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Deputy Principal of Blackpool Aspire Academy

“The way in which A&S work is really superb. I am very pleased with the overall quality of the design.”

Assistant Principal, Blackpool Aspire Academy

Poynton High School Site Manager

“Right from the word go it was good working with A&S Landscape, they are marvellous. The team worked very well.”

Site Manager, Poynton High School

The Brier School Headteacher

“From start to finish, A&S Landscape have worked with the school to make the project a large success.”

Headteacher, The Brier School

Retractable Canopies and Bioclimatic Pergolas

In today’s competitive hospitality market businesses are striving to stand out from the crowd. Retractable canopies are an innovative and cost-effective solution for many businesses and commercial enterprises that can enable them to leap ahead of competing venues by offering a fresh, and vibrant environment that provides the wow factor and ensure that outdoor areas can be utilised all year round. A retractable canopy can transform something bland and dull into something truly exciting and inspiring and make an open space a place where people want to be.

Retractable Canopy – A Cost-Effective Solution For Your Hospitality Business

Entrepreneurs recognise the importance of long-term profitability and sustainability of any business. It is the ultimate goal that every asset or resource should give an added value to the business. The outdoor space in any hospitality venue set-up is one of the many resources that is often overlooked or forgotten about but one that when harnessed and utilised correctly can bring huge rewards not only for your customers but for the overall success of your business. Retractable canopies can help transform your space into one that takes your business to the next level.

Transform Your UK Outdoor Space

Customers expect a perfect balance of comfort, functionality and aesthetics. For many kinds of businesses – restaurants and hotels, retail stores, healthcare facilities or any commercial property, retractable canopies are designed to address these challenges. These structures harness the potential usefulness of outdoor spaces into valuable amenities. A&S Landscape offers a wide range of retractable canopies UK wide so you can get the most out of your external space. No matter the weather conditions, you can utilise your outside space throughout the year by installing a retractable canopy that your customers will truly adore. If you are searching for an awning, please note A&S Landscape only provide commercial retractable canopies in the UK due to the many advantages that canopies provide over traditional awning.

What are Retractable Canopies?

In its broadest term, a retractable canopy can be defined as any structure that provides a roof covering or shelter that can be retracted, that is, it can be opened and closed.

Retractable canopies are sometimes called retractable awnings but shouldn’t be confused with the traditional folding arm awnings found on many residential properties and shopfronts across the UK.

Whilst a retractable awning of the folding arm type may appear to offer similar benefits and product features with that of retractable canopy it is a very different product to those we sell.

To give more value to this structure, retractable canopies are designed to allow more use, in terms of time and function, of your external space. With a retractable canopy installed, outside space can be used throughout the year regardless of season and weather conditions. For everyday use, you can use the space from sunrise till sundown. The sun is up in the morning but soon becomes unbearable around midday. Instead of retreating indoors, a retractable canopy gives you the ultimate shading solution.

You can also install the added amenities of heating and lighting fixtures to make use of the space even through the night and during the cold winter months. The main advantage of a retractable canopy is the flexibility to adjust the amount of weather exposure at any time. You can retract or the roof to allow more sunshine on a sunny morning, then you can extend it to block the hot sun during the hot midday hours.

Large Retractable Canopy

Commercial Retractable Canopies – Applications

Commercial retractable canopies offer a wide range of applications for many kinds of businesses.  Rather than opt for a more expensive renovation or construction of an extension to your commercial property, retractable designs give great options as an additional living and functional space to your fixed structures. Indeed, a retractable canopy is a logical cost-effective solution to your exterior space enhancements.

Though the initial outlay is upfront, considering a retractable canopy for your business is a sound decision. The rate of return or ROI is increasing over a short period of time, both quantitatively and qualitatively. The financial picture of your business, both the upline and bottom line, would definitely look encouraging and attractive to the stakeholders through increasing trend in sales revenue due to the additional space and customer coverage. On the qualitative aspect, there would be a wide range of benefits to enjoy which are definitely favourable, all of which are detailed further down the page.

Retractable structures are adaptable and flexible systems that provide protection from both the sun and rain. These structures glide open and close on aluminium roller casings and the canvas-type folds and orderly arranged into soft pleats when pulled back. This setup gives full protection and more sun exposure whenever weather permits. This setup adds shade and shelter and at the same time enhances your space’s visual attractiveness, while enabling clients to have an unobstructed view of the sky.

The hospitality industry remains to be the frontrunners in implementing cost-effective exterior hotel improvements. These upgrade renovations would not be complete without considering the perceived potential commercial benefits of retractable canopy systems. These are considered stylish replacements to fixed structures, old fashioned awnings, or parasols. Hotel restaurant patios and outdoor dining areas are made highly attractive to vacationers and travellers with retractable canopies that add comfort to guests, expanding customer covers and more importantly, to add excitement and value to the outdoor dining ambience.

More common in restaurants, alfresco dining has become very popular and has started trending in recent times. You can vastly increase the number of customers you serve and cater for, a romantic ambience for night dining or outdoor dining and entertainment such as a live band under the moon and stars. All of these can be enjoyed during any weather under a retractable canopy. Moreover, with the attractive colour combinations and designs available in the market today, it definitely gives added aesthetic value to your restaurant.

Commercial retractable canopy roof systems have, additionally, other applications in garden centres, healthcare sites, schools and universities and many other applications. Garden centres are increasingly improving their premises and bottom line with a café or coffee area, these can easily be formed, expanded or improved with a canopy. Healthcare facilities, hospitals, and many types of clinics also utilise their outdoor space for added services.

Retractable canopies are excellent applications for schools and universities. They can create outdoor classrooms which can be used throughout the school year. They can also transform unused space as venues for events and student assemblies. Lighting and heating systems can be added to the canopy, making it functional throughout the day, whatever the season is. There are a very wide range of businesses all across the UK that can benefit significantly from an outdoor retractable roof system.

Retractable Canopy versus Retractable Awning: A Comparison

The term retractable canopy and retractable awning are sometimes used interchangeably by customers. Both products are often viewed as one and the same and, as the awning has been around for a long time it is not surprising there is some confusion.

Retractable Awning

 

A retractable awning is a covering attached to the exterior wall of a fixed structure. It is typically a sheet of woven canvas in acrylic or polyester fabric, on a roller system that extends out when the folding aluminium arms are extended. It is normally fixed above a window or a door and overhanging a porch or patio or shopfront. Awnings are normally for shade, not shelter and often are to reduce sunlight into the window/building rather than to protect the area immediately beneath. Whilst very typically an awning will be attached to a building, sometimes they can be attached to a frame to make them more independent and often in these cases to both sides of a goal post style frame to form what is known as a butterfly awning.

An awning can be a good solution in these applications and for residential applications too, it may be the only option if a wall fixed cantilever type design is required. Many local blind companies as well as national companies such as www.hillarys.co.uk/awnings/ are offering these and will be able to offer you good advice.

  • Wall fixed or Independent – An awning is attached to a structure whilst a retractable canopy may or may not be attached to a structure depending on design.
  • Fabric – An awning will typically be manufactured with a woven cloth material suitable for sun protection and for some light rain. A retractable canopy design will use a PVC type of materials designed as 100% waterproof.
  • Rainwater – Any rainwater will drip off an awning, our canopies have an integral gutter.
  • Shade or shelter – A window awning provides shade to a window, door or patio while a canopy provides shade and shelter to the whole area.
  • Size – An awnings size is limited by either the size of the projection dictated by the strength of the design, often around 3 or 4 metres or the available space for the folding arms to retract into. A retractable canopy can be any size.
  • Cost – awnings have become very inexpensive over time with some designs supplied and fitted from just £2000.00. Our clients typically invest from £7,000 – £100,000

White Retractable Awning

Benefits of a Commercial-Grade Structure

Purchasing a retractable canopy is, of course, an investment in your business and one in which the rewards can be substantial when done correctly. The benefits below are aimed to increase the rate of return on this investment.

Comfort for Guests. “Customer comfort is our priority” is a common slogan for any consumer-driven business. Retractable canopies keep your guests comfortable while they enjoy your services and amenities. It offers shade and shelter when needed but maintains the ability to open up the area when the weather allows.

Increased Foot Traffic. Foot traffic is one important business metric to gauge the profitability of any business operation but with pubs, hotels, restaurants and café’s it’s about the number of clients who you can seat comfortably at once and in a way in which they enjoy.

Enhanced Privacy. A retractable canopy or roof system will allow you to space out your tables giving your clients more space. Eateries in urban areas with overlooking windows or even balconies can also enhance the privacy of their areas with a canopy structure. Restaurants that offer fine dining ambience may have their canopies adjusted to enhance the indoor atmosphere.

Protection from UV Rays. As much as we love sunshine, UV rays can be damaging in large doses. Retractable canopy systems block UV rays and reduce glare to make your space more functional even during midday. This not only protects the health of your guests but also helps reduce energy usage.

Reduce Energy Costs. The scorching heat of the sun increases the need for air conditioning of the interiors. Retractable canopies block those heat-inducing rays, while still allowing natural light indoors. This is an effective passive cooling solution that can result in significant energy cost savings, therefore increased energy efficiency.

Beauty and Aesthetics. With high-quality materials, commercial-grade retractable canopy systems add style and luxury to your property at the same time promoting the open-air ambience. A retractable canopy can quickly add upmarket appeal to an otherwise unexciting building.

Retractable White Canopy

Protects Fixtures and Furnishings. Your furniture and other business assets need to be protected. Canopies are a great way to protect your outdoor furniture, as well as the furniture indoors. Soft and diffused light helps reduce the fading and wear that may otherwise result from constant exposure to the environmental elements.

Long-Term Durability. Unlike residential grades, commercial-grade retractable structures are built to last. From the motor to the canopy’s fabric, quality materials, warranties and after-sales support from our team help ensure your guests will enjoy the benefits of your retractable roof canopies for years to come.

Add Iconic Brand Identity to Your Business.

With the wide assortment of design structures, coupled with attractive colour combinations that are made available on the market today, exterior branding of your business became a focal point. Foremost examples of these are in the hospitality industry and luxury restaurants where aesthetics and functionality are held at a premium for brand image.

Make the Most of Your Surroundings

If you are lucky enough to have a canal side, seafront, or country setting then you can make the most of the views all year round with a covered seating area.

Watch Our Retractable Canopies in Action

The Best Covered Outdoor Terraces in London

From charming outdoor terraces to trendy rooftop bars and high-end alfresco dining – there is nothing like soaking up the sun whilst socialising with friends. Once lockdown restrictions are lifted in the UK, customers will be flocking to dining and drinking terraces all over London. Retractable canopies have the potential to transform an outdoor space and drastically increase any restaurant or bar’s revenue. The airy atmosphere and increased footprint (without the need for lengthy and expensive renovations) will be crucial for reopening after covid-19. Increased demand for safe social distancing and open areas will be on the cards for some time to come, making greater space more important than ever. So, whether you’re looking for your next sunshine spot or inspiration for your establishment, take a look at our picks of covered outdoor terraces in the capital.

Skylark Roof Garden, Paddington

With enviable views from its tenth floor location overlooking Notting Hill on the banks of Little Venice – it is no wonder that Skylark made the most of their roof space. This terrace has been turned into one of London’s premier rooftop cocktail bars (also offering delicious, freshly cooked pizzas) with truly panoramic views across the West London skyline. The sturdy and innovative retractable canopy roof system allows the space to be used throughout the year – providing shade in summer and sheltered cover for those chillier winter months. To find out more about Skylark Roof Garden, click here.

Dalloway Terrace Rooftop Bar

Number 90 Bar and Kitchen, Hackney Wick

Boasting a fantastic canal-side location, this stunning bar and restaurant at Hackney Wick offers something a bit more creative. Presenting locally sourced food, handcrafted décor and an outdoor terrace complete with disco ball, Number 90 Bar and Kitchen has become a Hackney institution. The smart, stretched canopy allows the relatively small outdoor space to be used to its full potential with customers enjoying the water-side vibes come rain or shine. Visit the Number 90 Bar and Kitchen website to see more details.

Savage Garden Rooftop Bar

The Prince of Wales, Brixton

Described by Time Out as “the best outdoor terrace in London”, The Prince of Wales certainly has much to offer. There are two outdoor, heated levels for partygoers to dance away the evening, as well as themed bars including rum shacks and cocktail stations spread throughout this multi-level club and pub. With a combination of outdoor coverings, including a retractable roof canopy, The Prince of Wales have maximised their space to create a fun, vibrant venue. Read more about The Prince of Wales here.Angler Terrace Rooftop Bar

Seabird, Southwark

Based at the Hoxton Hotel, Southwark – this rooftop seafood restaurant boasts London’s longest oyster list, marble bars and panoramic city views. Inspired by the Mediterranean and filled with palm trees and rattan furniture, guests would be forgiven for forgetting they were in the UK at all. The retractable canopy allows the sun to stream in (fully extendable if the British weather does prove unpredictable), further adding to the elegant, laid-back vibes. See more information about this stylish restaurant here.

 

Boundary London Rooftop Bar

Radio Rooftop, Strand

As one of the most impressively designed outdoor terraces in London, Radio Rooftop is high on the list of London’s most iconic venues. Situated on the 10th floor of the ME London hotel, it offers guests striking views across the River Thames and the London skyline. The gently curving, fully retractable roof accentuates the unusual shape of the building – demonstrating the benefits of bespoke design services to ensure your space is working to its full potential. Visit the Radio Rooftop website to learn more about this venue.

Dalloway Terrace, Bloomsbury

The name gives it away – but a major selling point of this restaurant is its truly magical terrace. The floral backdrop is regularly refreshed (making it a social media dream), with the romantic atmosphere supplemented with warm throws for winter and a retractable fabric cover roof for balmy spring days. The classic menu and substantial cocktail list look fantastic, and the black and white striped cover adoring the bespoke retractable canopy gives the whole space a whimsical feel. See more about Dalloway Terrace by visiting their website.

Number 90 Bar and Kitchen

Savage Garden, Tower Hill

Whether it’s the ‘Pink Gin Terrace’ with its spectacular views, stylish parasols and relaxed sun shades or the “Savage Schloss” with its fully retractable roof (decorated to look just like a swiss ski chalet in winter) – there really is something for everyone at this coolest of rooftop bars. Spread over the 12th floor of the Hilton Doubletree on Pepys Street, Savage Garden provides a dazzling array of indoor and outdoor spaces attracting young city workers from across the capital. Click here to find out more about Savage Garden.

The Prince of Wales Rooftop Bar

Angler Terrace, Moorgate

Keeping things simple and elegant, Angler Terrace (located on the roof of the South Place Hotel) is one of London’s sleekest rooftop bars. The stylish white retractable canopy (which could be installed in a wide range of colours) allows diners to allow the best of both sun and shade, whilst the floral touches throughout add to the relaxed outdoor atmosphere. If all this wasn’t enough to inspire you – the adjoining restaurant also has a Michelin star. Need we say more? Visit the South Place Hotel website to find out more about this venue.

Seabird Rooftop Bar

Boundary London, Shoreditch

With outdoor fire pits, trees adorned with fairy lights and blankets a-plenty, Boundary London uses heated umbrellas and outdoor parasols to great effect. These zonal areas create the perfect cosy atmosphere to enjoy their seasonal menus and cocktails. With year-round potential, southern-French fare is offered during the summer and alpine treats in the winter. Described as “like a ski holiday without the hard work” – think melting raclette alongside warming cocktails on a chilly London night. Click here to find out more about Boundary London.

Radio Rooftop Bar

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

What other names are retractable canopies sometimes given?

A lot of industry literature, websites and product pages, magazines and other marketing use various names to refer to retractable canopies. To mention a few – retractable awnings, retractable roof systems, retractable roof canopy, retractable awning roof, commercial canopy, commercial retractable canopy, commercial retractable roof system, commercial roof canopy, retractable awnings, retractable canopy awning, sunshades, outdoor shades, adjustable roof systems. All these product terminologies basically discuss and refer to retractable canopies.

Does my structure need foundations?

Yes, all structures require concrete foundations and fixings to ensure they meet building requirements. We are the experts to help identify and assess the specific foundation requirements for each project.

Does one side of my retractable canopy need fitting to a wall?

It depends on the design of the retractable canopy. There are lots of options for fitting to building exteriors. Not every canopy needs to and not every building is suitable to be attached to. At times, a freestanding canopy adjacent to the building would be a better option without attaching anything to the exterior wall.

Will attached retractable canopies permanently deface the exterior wall?

There will be markings on the wall brought about by the bolts used to secure the mounting brackets, but there should not be any substantial defacements evident at the exterior wall of the building.

Will the structure stress my wall?

When extended, the canopy does exert a force at the point at which it is mounted and attached to the wall. The load is generally spread between a number of installation brackets. We will make sure that your wall exterior and the canopy is properly fastened with the appropriate fittings and size of bolts.

Can I fit a retractable canopy to a rooftop?

Yes, as there are many available designs of retractable canopies that are suited to rooftops.

Can existing steel posts of my property be used?

The answer to this is probably yes but we will need to look at the size of the canopy and the sizes of any existing support structure.

Can it be designed as enclosed to be a room?

Yes, depending on design specifications, retractable canopies can be intended for an internal space with doors, walls and windows closures. Lighting and heating systems can likewise be installed. All these specifications should be discussed during the design stage of the project.

When should it be decided if a retractable canopy will be freestanding or attached?

In deciding whether to have the structure attached to the building or freestanding, many factors will be taken into account. First and foremost, you should express the purpose of the project, the foreseeable uses of the project in the near future, and your preferences for the canopy such as the material, the size, design and all other attributes. The overall physical attributes of the whole property in relation to the positioning of the planned structure are also considered. After all these, we will assess and make our suggestions with the end-view to ensure you are 100% satisfied at the completion of the project. We will suggest the type, shape, design and size and placement of the new canopy. In fact, many canopy designs are much appreciated when installed freestanding such as the shade sail, and the gazebo style.

What type of cleaning do retractable canopies require?

For fabric canopies, the only thing required is washing with mild detergent and water using a light pressure washer or brush. Retractable canopies tend to require much less maintenance than fixed units, which get dirty faster since they are constantly exposed to the exterior elements. Retractable canopies, as with any other equipment, may be cleaned at least on a seasonal basis. Over time, they collect dirt and dust, making them an eyesore rather than an attractive part of your exterior. In addition, water can collect in crevices in fabric canopies, which can lead to mould and dew growth. You will also need to keep the metal parts of the canopy clean and free of debris to keep it functioning properly.

How do retractable canopies withstand corrosion and rust when installed near beach or saltwater?

Salt laden air is extremely corrosive, so certain care and extra maintenance are required when installed where salt air is present. To prolong the performance of your investment, the recommended maintenance practices would be monthly washing of the frame and fabric with a suitable cleaner. Thoroughly rinse the frame and fabric with clean water and allow the fabric to fully dry before retracting the structure. Also, lubricate the moving joints with a penetrating lubricant at least twice a year.

What may be included in after-sales services?

Retractable canopies are major investments for many businesses. Hence, for every purchase, after-sales support should be carefully examined before closing the deal. Most manufacturers offer warranties, during which time, repair or replacement of certain parts may take place. Another important service is ongoing maintenance. Periodic checking, cleaning and lubrication of the electronic parts are required in order to ensure smooth performance for many years.

Can I save money by adding a retractable canopy to my existing canopy frame?

Retractable canopies and fixed-type canopies have completely different underlying structures and fittings and are not readily ‘convertible’. Any attempt to do this would be, in our opinion, misguided.

Why Choose A&S Landscape for Retractable Canopies?

A&S Landscape is the significant industry player in the design, manufacture and installation of high-quality canopies in the UK market. Having been in business since 1976, we have a well-established name and have acquired professional accreditations with a huge range of industry associations, local authorities, architect, schools, builders, and property managers.

A&S Landscape takes pride as the manufacturer of our distinct brands of canopies and shade sails in the UK. Quality is foremost and held at a premium. Many of our traditional cover system designs boast galvanised and PPC steelwork, unbreakable roofing, aluminium rainwater goods and more.

Our client and project portfolio here at A&S Landscape is wide and varied with many of our clients in the education sector, from primary schools to colleges and universities but we also work with many other organisations including the Royal Mail, NHS, Sport England, The FA and many other commercial clients across the UK. A&S Landscape has a team of industry experts to offer architectural shading solutions to meet this growing demand. We have a multitude of designs and colour options to fit specific requirements of institutions.

A&S Landscape has etched a name in the industry that can set us apart from our closest competitors. We have the capability to offer services customised to each of our clients. Many of our projects can be completed within a week, but still depend on the design, size and complexity of the whole project. Our normal lead time is around eight weeks for manufacture and quality control.

Retractable Canopies Create Outdoor Living Space

‘Retractable canopies create extra outdoor dining space’ is the most compelling call to invest in the robust design and long-lasting durability of retractable canopy systems. Much has been talked about commercial-grade retractable canopy roof systems. The wide range of benefits enjoyed in having such structure to many businesses may not be an overstatement. Indeed, it has already outperformed its closest product alternate, the traditional retractable awning.

Your business can benefit greatly from a retractable canopy that sets you apart and puts you ahead of the competition. Hospitality venues all across the UK are choosing to add an outdoor retractable canopy to increase the number of covers and customers they can serve. Retractable canopies are really the best way to get the most out of your under-utilised outdoor space and get the best return on your investment. Instead of adding a much more costly extension to your building our flexible retractable designs are a smarter choice and allow you to benefit from warm weather and fresh breezes. All you need to do is retract the roof at the touch of a single button.

We combine stylish, contemporary designs with the latest modern technology to suit your requirements and find the right solution for your business. It is not just hospitality business that can benefit greatly, retractable roof canopies are commonly used for many other applications including:

Property owners can now be convinced to make a big leap in their business venture, that is, to invest in a high-quality, long-lasting retractable canopy. And, only A&S Landscape can provide the most cost-effective solution to your exterior improvements on your commercial property.

Eating Out After Lockdown: Reopening Your Restaurant After Coronavirus

Outdoor Cafe Seating Area

The coronavirus pandemic has fundamentally shifted the landscape of the UK’s restaurant industry. With restaurants, pubs and bars ordered to shut down their usual operations from the end of March, the entire country has since been adjusting to the “new normal”.

Despite the uncertainty over when and how lockdown restrictions will be eased, having a solid plan for reopening will be key for any hospitality business. Necessary adjustments will have to be made for government guidelines and public safety, but there is likely to be a boom with pent-up demand for dining out.

After months of isolation, the British public is looking forwards to the days when a trip to their favourite local restaurant or celebrating with family and friends are back on the menu. Ensuring that your establishment caters appropriately to the post-corona situation will be essential – with social distancing, enhanced hygiene and outdoor dining all likely to form part of the restaurant rulebook for some time to come. With these factors in mind, retractable canopies can provide a key solution for restaurants reopening after covid-19.

Establish socially distant dining

Industry experts predict that some level of social distancing will be part of the UK’s daily life for the foreseeable future. This means that restaurants must give guests space to physically distance themselves from each other. Ensure that groups of tables and chairs are far enough apart to avoid ostracising diners wary of going back to ‘normal’ too soon. This is easier said than done, as space is often a key consideration for smaller establishments. If a restaurant’s daily covers are halved, then revenue will be similarly reduced. So what is the solution?

Retractable awnings and canopies are the perfect way for restaurants to increase their footprint (and thus responsible covers) without investing in expensive renovation projects and complex planning procedures. The added benefits of fresh air and light, shade sails are a particularly stylish solution, will improve the ‘safe haven’ ambience for your guests, as well as resulting in safer working spaces for your staff.

Diversify your offering

Cafe Dining Chair and TableIt is a sad truth that many restaurants and pubs may not survive the UK coronavirus lockdown. This does mean that with fewer options when businesses do reopen, those still operating may be even busier than before. One way to take advantage of this, and adapt your operations accordingly is to diversify your offering. Some people simply won’t be comfortable dining out for a long time to come, so why not start providing some form of retail or take-out operations alongside your sit-in business?

Installing a bespoke covered outdoor area will assist with this, for instance allowing a pop-up food truck to be established or even serving takeaway meals from a pre-existing hatch. If your restaurant operates in a family-friendly area, providing reheatable meals in a variety of portion sizes could be a good idea, or even selling key grocery items under a retractable awning at the front of your establishment. Having somewhere comfortable for customers to wait for their orders (at a safe distance) will massively help your restaurant adapt to the post-coronavirus reality.

Create a safe space

Unsurprisingly, maintaining a clean and safe space will be even more important after covid-19 abates. Incorporating fresh air and more distance between customers, with retractable canopies facilitating outdoor dining throughout the year, will help establish a spotless atmosphere. This includes asking staff to wash their hands even more regularly, wipe down tables, chairs and high-contact surfaces, such as light switches, doors and POS systems, when customers leave and arrive, as well as considering going cashless and investing in signage and communicating your restaurant’s efforts.

As a result of these actions, restaurants may have to employ more waiters or even a member of staff dedicated to cleaning during service. This means that further space, and income from increased covers, will need to be found. Making the most of any commercial outdoor area through terrace awnings and canopies will help make every table count. As coronavirus is spread through airborne droplets, eating outdoors without recirculating air conditioning or heating units will also be perceived as lower risk. Tackling these aspects now will increase consumer confidence in your restaurant as a safe, hygienic space.

Focus on atmosphere and ambience

Cafe AwningWhile demand is likely to bounce back quickly for social dining and drinking, there will also be pressure for safe, physically distanced spaces. People are willing to spend more money eating in restaurants, not only because of the quality of the food but also because of the atmosphere and social aspects. Consequently, focusing your marketing efforts on building a sense of responsible community is key. During the time that your establishment is closed or offering a reduced service ensure that communication with customers is maintained.

Keep your digital marketing content light and entertaining, offering added value such as skill-sharing with cooking tips and basic recipes. In an age when social media and appearance is more important than ever, sharing images and reminding customers of the fantastic, calming ambience of your restaurant will be key to their return post-lockdown. An outdoor space with a beautiful fabric canopy will go a long way in selling your restaurant as a safe refuge for local customers to responsibly gather.

Despite coronavirus posing the largest existential threat the UK restaurant industry has ever seen – there are also plentiful opportunities for businesses ready to adapt. Making the most of your existing outdoor space with retractable canopies and awnings will help put your customers’ minds at ease and ultimately improve your revenue. With a focus on strategies for reopening in a responsible welcoming manner, you’ll be back up and running in no time.

Bioclimatic Pergolas

Developing your outside space into a covered terrace for your bar, restaurant or café undoubtedly has numerous benefits. A trendy canopy does not just serve the purpose of wowing your customers with the al-fresco dining experience, it also allows you to expand your capacity – and your business potential. From awnings to shade sails to standard polycarbonate canopies, there are a number of options available when it comes to covered terraces and you need to decide on the canopy option that offers the best solution for your business needs.

Bioclimatic Pergola

One option is our range of outstanding Bioclimatic Pergolas – occasionally known as bioclimatic pergola systems, louvred roofs, retractable awning roofs, shading slats, or slatted pergolas. They can only be described as a high-tech pergola, going above and beyond the typical advantages of the more traditional forms of shelter. These lifestyle canopies allow you to create your very own microclimate, whilst being easy to use, and they look the part too.

If you’re just starting to look into how you can improve the outside space for your business, you may not know much (if anything) about this type of canopy. Bioclimatic Pergolas are defined by their adjustable louvres fitted to the roof, which provide a full weather protection system as well as a natural flow of air.

The adjustable Bioclimatic Pergola works by the rotation of the louvres, which either open fully, open half-way (or to the desired angle) or close fully. Some Bioclimatic Pergolas may only offer two of these settings, whilst others will offer all three.

Opened slightly, the louvres will block out direct sunlight, whilst allowing for a light cooling breeze. When the louvres are fully open, your customers will enjoy the open sky (some Bioclimatic Pergola designs retract their roof the entire way). With the louvres closed – everyone (and everything) inside is protected from the rain, snow or hail. Rainwater will then flow through an integrated drainage system and away from the structure. It is the perfect solution for variable weather conditions.

It’s a truly innovative, forward-thinking design, making it perfect for your hospitality business. The Bioclimatic Pergola offers exceptional environmental control both beneath and inside it, meaning it needn’t matter what the weather is doing outside – you’re always open for business. Made from the highest-quality materials that are durable and versatile – the Bioclimatic Pergola is a bespoke canopy that allows you to make the most out of your outdoor space all year round.

Why Invest in a Bioclimatic Pergola?

There are lots of outdoor structures you can consider when making decisions on what canopy is suitable. A&S Landscape has a range of canopies that serve different purposes – all of which are expertly designed – if you are looking for a structure that provides all of the following advantages, a Bioclimatic Pergola could be the solution for you.

  • An end to ‘weather permitting’!

The Innovative Bioclimatic Pergola Roof System is built to withstand changeable weather conditions, and so you are able to take full advantage of your outdoor space whatever the time of year. Your outdoor area needn’t be unused space – you can create a unique atmosphere for your customers, whilst ensuring excellent rain protection. Even on the hottest days of summer, the Bioclimatic Pergola offers an ideal shading solution, blocking out the sun’s harmful rays but allowing for a cooling breeze.

Space is becoming an all-important factor for the operation of hospitality businesses – particularly cafes, restaurants, and bars. The Bioclimatic Pergola can help your business operate to a fuller and more-profitable capacity.

  • They work with nature

Our Bioclimatic Pergolas are designed to harmonise with their surroundings and can transform any outdoor space with minimal intrusion. The adjustable louvres can tilt without losing the essential protection from the sun, making your customers feel like they are sitting outside. The perfect balance really is achievable.

They even use the weather outside to mediate the temperature, cleverly using the natural environment to control the climate.

Bioclimatic Pergola in Garden

  • Noiseless

Energy consumption is particularly low, and the way the technology is built, means they are virtually noiseless when making the transitions from one setting to the other. Unlike the traditional awning – your customers would have no idea of any changes to the roof.

  • Ease of use

There’s no more ‘the tall member of staff’ having to reach the lever or the frustration of having to constantly retract your canopy because of the changeable weather conditions. Now, you can make these changes (even the subtlest of changes) from just a push of a button using your remote control, it really is that simple. If you want an even higher level of comfort and ease – there is the option to have weather sensors added to the adjustable louvres. These will then open and close automatically, you won’t even need to lift a finger.

  • Customise it for any space

It doesn’t matter the size of the space you want to transform; Bioclimatic Pergolas are suitable and made to measure for your outdoor space. They can be attached to one or more walls or be their own free-standing structure – turning an average outdoor space into a beautiful terrace.

Unlike traditional awnings which require a wall to attach to, Bioclimatic Pergolas can be fitted almost anywhere depending on your needs.

  • LED lights can be added to the sides and the roof

Bioclimatic pergolas bring a luxurious edge and touch to the day, but nothing compares to or is more inviting than an LED lit-up pergola. It is the true definition of cosy, which could add a completely new evening/night element to your business, creating so many more opportunities.

  • Modularity

A Modular Bioclimatic Pergola presents a number of modular construction possibilities. Integrating perfectly together – the Modular Bioclimatic Pergola design is something you can add to over time.

Why Is it Different to Other Canopy Options?

It is clear to see a few of the benefits a Bioclimatic Pergola can bring, however, what sets them apart from other canopies?

Maintaining Your Bioclimatic Pergola

As with all structures, Bioclimatic Pergolas require some maintenance, but it is much simpler, easier, and more effective than that of a woven material awning type product.

Basic maintenance involves the following:

  • Wash the surfaces with water and soap or a non-corrosive detergent
  • Ensure that drainpipes are not clogged with leaves
  • Check on a regular basis that all the parts are still of good condition – i.e. pins, seals etc…

Planning – Preparing for Your Bioclimatic Pergola

Preparation will much depend upon which structure you decide on buying. There are further details lower down about what choices you have when purchasing your Bioclimatic Pergola, but first, here is information on some of the queries you may have.

Location of the structure

Before going ahead, it is worth thinking about what you’d like to achieve.

  • How many customers are likely to use this at one time?
  • Would multiple smaller structures work better than one large one?
  • Is the pergola required where the bulk of socialising takes place, or do you want a more secluded area for enhanced relaxation vibes?
  • Should the location keep an eye to future expansion?
  • Can you avoid overhanging trees?
  • What will the structure do to client flow, should they walk around or through it?

It is possible to integrate the Bioclimatic Pergola into virtually any space available – even for smaller cafes and kiosks. For example, if you have a small alcove which has an enclosed space with three walls, there would be no need for columns as you can quite comfortably use wall-connecting supports. The design is made to aesthetically match your existing architecture, so it doesn’t look like an add-on.

Cafe Bioclimatic Pergola

When you are marketing your business as being a luxury location to sip a cocktail of an evening, but also targeting the elevenses/coffee/brunch types, you have to think of where the sun will be in the sky. Can you create the perfect environment at all times of day? This problem becomes much less so with a Bioclimatic Pergola, which provides much more flexibility due to the versatile nature of the roof options.

Take the measurements

Once you have decided on the area you can take the measurements, simple length, and width dimensions, along with a photo of the area will help us guide you on the best size of structure.

Do I need foundations for the pergola?

Your pergola will need something to anchor to, if you already have (or are planning) a continuous concrete floor slab of some sort (even if beneath your decking/paving) this may suffice and we can advise on this, alternatively some form of pad foundations will be required.

Does one side of my Bioclimatic Pergolas need fitting to wall?

No – this is entirely your choice if you wish to do so. Bioclimatic Pergolas can be fitted to a wall, or they can be free-standing. They are an adaptable product and can be tailored to suit your needs.

Options and extras

It’s important that the design is the right fit for you, your business and your customers – and your canopy has the potential to be a ‘hit’ for your restaurant, bar, or café, so what better way to make an impression than with some extras that can turn your outdoor space into something more modern and luxury. There are a number of accessories that you can purchase as an add-on to make your Bioclimatic Pergola stand out even further, such as lighting systems and other further enhancements.

There are a number of options available to you to transform your Bioclimatic Pergola into a Luxurious Bioclimatic Pergola, however, some features may not be compatible with others, and some designs may not allow for certain features. So if there’s a feature you would like further information about, please do give us a call 01743 444100

Fabric Side Screens

Although other canopies provide the opportunity of side panels – it’s always good to have it as an optional extra. It is possible to install cassette-operated fabric screens between the posts of your Bioclimatic Pergola, zipped together on the side tracks to ensure that your customers are not bothered by the wind. With choices from transparent PVC to an opaque fabric, you still have complete control over the environment that you wish to create – a cosy room, or a sheltered lookout!

Heaters

It’s cold, windy and raining – and the storm you can’t remember the name of – is quickly closing in. You’re a customer and you’re looking for somewhere to eat which has a good ambience, is stylish, but most importantly, you can see it is warm.

Bioclimatic Pergolas allow for heaters to be attached to your design; these can add to the unique atmosphere that will draw customers in. There are a number of choices about how they look, and their positioning, so do give us a call on 01743 444100 to discuss the options further.

Glass sliding doors and glass windows

To create a 360-degree, panorama lounge, you can add glass windows or glass sliding doors to your Bioclimatic Pergola. There are a number of choices with glass-sliding doors, from the thickness to the way in which the door operates. The toughened-glass slides along bearings silently, do not require significant maintenance and are resistant to wear.

LED lighting

You are able to purchase a Bioclimatic Pergola design fitted with LED lighting. There are options to add these lights to various locations of the structure, either as strip lights or spotlights. These lights can be operated using a remote control and can either be coloured or white.

Bioclimatic Pergola with Lights

Automatic motorised roof

This is a truly luxurious benefit of the Bioclimatic Pergola over other canopies. With a roof that is able to monitor the weather with its own weather sensors – you’ll have much more time to tend to your customers. You’ll also no longer need to worry about customers advising you that they’re getting wet – it’s covered!

How a Retractable Outdoor Canopy Can Help Increase Your Revenue

Outdoor Dining Space

Creating a covered outdoor space can be a great addition and a fantastic investment for any business in the hospitality sector. This is particularly the case for bars and restaurants, with research conducted by the Vucurevich Simons Advisory Group (VSAG) suggesting that street or patio seating can add as much as 30% to an establishment’s profits. It will come as no surprise to anyone in the trade, that running a restaurant, pub or food pop-up can be tough. Business owners are constantly looking for ways to increase their revenue, especially in the slower winter months. Expanding your venue’s capacity is the most immediate solution, but due to planning restrictions and costs – a full-scale renovation is not always possible. So how could a retractable outdoor canopy help your commercial venue?

What are the benefits of retractable canopies?

Creating an outdoor dining or bar area can have a massive positive impact on both your customer retention and revenue. Multi-functional and visually appealing, terrace awnings increase sales by attracting customers through increased prominence and publicity, enhancing their experience whilst at your venue, as well as offering greater seating capacity throughout the year. Making the most of your space during the winter months can be tricky, but a retractable canopy that can be quickly extended (and retracted) as needed forms the perfect versatile solution.

Covered outdoor dining appeals to the fundamental social aspects of going out. It allows guests to unwind with family and friends in the fresh air, perhaps enjoying beautiful views or just relaxing in a comfortable, beautifully designed setting. The possibilities really are endless when it comes to choosing the best option for your commercial space. From street-facing retail outlets to country pubs, restaurants at public attractions, roof-top bars or city-centre cafes, there are a plethora of shapes, designs, fabrics and customisation options to suit every budget and situation.

Square Shade SailsCover whatever the weather

Whether you have a location within a park or public space canopies will or a terrace, courtyard, garden or even small amount of space available on the street – our team of canopy experts can ensure this can be optimised to maximise profitability throughout the year. As any restaurant, pub or bar owner will know, several days of rain and bad weather can make a serious dent in your revenue. Retractable patio covers and awnings keep your outdoor spaces up and running come wind, rain, snow or shine.

Even in the height of summer, many customers might look for a shady garden. If your patio is in full sunlight, this can be just as damaging to footfall as adverse weather conditions. A fixed retractable awning provides the flexibility and extra protection needed for the UK’s ever-changing weather. Combine this with additions such as patio heaters, wall lights and heat lamps (ensuring they’re safe to use with whatever canopy you install), appropriate furniture and even additional accessories such as blankets for guests to borrow, and you’ll create a truly memorable alfresco experience.

Branding and customisation

Retractable canopies are beneficial for far more than just increasing your establishment’s footprint and capacity. They boost visibility and exposure, as well as aesthetic appeal as they are a stylish addition. How many times have you walked along the street, perhaps on holiday in a foreign city, and been drawn to a restaurant from the mere sight of happy diners outside? Even when your business is closed, if you have your name or logo on a customised street-facing awning – the canopy is still working to advertise your company, even when there are no customers.

If your covered outdoor area isn’t in direct eyesight, it can still become a destination space if treated imaginatively and stylishly. In an age of social media sharing, appearance really is everything. When designing the area under your retractable canopy, make sure that you complement and enhance your interior design, as well as align with your existing brand. Maintaining a colour scheme (albeit with opportunities to add complementary, informal touches) and utilising similar furniture adapted to open-air use is also advisable. This will ensure that your outdoor area feels like a genuine part of your existing space, rather than a separate add-on.

Crunching the numbers

Outdoor Pizza RestaurantPurchasing a retractable outdoor canopy does represent a significant upfront investment for any business. Despite this, research has shown that return on investment (ROI) can be as much as 65%, making it a worthwhile investment for any business owner. A basic calculation can demonstrate the potential of any commercial awning. Take (for instance) a restaurant with £30 average spend per seat and an outdoor space with just five tables of four seats. By keeping the outdoor space useable an extra 20 days a year, the following calculation can be applied:

20 (days) x 20 (seats) x 30 (pounds) x 4 (table turnover) x 0.5 (capacity) = £24,000

With a retractable patio cover allowing for comfortable dining throughout the year (with this estimate adding merely 20 days, with 4 table turnovers at 50% capacity) – it is easy to see how your investment can be quickly recouped. This figure would be substantially higher if the entire year was considered, or if you are operating with a large space. Outdoor awnings not only add to your cover capacity but also offer added benefits in terms of marketing opportunities and customer satisfaction (equalling more repeat customers, longer stays and larger spends) and put your establishment on the map.

Whether you have an outdoor seating area for four or forty (or more), investing in a retractable canopy can have a massive impact on your establishment’s profits and overall ambience. Outdoor dining and drinking really does set restaurants, cafes, bars (and just about any other business) apart, creating an informal, relaxing area for customers to enjoy. From branding and customisation to destination décor and increased profits – a retractable canopy will transform your business and its bottom line.

How Does a Bioclimatic Pergola Compare to a Traditional Awning?

One product that most people have heard of is the traditional awning. Whether this is from summer al-fresco dining, a chic-coffee shop or simply the memory of the awning that accompanied you on every family caravan trip when you were a kid, it is likely that you know about awnings.

The traditional folding arm awning is typically made from a cloth material supported on aluminium ‘arms’ that extend (fold out) from the wall, often out of a cassette casing affixed to the wall. These units have got less expensive over the years and as almost every local blinds company has entered the market, the increased competition has driven the quality down. The main issue that arises with the awning when used on a commercial venue is interaction with clients who have enjoyed your fine drinks selection over the course of an evening! Whilst vandalism should never be tolerated a high spirited swing on your awning may not be noticed and will leave you with an expensive repair/replacement when you come to notice that the unit won’t retract due to the deformed arms. The retraction in itself can be an issue, staff that overlook to do this at closing time leave your awning at the mercy of the wind overnight.

A Bioclimatic Pergola, on the other hand, provides shelter but does not need to be attached to a wall and do not involve any fabric. They are also usually larger and involve uprights to support them.

Are Bioclimatic Pergolas Fully Retractable?

Bioclimatic Pergolas can be fully retractable canopies – but not always.

As referenced above, Bioclimatic Pergolas can have up to three settings – with one of these settings being a fully retractable roof. Those with two settings (closed and louvres open) do not fully retract, and so, therefore, do not quite sit under the category of retractable canopies.

Retractable Bioclimatic Pergola

How is a Bioclimatic Pergola Different From a Standard Pergola?

The term pergola has been around a long time and refers to a wide range of structures. A traditional pergola is normally a wooden structure with no roof covering and designed to add feature to a garden, for flowers to climb or to create a place of beauty to sit. Although these products share the same name – they are very different.

Whilst essentially both outdoor structures they achieve entirely different results. Whilst standard wooden pergolas are pretty and aesthetically pleasing, they have little practical benefits, unlike the Bioclimatic Pergola.

Quality – How Long Will a Bioclimatic Pergola Last?

Maintenance is essential for whatever product you buy to ensure that it lasts, and it maintains its function as a canopy. By purchasing a Bioclimatic Pergola, there are two of the traditional issues you will avoid: –

  1. The musty smell of an old awning – Unattractive, unhygienic, and left too long, the musty smell of the old awning is not something customers will want to return to.
  2. Sun-bleached awning/parasol fabrics – have you ever seen the parasols that appear year after year, lighter and lighter each time? This isn’t an aesthetically pleasing look – and it’s one that can be avoided. The aluminium Bioclimatic Architecture does not discolour in the sun.

The Bioclimatic Pergola boasts an integrated drainage system, so there is no need to worry about the impact that the UK’s changeable weather conditions may have.

You may find there is condensation on the inside of the pergola in the early morning due to the difference in temperature – but as soon as the air is ventilated, this will soon disappear ready for your customers.

Purchasing a Bioclimatic Pergola

A&S Landscape is able to help you with the entire process from start to finish. From help with the design, all the way to installation, we are here to offer our expertise.

Here at A&S Landscape, we’ve had over 44 years of experience keeping your outdoor covered. We’re an independent, family-run business based in Shrewsbury who continue to provide the highest-quality products in the canopy market, whilst not losing our connection to the same principles we followed back in 1976.

With our knowledge of the industry, we know exactly what questions you need answering before you embark upon your canopy project.

Do you come to site?

Yes – we can offer you a site visit. Once you have an idea of what you would like and we have discussed options and budgets, we can arrange for a member of the team to come and take measurements and make recommendations.

Do you help with the design?

Yes – after the site visit, we can create a design for you using the measurements taken. We will keep you involved through all steps of the process and will not start work until you confirm you are happy with the design that we have created.

What is the lead time?

From the date of the confirmed order, there will be a manufacture period, the length of this depends on multiple factors including the exact product, size, specification but also the time of year. Please enquire about this for more specific advice when you speak to us.

How long will installation take?

For most canopies, we can complete the installation within a week, however, this may vary depending on your design, the size, access, complexity and associated works – once we have an agreed design, we would be able to advise you of a more accurate time frame.

Will my business be operational whilst installation is taking place?

We will be able to discuss this at the site visit; however, this will depend on the location of the structure. We will endeavour to minimise the interruption to the normal operation of your business.

What after-sale services do you offer?

We will ensure that you are well-informed of how to maintain your structure, informing you of how to undergo a periodic check and clean. We also offer cost-efficient maintenance packages, which will include check-ups, maintenance, and cleaning. You can find more about this here.

What warranty do you offer?

Our warranties are the longest in the market, the specific length of the warranty will vary with the exact design chosen, so it is best to discuss this with us in the context of your overall enquiry

If you would like to make an enquiry or have any questions, please do give our sales team a call on 01743 444100 or email [email protected]. If you have pictures or measurements of the area in which you would like the canopy to go – you can send these too and we will gladly talk you through your options.

Bioclimatic Pergola Sides

The Best Outdoor Bars in Manchester

Manchester has a rich industrial heritage and a reputation for being on the rainy side! But nothing can dampen this vibrant and trendy northern city. With a wealth of stylish bars and restaurants, it offers visitors the chance to enjoy the outdoors, even when it is raining.

Here’s our pick of the best outdoor bars in Manchester, all offering shelter from even the rainiest British summer.

Rooftop Lounge and Playground

1. Rooftop Lounge and Playground

The outside of this handsome Edwardian building belies what’s inside (and on top) of the Great John Street Hotel. In bygone days, it was Manchester’s County Municipal School. Being city-centre based, the only place for the boys’ playground was on the roof. Fast forward 105 years and you’ll now find a sumptuous hotel with a range of plush bars and eateries.

Head for the roof-top lounge and the first thing you’ll see is the muted décor of the inside bar area. This is an inviting enough space as it is, but glance through the glass panel doors and you’ll see the roof-top oasis that is the Rooftop Lounge and Playground. Out there you will find a place of calm, sheltered by a glass and steel canopy, with plenty of covered seating and a BBQ area. If you need more inspiration to add this one to your list to visit, flick through their gallery here. This one even features in the Guide to the World’s Best Rooftop Bars! Find out more about the Rooftop Lounge and Playground here.

Skylounge at DoubleTree Manchester

3. Sky Lounge at DoubleTree Manchester

From the more traditional architecture of industrial Manchester to the sleek and modern glass and steel of the Sky Lounge at DoubleTree. Right in the heart of Piccadilly, Doubletree nestles in amongst other imposing modern buildings and reflects in its windows the Gothic grandeur of the Manchester Crown Court which is just across the street.

Step inside and you’re instantly enveloped by the cool, relaxed atmosphere as you leave the bustle of Piccadilly behind. Make your way up to the 11th floor for the Sky Lounge and enjoy the fabulous views of the city below you. Outside, the covered terrace area is protected from the elements by a glass and steel canopy which sparkles with ambient lighting after dark. Perfect for a small private event to celebrate a birthday or other special occasion. Can’t picture yourself under the star-like lights shining down from the canopy above? Check out more pictures here.

South Terrace Rooftop

5. King Street Townhouse Terrace

If you love Manchester’s mix of old and new architecture, this is another one for you. Located a stone’s throw from Manchester Piccadilly Gardens and built in the Italian Renaissance style way back in 1872, it’s a lovely setting for drinks or dinner.

The South Terrace at the King Street Townhouse Hotel boasts, unsurprisingly, a south-facing terrace. It’s sheltered by a swish cantilever canopy that just seems to float above you. The stylish steel and glass finish is replicated in the glass panel balustrades that enable uninterrupted views of the clocktower at Manchester Town Hall, and across the rooftops to the iconic Beetham Tower.

With a relaxed and informal feel, this sixth floor venue is a great outdoor setting for summer evening drinks, or perhaps as a stop-off for refreshments during a busy afternoon’s shopping at the nearby Arndale Centre.

Atlas Bar Rooftop

7. Atlas Bar

Staying on Deansgate, Atlas Bar is nestled away in the railway arches and is definitely one for the gin lovers amongst us! Boasting a host of awards, Atlas Bar offers upwards of 500 different gins. With a south-facing beer garden, this is, indeed, a great place to sit and enjoy a gin and tonic, safe in the knowledge that their retractable awning is on hand to shade or shelter you. The sectional canopy frame means a mixture of shade and sunshine during the height of summer when the evenings are long and the sun is at its hottest.

Atlas Bar’s terrace also features in the Craft Gin club guide as one of the best bars in the UK for alfresco gin and tonic, find out more here.

Sunset By Australasia Outdoor Seating

9. Sunset by Australasia

From Indian inspired street food to the beaches of Australasia. If you’re wanting sunshine and outdoor living, a trip to Sunset by Australasia will be just the job. Sunshine and the great outdoors inspire everything that is Sunset. From the food and drinks to the décor, gentle hues of pink greet you everywhere, creating a serene and relaxed atmosphere.

With a chilled-out terrace, providing a sheltered eating and drinking space, the theme of sunset is all around. The beautiful summer-inspired finishes of the terrace include exotic flower arrangements to complement the food and drink on offer. The pretty terrace with retractable roof panels is reminiscent of a summer garden meaning that you can kick back and relax whatever the weather. Imagine yourself sat there, cocktail in the hand, and allow yourself to be transported to the other side of the world without even leaving Manchester. Find more about their exotic outside space here.

El Gato Negro Rooftop

2. El Gato Negro Tapas

For those who love tapas as well as enjoying a refreshing drink in the outdoors, you can’t beat El Gato Negro’s roof terrace. Situated in another of Manchester’s graceful old buildings, this time in the Palazzo-style, the restaurant and bar façade now has a modern twist.

You might be forgiven for thinking that the terrace is completely outdoors if you arrive on a sunny day and glance up to the blue sky above. But imagine this: you’ve just sat down for drinks when the sky clouds over and you feel a drop of rain. No problem! The funky retractable roof canopy shelters the bar and restaurant area from the elements. This means that you won’t miss out on the alfresco dining experience, even when the elements try to stop you. Check out the El Gato Negro Tapas gallery here and see for yourself, or read more about that retractable roof here.

If you can’t get a spot on the roof terrace, though, don’t despair. Down at street level, customers also benefit from the restaurant awning out front. It protects the lovely café-style seating area and gives shade during the height of summer on this sunny side of the street.

The Restaurant Bar and Grill Manchester

4. The Restaurant Bar and Grill

‘Drink or dine, rain or shine’ is one of the captions for The Restaurant Bar and Grill. To find out why check out their video here. Located in the Spinningfields district of Manchester, this area has developed over the years to become the financial and business district of the city. But it’s not just business that people visit Spinningfields for. Thanks to places like The Restaurant Bar and Grill it’s a destination of choice for food and drink.

If it’s outside drinks or dining that you’re looking for, The Restaurant Bar and Grill offers them aplenty. Providing visitors with a relaxed atmosphere and heat lamps for the terrace on cooler evenings, the reviews are excellent. Customers particularly love the outdoor space that’s accessible even on rainy days thanks to their retractable restaurant canopy. Flick through the photos here and see how inviting this versatile outside eating space is. And just in case you were wondering, the alfresco terrace is open all year round!

Deansgate Tavern Rooftop

6. The Deansgate Tavern

Deansgate Road is believed to date back to Roman times, and if history and tradition are your thing, you’ll love The Deansgate Tavern. Just a hop, skip and a jump from Deansgate Station and the Manchester Central Convention Centre it’s ideally located and offers home-cooked food and specially selected ales.

The roof terrace is what Deansgate Tavern call their ‘secret garden’. Secluded and cosy, this outside space is protected by a purpose-built bar canopy where you can sit and enjoy a drink and a chat with friends before catching the train home. Check out these pictures on the Tavern’s website here to see why this ‘secret garden’ and its covered pergola are so popular.

Scene Indian Street Kitchen

8. Scene Indian Street Kitchen

Manchester offers something for everyone, and with food and drinks from across the globe, you’re spoilt for choice. When it comes to combining Indian food with outside dining, Scene Indian Street Kitchen is the place to go.

And for outside eating, the choices just keep coming at this restaurant. Their menu is designed around traditional Indian street food, and by their own description, the restaurant is all about enjoying food alfresco. The abundance of outside space here is, therefore, no accident. With the option of either The Veranda or the Riverside Terrace, you’re sure to find space to sit outside and enjoy great food or drinks. With the River Irwell at the back and a quiet Spinningfields side road at the front, both offering covered outdoor seating, there’s room for everyone. With fixed structure canopies over both spaces, you’ll find sun, shade or shelter wherever you choose to sit in this vibrant restaurant.

The Botanist Terrace

10. The Botanist

A trip around Manchester would not be complete without a visit to Media City. Hang out at The Botanist for alfresco drinks or dining and soak up the vibrant atmosphere on their terrace. Just sit back and watch the hustle and bustle below of what has now become home to big named media companies like the BBC and ITV.

Shelter is provided under the fixed canopy over-hanging the side of the building, or you can soak up the sun’s rays on the patio area. Sip a cocktail from the extensive range available while you enjoy the views of the Salford Quays. You might even spot a celebrity in Media City Village below! Find more pictures of the lovely covered terrace and patio area here.

So there you have it! Regardless of the time of year, and in spite of the worst that the British weather can throw at us, there are plenty of reasons to explore the options for outdoor drinks and dining in Manchester.

What is the Cost of a Retractable Canopy?

Unfortunately, we cannot offer a simple price list, how much any canopy will cost always depends on a lot of factors. Before anything else, your requirements will need to be identified and assessed. In the course of the discussion and negotiation, the team at A&S Landscape would make recommendations and suggestions. The main cost components of the project are the retractable canopy itself and the associated works to do until complete installation. Basically, the composition of the pricing details may include the following:

  • size of the retractable canopy and the size of the area to be covered
  • roof shape or style of the canopy,
  • material choices
  • accessibility of the area
  • location
  • type of ground to be installed and the associated groundwork required

Prices will also depend on options chosen such as; –

  • motorised versions with remote control
  • motion sensor that enables the unit to retract on its own.
  • fixed sunscreens
  • side panels
  • lighting
  • heating

More often, you may have a budget or a maximum spend for the project. Hence, we may adjust to fit within your expectations.

Are Retractable Canopies Worth the Investment?

When carrying out any renovation, whether a major or a partial area or any improvement decision for that matter, it is logical to ask this question. It is natural that you want to be sure that you’re getting your moneys’ worth before making anything final. Here are a few ways that a new retractable canopy might make it worth your spend.

  • Expanding your space. With the environmental elements and the varied seasons in a year, having an outside space would definitely give added value to the business. Having a retractable canopy will serve two purposes, covering your whole exterior and at the same time protecting you from the sun and rain. It is basically an additional open-air living space.
  • Lowering your utility costs. The largest summer energy expense is usually the air-conditioning system. With a retractable canopy system, you have the control of the heat coming indoors, thereby giving less work for your AC units. At the same time, this lowers down the wear and tear of your equipment. This will be one of your many cost-cutting measures in your business operation.
  • Heightened business image. This is a marketing-related concept that equates to increased revenue in a shorter period of time. With a new retractable canopy installed, this improves the exterior image of your commercial property to your customers. Customers are always excited to see something new, thereby increasing foot traffic that will, in turn, equate to sales revenue.

Between energy savings, long lifespan, and all other commercial benefits that retractable canopies can offer, it would be safe to say that they are worth every penny. While it is true that value is always subjective, if savings are on your mind then it seems like the investment would justify its cost.

7 Best Birmingham Rooftop Bars

When the sun is shining, who wants to sit indoors on a night out? There’s nothing better than having a meal or enjoying a drink in the great outdoors. There are plenty of restaurants and bars in Birmingham that offer covered terraces and rooftop seating, so you can take in the views of the city when you’re enjoying a good steak or a glass of wine. Here are 10 of the best rooftop bars in the city that you’ve got to check out at least once.

1. The Church

The Church Rooftop BarSituated in Hockley, this bar dubs itself a ‘pub with a twist‘. Focusing on Deep South culture from New Orleans and Cajun Country, it’s offering goodies that you just won’t get anywhere else in the area. Items like mint juleps and mango wings are the order of the day here.

To get the full experience, you’ve got to try their rooftop terrace. The pub blends original features of the building with new and quirky design, giving you an experience like no other. This design extends to the rooftop, where you’ll feel like you’ve been transported far away from the bustle of the city. With a chilled out and sophisticated atmosphere, it’s the best place to go for after work drinks or meet friends for dinner.

On the rooftop, you can see all the sights of Birmingham’s iconic Jewellery Quarter. It’s a view that not a lot of bars can offer you, so what are you waiting for? A Banoffee Flip cocktail in the sun is just what the doctor ordered.

2. The Wellington

The Wellington Terrace BarLooking for bar canopies that are tucked away, far away from the busy streets below? You’ve got to visit The Wellington. From the street, you wouldn’t even know that there’s a rooftop terrace on this old-fashioned pub. The canopy sits high up, surrounded by lush greenery that screens you away from the rest of the buildings near it. It’s really a secluded place to enjoy an ale. In fact, The Wellington is known for its huge selection of ales, making it the best spot if you’re a real ale fan.

The pub, in general, has a very relaxed vibe. There’s no fruit machines or other loud distractions. Just you, gorgeous Victorian styling, and a lovely spot to relax as the day passes you by. The pub doesn’t’ do food, but you are happily allowed to bring in takeaway food if you want to eat. The pub will even provide plates and cutlery, so you can enjoy alfresco dining on their rooftop.

3. Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill

Marco Pierre Rooftop BarSitting atop The Cube in the Mailbox district, you’ll see that The Marco Pierre White Steakhouse Bar & Grill has amazing views. It offers a full 360-degree look at the city below you, and there’s no other view in Birmingham quite like it.

With a contemporary feel, the bar gives you the best place to go for a bite to eat, have a romantic meal, or get drinks with friends after work. As the sun begins to set, you’ll see all the lights of Birmingham below you, as well as the boats idling along the canals. It’s a unique sight that you’ll want to experience.

Even if you’re seated indoors you’ll be able to enjoy the view, thanks to windows stretching all around the building. As it’s located right at the top of The Cube, there’s nothing impeding your view. There’s nothing else quite like it, so you’ve got to try it out when you’re in the area.

4. Sky By The Water

Sky By The WaterThis unique establishment is located in Resorts World Birmingham, which is home to all kinds of dining and entertainment experiences. If you’re looking for a unique place to relax under restaurant canopies though, you’ve got to try Sky By The Water. This restaurant is located above the rest of Resorts World, giving you a surprisingly far view into the cityscape.

The atmosphere is very relaxed, offering you the chance to come in and enjoy afternoon tea, or a drink late into the night. The experience changes with the time of day, so the view you get in the daylight is totally different from what you’ll get at night.

If you’re staying at Resorts World or attending an event in the area, you have to experience Sky By The Water at least once. The cheerful modern décor is bound to brighten up any day. Whether you sit indoors or by the balcony, you’ll be able to see for miles.

5. 1565 – Park Regis

Park Regis Rooftop BarWho says you have to only enjoy rooftop terraces in the summer? At 1565 – Park Regis, you can enjoy the views from their terrace at any time of the year. Their location is perfect for spotting the sights of Birmingham, as it’s all laid out beneath you.

In the summer, you can soak up as much sun as you want, while enjoying brunch, dinner, or even an evening nightcap. In the winter, you can still enjoy the terrace thanks to the heaters outside, working to keep you warm. After all, why should you miss out? There are even blankets available for you to borrow, you can stay outside and stay warm, even as the temperatures drop.

Located at the end of Broad Street, Birmingham’s dedicated nightlife centre, you can start or end your evening there. What could be better than taking in the sights from the terrace, and then heading back to your hotel room in the Park Regis?

6. The Button Factory

The Button FactoryThis is another Jewellery Quarter restaurant that offers you a unique place to relax on a sunny day. The building has been restored to its former glory, allowing you to come inside and get a coffee or a meal at night, along with cocktails.

The terrace offers you a wonderful place to sit, with its retractable canopies and grassy ground. It feels just like sitting in a local park, as you’re able to watch the world go by while you enjoy your coffee or cocktail. As the Button Factory is located in the heart of the area, you can see so much as you’re taking your time with your drink or meal. With the shade structures in place too, you’re never in the sun if you don’t want to be.

This space is a little quirkier than most, and it gives you somewhere just that little bit different to take in the sunshine. If you want a cocktail in the sun, it’s where you want to be.

7. The Canal House

The Canal HouseBirmingham is famous for its canals, and there’s no better place to enjoy them than The Canal House. This venue sits right on the canal and is easily reached from the city’s nightlife centre. The unique rustic appeal evokes an earlier time in the city’s history and provides a space that you won’t believe is in the city centre.

The terrace is spacious and offers amazing views of the canal basin. It’s a world away, and you’ll love being able to grab a pre-show meal before heading to the Symphony Hall or Arena Birmingham. Even if you can’t get a seat on the terrace, you can take in the views from their beer garden.

If you want to go somewhere that’s a little out of the ordinary, and that offers views of one of Birmingham’s greatest attractions, then The Canal House is the place to go. Whether you’re getting a drink or a full sit down meal, you can enjoy that rooftop terrace.

Any one of these bars is perfect for a cup of coffee, some brunch with friends, or an evening drink with a loved one. Whatever you want to do, try one of these bars out. Their unique rooftop terraces give you views that you just won’t get anywhere else.

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