THE FIRST CITY-CENTRE SITE FOR THE MOTEL, BAR & DINER CONCEPT DESIGNED BY SOHO HOUSE.

Mollies (www.mollies.com), the hotel and diner brand with a bold vision to transform travel with its own distinctive budget-luxe, design-led offering, is opening its third and largest site to date – a re-invention of the Old Granada TV Studios in the heart of Manchester.

Manchester is Mollie’s most ambitious launch to date, offering 128 rooms across five floors, with prices from £120, ranging from classic doubles and twins, bunk rooms and interconnecting family, to studios and several luxe suites featuring freestanding bathtubs, walk-in wardrobes and Peloton bikes – a new chapter for Mollie’s. 

Following the first road-side motel-and-diner sites in Oxfordshire and Bristol, Mollie’s Manchester is the visionary company’s first extensive city-centre property and an innovative blueprint for future city locations. An evolution from the original roadside model, but still distinctly ‘Mollie’s’.

The new city destination will occupy 100,000sq ft of the northern city’s 1950s landmark, the Old Granada Studios in Quay Street, the first purpose-built television studio in the UK.

Granada TV’s output was always resolutely ‘from the North’, representing the culture, creativity and diversity of the region. Mollie’s own vision is to create a vibrant and inclusive social hub in the heart of the bustling city of Manchester, bringing people together to work, stay and play.

The legendary building has been imaginatively re-invented – in a collaboration by the team at Soho House – preserving the modernist façade and making playful nods to the building’s vibrant history, while also drawing on Manchester’s creative community to bring the work of artists and makers to the interior design story.

Mollie’s Manchester is part of St John’s, the city’s emerging cultural neighborhood, set on the once-industrial quays of the River Irwell, between Castlefield, Spinningfields and Manchester Central. Deansgate Station, Manchester Opera House and the Museum of Science and Industry are all within walking distance.

Designed by architect Ralph Tubbs for Cecil and Sidney Bernstein, the founders of Granada TV, the studios opened in 1956, and remain a true reflection of the post-war modernist style (Tubbs also designed the Dome of Discovery for the 1951 Festival of Britain on London’s South Bank). Mollie’s transformation respects and enhances the character of the original building, retaining the striking glass and grey-granite façade. The studio’s glowing red Granada sign was removed in 2010 and is now housed in Manchester’s Science and Industry Museum. The old sign is replaced by Mollie’s signature playful red neon lettering.

A contemporary nod to the building‘s architectural heritage, Mollie’s rooms (Snug, Comfy, Accessible, Bunk rooms and Studio Suites) feature dark-wood pannelling, terrazzo and aged brass finishes, rainshowers and dreamy, super king beds, as well as Mollie’s latest technology and renowned touchpoints, including Dyson Airwraps and hairdryers, GHD straighteners and Cowshed products. 

On the sixth floor, there are 23 bedrooms designed specifically for Soho House members, ranging from ‘cosy’ rooms to large suites with living space. This floor also includes an 80sq metre private apartment with an open plan living room with kitchenette, dining table and lounge area and a connecting second bedroom.

The first floor will feature a state-of-the-art gym for Soho House members and Mollie’s guests.  This will include a free weights area, studio space, and steam and sauna, all opening ono a balcony with casual seating. Changing rooms will have showers, vanity areas and lounge spaces to unwind after training.

The ground floor features the classic Soho House designed Mollie’s diner subtly re-imagined for urban Manchester with 140+ seats and private dining room. The diner features dark wood, brass finishes and a mid-century look inspired by the building’s modernist architecture and its roots in the late 1950s and early 1960s.  In this modern take on the retro-American diner, guests can choose to dine at classic counter seating or relax into luxe leather banquettes inspired by the interior of a vintage Cadillac. 

Also on the ground floor, Manchester’s generous lounge-lobby combines bar, food-on-the-go, sociable co-working space and an informal living-room vibe. A signature of the Mollie’s brand, the lobby sets out to create a welcoming community hub for work and play. In addition, a suite of private work spaces will feature meeting rooms and lounges available for exclusive hire.

Downstairs, Mollie’s large, open-plan cocktail bar with live music and entertainment, will be available for guests to enjoy.  The space includes a private-hire green room, VIP bar and snug, and an outdoor heated terrace.  Music is at the heart of Old Granada Studios – both the Beatles and the Sex Pistols made their first TV appearances here. This legacy will be reborn at Mollie’s in the form of its own live-stage performance venue which aims to celebrate Manchester’s vibrant music scene and nurture local talent. 

Reflecting its creative approach to art and design, Mollie’s will be working with a series of local Manchester-based artists to create bespoke artworks for the rooms and public spaces. Championing the rich creative talent of the North of England, the Mollie’s Manchester art collection will bring together some of the region’s most exciting and innovative artists. 

Ranging from emerging local talent, to rising stars and leading artists, the collection celebrates the unique spirit, the history of urban resilience and the wild landscapes of the North.  Newly commissioned work featured in the collection will explore the building’s legacy and Manchester’s creative, musical and sporting histories. The collection is curated by Gemma Rolls-Bentley who was born and raised in Sheffield and couldn’t be more excited to shine a light on the artists whose work reflects the powerhouse that is the North of England.

The new city motel and diner will share the building with Soho House; with a club and rooftop pool, the first Soho House in the North of England will occupy the building’s top three floors.