If you’ve walked down Canal Street at any point over the last 2 years, you’ll certainly have noticed the huge development taking place at the top end, a development that is now complete and ready to go!
It’s been a long road for Kampus, but they’ve absolutely knocked it out of the park with their leisure and food offerings – pretty much blowing anywhere else in the city out of the water and actually creating a proper little neighbourhood in this once abandoned corner of Manchester.
The vibrant new neighbourhood is built around a garden developed by Capital&Centric and HBD. The collection of old and new buildings offers a melting pot of architectural styles and expands on a rich cultural heritage, making use of historic buildings that have lain derelict for years, right next to the famous Canal Street in Manchester’s Gay Village and just minutes from Piccadilly Station.
The Kampus gardens and Bungalow are the central feature of the community and are permanently open to the public, with the Bungalow operating as a village hall for pop-up events and community groups. The neighbourhood is alive with weekly events, whilst also serving as home to local independent bars, restaurants, cafés and retail spaces.
Bars & Restaurants
The creation of the Kampus neighbourhood has meant that it’s home to an abundance of brand-new independent businesses making the space a bucket list destination for foodies from Manchester and beyond.
Starting off with the Nell’s Pizza restaurant and bar, one of the very first cogs in the Kampus community, Nell’s has grown in popularity over the last few years – now famous for their huge 22” pies and slices. The Kampus venue features a standalone ‘Slice Bar’ where you can pop in for a quick slice all day and late into the evening, alongside a selection of great cocktails and beers.
“Kampus represents to me a development with a sense of purpose, it kind of knows what it’s about, what it’s for. Lots of developments end up being a bunch of buildings searching for a reason to be, furiously post-rationalising,” said Jonny Heyes from Common & Co, the brains behind Nell’s at Kampus.
“We got the impression that the vision for Kampus would be something we, as an independent operator, could get on board with. It’s a thoughtfully curated selection of independent businesses as part of a neighbourhood ecosystem, which is nice. All it was lacking was a pub (and a pizza shop).”
With the pizza shop covered, Kampus needs a pub, and so they’ll be dipping into its Manchester heritage with Cloudwater, who plan to bring their internationally-acclaimed, fresh beers to the ground floor of Minshull House.
It’ll feature a communal beer hall, 3°c cold store and beer tap wall, full kitchen serving local and seasonal food and flexible event spaces. Punters will also be able to soak up the summer sun, with outdoor seating in the Kampus garden and a new square on Chorlton Street.
Whilst keeping their cards close to the chest on the details of what’s in store for Kampus, the Cloudwater team are planning a relaxed, all-day hangout perfect for a spot of work or casual lunch transforming in the evening to a go-to social spot with dining, parties and events.
Paul Jones, co-founder of Cloudwater, said: “We’re looking forward to joining the community at Kampus, which already includes a number of outstanding independent operators who are a major credit to our city. Manchester means so much to us – far more than simply acting as our home city, it provides us with inspiration, feeds our creative energy and informs our values.”
Named after the crust formed on old wines, which resembles the wing of a bee, The Beeswing is another addition to the ever-growing Kampus site, serving wine and small plates out of a trendy new space slap bang in the city centre with serene views of the canal.
The bar is a collaboration between wine expert, Anna Tutton (the Founder of wine bar Vin-yard, previously at Hatch) and Joe Maddock (of West Didsbury favourite Pinchos tapas bar fame) who’ve been working together on pop-up supper clubs – and will be opening its doors very soon.
“Beeswing isn’t a stuffy wine bar with intimidating wine lists. In true Kampus style it will have a super relaxed vibe offering something a bit different to what you get elsewhere. As well as this, it will house Kampus’ very own wine shop where residents can come and grab a bottle directly on their doorstep,” explained Adam Higgins, co-founder at CAPITAL&CENTRIC.
Hailing from the docks of Liverpool is Madre – meaning ‘mother’ in Spanish – a laid-back, social hangout, with a menu inspired by the food culture of Mexico City. Using the best of local and seasonal produce, it’ll deliver unadulterated Mexican goodness to Kampus, with tacos, ceviche and small plates making up the menu.
Madre at Kampus will open daily from 11am til late, evolving from a lunch spot and family-friendly destination to a buzzing bar with Mexican party vibes as the sun goes down. Visitors can expect an interior inspired by the adobe houses of South America, with earthy, organic tones creating an intimate and warm space.
Another already well established Liverpool legend, Yum Cha is set to open its kitchen at Kampus over the next few months, bringing its brand of delicious authentic Chinese small plates, roasted meats and tea to Manchester.
Set up by brothers Adam and Neil Wan, the move is their first expansion outside of their hometown, with the duo eager to make an impression and feed Manchester’s love of Asian food. They’ll be serving up bold flavours, freshly-prepared Dim Sum and Chinese tea in a space with laid back vibes with the aim of bringing people together to share food.
Yum Cha at Kampus will be open seven days a week, with a relaxed atmosphere. Think industrial chic with polished concrete, softened with lanterns, wood carvings from China and neon lighting.
The interior will complement the menu of steamed, pan-fried and deep-fried small plates served in bamboo steamers. Diners will also be tucking into Chinese roasted meats and flavour-packed large plates from curries and noodles, to a selection of vegan alternatives to popular Asian dishes.
Bakeries & Cafes
For Sunday afternoon strolls or a place to work from during the week, the Kampus garden neighbourhood is home to some fine bakers and coffee houses.
The Ancoats favourite, Pollen recently announced a new pastry kitchen and café at the £250m city centre development set to open this Spring, which will feature an expanded brunch menu and an open kitchen, plus space for workshops and supper clubs.
Another bakery offering something a little different and hoping for an opening nearer the end of May is Great North Pie Co. The pie and mash cafe will be the first occupier of the reborn Little David Street – a fascinating, long forgotten street closed off for decades.
Pie-lovers will be able to enjoy some of Great North Pie’s popular classics such as ‘Classic Lancashire Cheese and Onion’ – Dewlay’s Tasty Lancashire cheese, caramelised white onion, white pepper, nutmeg and panko breadcrumbs – alongside a seasonally changing range of pies using locally sourced ingredients.
The mouth-watering selection of pies can be washed down with a matching beer or glass of Prosecco, with a full drinks menu on offer.
Kampus’ monthly neighbourhood artisan markets take place on the last Sunday of every month and are a collaboration between the rental community of Kampus and Ancoats Pop-Up – the runaway success from Manchester’s Cutting Room Square.
They’re a glorious celebration of all things independent, with handmade products, scrumptious baked goods and original art on sale from some of the city’s best makers and creatives.
People will be able to explore the pop-up stalls that will pack Little David Street, the charming cobbled Kampus street recently restored and open to the public for the first time in decades, at what will become a regular fixture on the last Sunday of every month.
A business that started its life in the depths of independent markets is The Barkside, who are now set to open up a permanent shop at Kampus soon. Your overly pampered pooch is in for a treat!
The boutique salon and lifestyle store is a one-stop shop with a grooming salon that stocks The Barkside’s signature street-fashion, own brand of nutritious foods, luxury grooming products and quality accessories.
The Barkside’s first daycare space was set up back in 2013. Elkie, Leah and Lauren – along with their team – have since gone from strength to strength, opening a doggy day care, salon and shop on Travis St in Manchester and in Heaton Chapel, Stockport – with a lengthy waiting list from would-be clients.
The new Kampus store, opening onto the garden and in the historic listed Minto & Turner building, will be open seven days a week and cater to booming numbers of the city centre dog owners.
Furry clients will also be sampling the laid-back Kampus neighbourhood lifestyle, with doggy mud baths (a perfect de-shedding treatment) and frothy puppuccinos, so they don’t miss out on the booming café culture!
And last but not least, the team behind the wonderful Stretford Foodhall and Ancoats General Store are opening an independent corner shop at Kampus!
With a village market feel, the Kampus General Store will have independent, artisan food and drink sitting alongside daily essentials and well-known brands.
Kampus General Store will also bring a zero-waste, household essential refill hub to the neighbourhood. Customers can ditch the single use plastic and fill up their own containers with cereals, washing up liquid, lentils, sugar and pasta – saving waste and money.
Events & Pop-ups
Since opening, the Bungalow at Kampus haas been home to a regularly rotating roster of restauranteurs and street food specialists, including bagels and flower specialists Bread Flower, Altrincham favourite Banh Vi and casual dining from Tine.
It’s currently home to Sleepless Cat Coffee is run by expert roaster Max and serves gorgeous coffee blends to enjoy cosying up in the bungalow or to take out along with a vegan sausage roll from The Vegan Picnic Basket, another member of the exclusive Kampus community.
Aiming to bring all of the best British picnic basket treats to Manchester in vegan form, The Vegan Picnic Basket offers vegan scotch eggs, pork pies, sausage rolls and loads of other tasty sweet treats to quench your stodge craving!
The Garden and Bungalow have hosted a range of exciting events, from ShinDigger Summer Parties to intimate wine evenings with Le Social. It’s also common to see a bit of yoga in the garden, alongside a unique gallery – which is currently home to ‘First In The Fight‘– 10 artist portrayals of women who’ve helped transform the city.
Each weekend will see Manchester’s rental garden neighbourhood will pay tribute to a different global hotspot, hosting eclectic patio parties with laid-back disco vibes, all paired with the freshest Cloudwater beer on tap and traditional Spanish delights… think tapas, giant paella and charcuterie boards.
There’s also the introduction of ‘The Cure’ – a not-to-be-missed Spanish brunch, served every Saturday and Sunday from 11am, featuring a rotating menu from Levanter and Cloudwater’s special Bloody Mary cocktails on tap, using a different base spirit and garnish each week to fit the theme.
Kampus’ show stopping development is a true celebration of the city, championing independents at a time they need it most. From wine makers and artisan bakers, Kampus provides an inviting space for the city’s creatives and has moulded into a development like no other.
It’s also important to remember that Kampus is a neighbourhood, with residents being able to choose from one and two bedroom apartments in the beautiful red-brick new buildings North and South Block, refurbished 1960s brutalist tower called The Stack or two Victorian shipping warehouses, Minto & Turner and Minshull House.
Residents at Kampus have access to a brand-new gym with free weights, cardio and core equipment and a yoga studio, a 24 hour concierge service and amenities from dog walking, dry cleaning, PT sessions and yoga, a private cinema, lounge, dining room and a number of terraces.
What’s more, residents can move into their brand-new apartment with NO DEPOSIT to pay.
It’s an exciting time for any business setting up camp there, so keep your eyes peeled for official opening dates from the likes of Madre, Pollen and Kampus General Store!