A venue in Manchester’s Northern Quarter that has played a key role in the city’s music scene for more than seven decades is on the lookout for a new operator. Blacks Business Brokers, the national business transfer specialist based in Bury, is marketing Stage and Radio on Port Street with an asking price of £299,950 to take over the trading company and lease, plus annual rent of £49,972.
Stage & Radio first emerged onto the music scene in 1946 when the legendary promoter Eric Scriven began presenting modern jazz acts at the club, a first for Manchester. In 1951 Mr Scriven established Club 43 at the venue, named after its address, 43 Port Street.
Club 43 hosted many of the greats of modern jazz, and was the first venue in the city to attract the likes of British jazz pioneer Ronnie Scott. Mr Scriven, who died in 2014, later moved on to a range of other venues around Manchester but Stage & Radio remained an important part of the city’s music scene over the subsequent decades.
In 1998 it hosted the bands Muse and Coldplay as part of the In the City Showcase. Coldplay were “discovered” by Debs Wild, a scout for Universal Records, at this gig, leading to them signing their first professional recording contract.
More recently the property traded as Cuba Café, a popular salsa dancing venue, before reverting to the Stage & Radio name in 2016 when the current operators took over. The venue now operates as a bar, nightclub and restaurant, regularly hosting DJs from around the world as well as live music acts.
Stage & Radio operates from the first two floors and basement of a four-storey building, the upper two floors of which are currently used for storage. The restaurant and bar areas can seat up to 80 customers indoors, with an outdoor terrace providing seating for an additional 50 people.
The basement houses Stage & Radio’s nightclub, which can accommodate up to 100 revellers.
The business, which will remain open as usual while a new owner is found, has a licence until 4am and is currently open five days a week. It employs two full-time and two part-time members of staff, with an additional six casual staff helping at weekend.
In its most recent financial year Stage & Radio Ltd turned over almost £379,000. Having run the business successfully for almost four years its current owners now wish to sell to enable them to realise their investment and concentrate on other business interests outside the region.
Callum Pollard, customer services executive at Blacks Business Brokers, said, “It’s a real honour to be marketing such an iconic part of Manchester’s music and nightlife history. This isn’t, though, a business that has been content to bask in its past glories – it’s very much a 21st-century venue, with a décor and fittings to match.
“Stage & Radio is a profitable business with a great reputation but it also has a lot of potential for growth, including possibly expanding into the two upper floors. There is also scope to extend its opening hours and to develop a wider food offering.
“This is a really exciting opportunity for a new operator. I expect a lot of interest.”
All enquiries should be directed to Blacks Business Brokers on 0333 370 0000, quoting reference 6925.