After 10 years at the heart of Manchester’s Northern Quarter scene, Common has had a complete makeover including — crucially — a bigger bar, and more beer! If that’s not cause for celebration, we don’t know what is. To achieve the expansion, a new basement level has been added and a lot of utilities gubbins moved out of sight, meaning there’s more room on the main floor for more bar (with 10 keg lines and a two cask marque award) and 40 extra seats.
Whilst we feel a smidgen of Common’s edgy appeal may have been lost (unfamiliar readers may peruse its old semblance here and here), as a standalone space the new look warrants a big racially diverse thumbs up emoji from us. The interior has been reimagined by designer and maker Peter Masters with fixtures from ceramicist Joe Hartley; everything is custom made, eco-friendly and sourced locally. Masters’ interior now shares much with the exterior, as he has exposed masses of the region’s signature red brick — and introduced fish-scale cladding inside. The designer also came up with a new bespoke table and chairs which have been made by Manchester craftsmen from solid ash and birch ply. Hartley’s key detailing includes the beer pump handles, coffee tampers and lampshades. The pair worked together to deliver a new vision for the space — one which puts art and design at the centre of the visitor experience.