Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility

Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at People’s History Museum opens its doors

29 April 2021

Launching Wednesday 19 May 2021

Left to right, People's History Museum, sample small plates food, visual of how Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at PHM will look & seasonal box of vegetables

On Wednesday 19 May 2021, Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar at People’s History Museum (PHM) will open as a brand new venture leading the food revolution, where sustainable, ethical and delicious food makes the headlines on a menu that moves from a day to evening experience.  The result of a partnership between the national museum of democracy and leading conscious food company Open Kitchen, the newly designed concept will combine local, seasonal, organic, independent, short supply chains, and Fairtrade with the interception of beautiful food that would otherwise go to waste.

With sustainability the project’s watchword, this started with an upcycled, recycled and reclaimed fit out of the cafe and bar, which overlooks the River Irwell from the museum’s Spinningfields’s home in Manchester city centre.  This has created a light and bright ambience, with both indoor and outdoor seating options.

Katy Ashton, Director of People’s History Museum, says, “We are really excited that with the reopening of the museum comes the opening of our brand new cafe and bar.  The approach of Open Kitchen matches our values and ethos in a way that we know will appeal to visitors and those who choose to hold events in our magnificent spaces.  With lots of new exhibitions also opening it’s an exciting time to visit People’s History Museum.”

The menu for Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar will be largely vegetarian and vegan, with a smaller selection of meat dishes using locally sourced Pasture for Life meat, and will change seasonally.  It will be particularly looking to producers in the North West to highlight the beautiful, fresh and high quality products available on the doorstep.

The mouthwatering selection begins with a breakfast menu that’s designed around both sit in and grab and go choices, with homemade Open Kitchen favourites like vegan sausages, granola and breakfast bakes all featuring.  At lunch there are freshly prepared sandwiches with delicious fillings accompanied by finishing touches that include vegan slaw, coriander pesto and homemade blackberry chutney.  Or there is an ever changing range of freshly prepared hot lunch dishes, such as butter bean, kale and tomato stew with smoked paprika, served with home fries.  The all day menu will switch to offer table service drinks and small plates in the evening from July 2021, when full on flavour combinations of mixed up home fries, dumplings and tacos, with seasonal ingredients and accompaniments, will be available.

Corin Bell, Founder and Director at Open Kitchen, says, “We’re so excited to bring this new concept to Manchester city centre. Our mix of local, sustainable produce and rescuing beautiful ingredients that would otherwise go to waste seems to be a UK first, which is fab. We’ll be showcasing local, sustainable growing, working directly with producers, supporting short supply chains, using an independent and networked food system and highlighting alternatives for the perfectly edible food that is wasted every day.  Our menus will change constantly, and the theme is simply – sustainable, ethical, delicious.”

Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar’s fabulous food offer will also extend to the hospitality available for venue hire at People’s History Museum, with different options for different occasions.  Meetings, workshops, celebrations, conferences, weddings, formal and informal receptions can all be held in the magnificent grade II Listed Edwardian Pump House; a vast space that is both architecturally stunning and very flexible, with both small and large gatherings possible.

Open Kitchen has earned huge respect in the North West over the past few years, evolving from a pop-up operation, to running its pioneering ‘pay as you feel’ waste food restaurant on Oxford Street in Manchester city centre, to becoming the city’s leading private and corporate conscious catering company.  All profits subsidise its community focused work, with Open Kitchen supporting a range of projects that help people struggling with food insecurity.

Open Kitchen Cafe & Bar will be open Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 4.00pm; Saturday and Sunday, 10.00am to 6.00pm, with extended hours to be announced from July 2021.  You can follow all the updates via social media on Twitter @openkitchenPHM and Instagram @openkitchenPHM and find out more at  Further information on venue hire at People’s History Museum is available here.

When People’s History Museum reopens on Wednesday 19 May 2021, it will be with new opening hours; Wednesday to Sunday, from 10.00am to 4.00pm.  The museum and its exhibitions are free to visit with a suggested donation of £5.  Visitor bookings will open on Friday 30 April 2021, with all the details here.  To find out about visiting the museum, its full exhibitions and events programme based both at the museum and online visit, and you can keep up to date with the latest news by signing up to receive PHM’s e-newsletter, subscribing to the blog, or following the museum on social media on Twitter @PHMMcr, Facebook @PHMMcr, and Instagram @phmmcr.


For further information about People’s History Museum please contact Fido PR: / / 07734 749995.

Images are available here:


Notes to editors:

About People’s History Museum (PHM)
People’s History Museum (PHM) in Manchester is the national museum of democracy, telling the story of its development in Britain: past, present, and future.  The museum provides opportunities for all people to learn about, be inspired by and get involved in ideas worth fighting for; ideas such as equality, social justice, co-operation, and a fair world for all.  PHM offers a powerful programme with varied themes; 2018 looked at representation and commemorated 100 years since the first women and all men won the right to vote in Britain, in 2019 the focus was on protest to mark the bicentenary of the Peterloo Massacre in Manchester, the 2020-2021 programme is on the theme of migration and 2022-2023 will explore disabled people’s rights and activism.  Previous winner of Kids in Museums Family Friendly Museum Award.

We are hugely grateful for the generosity of our funders who have supported People’s History Museum (PHM) during our period of closure and to reopen safely:

Arts Council England, Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Here for Culture, Manchester City Council and The National Lottery Heritage Fund.

About Arts Council England (ACE)
PHM is an Arts Council England (ACE) National Portfolio Organisation (NPO).  The work of PHM is supported using public funding by ACE, the national development body for arts and culture across England, working to enrich people’s lives.  ACE support a range of activities across the arts, museums and libraries – from theatre to visual art, reading to dance, music to literature, and crafts to collections.  Great art and culture inspires us, brings us together and teaches us about ourselves and the world around us.  In short, it makes life better.  Between 2018 and 2022, ACE will invest £1.45 billion of public money from government and an estimated £860 million from The National Lottery to help create these experiences for as many people as possible across the country.

 About Open Kitchen:
Open Kitchen is Manchester’s leading sustainable catering company.  Our team of passionate chefs create beautiful, unique and thoughtful menus for any occasion or event.  We are committed to producing food in the most sustainable and ethical way possible. We work with a range of food businesses to stop good food from being wasted, and also purchase ingredients, working only with local, sustainable, and ethical suppliers.  Our chefs use this ever-changing mix to produce nutritious, seasonal menus that offer the lowest carbon catering possible, while maintaining great quality.

Profits from our business go to supporting communities suffering food insecurity across Greater Manchester

We use cookies on our website to provide you with a better experience. See our privacy policy for further information. OK