Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Rupert Takes Rivals Back to the Future

Newspaper article Manchester Evening News

Rupert Takes Rivals Back to the Future

Article excerpt

FORMER Coronation Street star Rupert Hill is preparing to breathe new life into The Royal Exchange's restaurant space - by taking it back in time with a heritage look.

The Rivals restaurant opens to the public today, and has been given an extraordinary makeover to look like a heritage pub, complete with old props from Exchange Theatre shows over the years.

Rupert and business partner Goska Langrish have also used an impressive 65 reclaimed doors to create a new wood panelling effect, while an eclectic array of old furniture and chandeliers from the theatre's props department complete the classic effect.

The restaurant is named after classic Sheridan play The Rivals, which was the first show put on when the Royal Exchange Theatre opened in 1976 inside the historic old textile trading hall on St Ann's Square.

And Rupert hopes that the restaurant will become a new destination for not only the theatre crowd, but all of those fans of his team's other successes, including The Castle and Gullivers in the Northern Quarter and the Bakers Vault in Stockport.

We've taken are a bit breathed into Rupert He said: "We wanted to create a much more theatrical dining experience, like the King's Head in Islington.

"We ripped everything out from the old restaurant here to create a more rustic and intimate setting.

"It's what we've tried to do with all of our other businesses, that's what we are most proud of - that we've taken sites that were a bit neglected and breathed new life into them. But we make them look older to make them look newer."

There is also The Rivals beer garden at the theatre, that spills out onto the theatre foyer space for more casual drinks and food.

However, the restaurant itself will now be open for lunch and dinner from noon to midnight, Monday to Saturday. …

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