Red’s True Barbecue

Bar Cafe Restaurant
Manchester, UK
Red's Barbecue

Red’s True Barbecue, a concept drawn from the owners deep love of traditional American barbecuing methods.

Following on from the success of Red’s True Barbecue in Manchester, true believers, Scott Munro and James Douglas approached Blacksheep to revolutionise their latest site in Headingly, a prime location on the outskirts of Leeds. The team were tasked with turning the venue into a raw, honest, barbecuing haven whilst ensuring core features of the buildings history seep throughout, staying true to its fundamental roots.

A new religion was born when their Manchester site opened – Red’s was personified, fans became believers and the church of barbecue was brought to life. Blacksheep took the religious connotations associated with Red’s Manchester and adapted them for the Headingly site & created a story amalgamating the brand values & the sites heritage. Previously a bank, Blacksheep initiated the process by reflecting ‘religion meets money’ in their concept essence whilst staying true to the fact that it’s all about the barbecue and nothing can overshadow that.

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Blacksheep wanted to portray a look that was raw and honest mirroring Red’s barbecuing techniques whilst simultaneously bringing in renowned features associated with a bank. The ‘vault’ is now the back of house kitchen, the heart as such, where the most value is. Security deposit boxes have become the toilets, the teller desk is now the pit (front of house kitchen) and the boardroom has turned into the bar. In a sense Blacksheep reinstated features that would have previously existed there, with a Red’s twist of course.

Storage is key & as the space was quite small, Blacksheep took full advantage of the high ceilings and designed overhanging storage cages that dangle above hungry carnivores heads while they devour succulent “Low and slow” cuts of meats. It puts you on edge slightly and is an accurate reflection of the owner’s dark, twisted, humorous personalities shining through their halos.

Teller bars line the front kitchen counter & allow believers to peer in & see the chefs in their almighty glory. The bars themselves are cut to allow for a kitchen pass & old security cameras which have been turned into lights illuminate the pass. Red, neon, tongue in cheek signs hang in all the windows proclaiming statements such as “free smells” & “let there be meat”, tempting passers-by to venture inside & demolish some mouth-watering ribs.

The team took a more salvation rather than demolition approach when broaching the existing interior walls, floors and ceilings. The distressed painted walls were sanded back and so too have the existing window frames thus allowing for the ornate features to manifest through. The remarkable detail found on the ceiling, which has not been altered since its golden banking days, has been left as is. Everything is exposed – nothing is hidden away. This encompasses what the Red’s brand is truly about – raw, honest & authentic.


  • Concept & strategy
  • Interior architecture
  • Spatial philosophy
  • Signage
  • FF&E direction

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