally live and breathe it.”
A conversation with either can last only a few moments before it turns to coffee or booze respectively.
But Ed says this is why it works so well for them. “A team that are not only happy in where they work but enjoying it makes for the best service in town.”
The day time Food Menu also includes contemporary American classics such as pancakes alongside modern day favourites avocado on toast. Ingredients are sourced from just over the hills outside of Manchester, keeping everything local and fresh.
At night, the contemporary cocktail menu comes to life alongside monthly live sessions from a whole host of local artists and a small bar snack menu.
It’s clear to see the success of Over Under, an unconventional idea that works perfectly. Targeting commuters both on their way to work and on their way home, could Over Under be your new favourite local?
Head down this week to find out.
Over Under Coffee
Over Under, 111 Deansgate, Manchester, M2 2BQ.