Three-star Michelin chef Simon Rogan to partner with AO Arena’s new members-only bar and restaurant

The Mezz will open in 'early 2024'

By Ben Arnold | 19 January 2024

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Simon Rogan, the three Michelin star chef behind L’Enclume in the Lake District, is to partner up with the AO Arena on its new bar and restaurant.

Called The Mezz, the members-only facility is part of the £50 million redevelopment of the arena, and is set to open in ‘early 2024’. 

Rogan will be joined in the project by his former executive chef Tom Barnes, star of the Great British Menu, and who was overseeing the kitchen at L’Enclume when it won its third star last year, and is set to open his new restaurant Skof in Manchester later this year.

The partnership will include regular appearances from Rogan and Barnes in the kitchen and specially curated quarterly seasonal dishes using fresh produce from Rogan’s own Our Farm smallholding.

Members of The Mezz will also get pre-booking access at UMBEL Restaurant Group sites, including Skof when it opens in the Hanover Building in the NOMA district.

From the bar and restaurant, members will get a full panoramic view of the stage for gigs, as well as a lounge to relax in and a bar for cocktails.

Simon Rogan MBE, chef and owner of UMBEL Restaurant Group said: “UMBEL is excited to embark on this partnership and to work alongside ASM by means of elevating its premium F&B offering at Mezz. 

“Working alongside Tom Barnes, who has been a key part of my team for many years, we are looking forward to introducing special seasonal menus which champion natural ingredients and sustainability, whilst using ingredients from my farm in the Lake District.” 

Tom Barnes said: “Our involvement with ASM and The Mezz enables us to share the UMBEL philosophy with a wider audience.

“Manchester is my favourite city in the UK, and now my new home as I also prepare to open Skof in the N.O.M.A district of the city in the springtime, so I am proud to be a part of the city’s exciting food and drink scene in more ways than one.”

As well as The Mezz, the redevelopment will also include the new Electric Lounge, with ticket packages that allow access to a dedicated VIP entrance to the arena, and seats just one block from the stage.

Meanwhile, ‘pre-show hang out’ the Heineken Sky Lounge will also have its own entrance on Hunts Bank, with ticket-holders for gigs able to upgrade to the exclusive bar, which will boast views across the city.