BY the time you read this YES will be open on Charles Street – an exciting new events space and home for fried chicken kings Firebird Hope – with the El Gato Negro project, Modern Portuguese restaurant Canto in Ancoats hot on its heels. Then the attention of the city’s foodies will switch to the Manchester Food and Drink Festival, but, of course, there are lots more openings in the pipeline.
Mana first – at least we have a settled opening date for this one. They are taking bookings for October 17 and beyond. Others fall in to categories ranging from ‘hopefully opening shortly’ to ‘teetering off the radar’. Here are our 10 to look out for…
MANA Ex-Noma chef Simon Martin is the man behind this adventurous project in Sawmill Court, Ancoats, planning to offer £95 100 minute 16 course tasting menus. Don’t miss a fascinating interview he gave us.
TROVE, ANCOATS Murray Street will be home to this offshoot of the acclaimed Levenshulme bakery/cafe. We can’t wait to sample their bread, bakes, savouries and pastries within walking distance of ToM Towers. renovation work has been running behind schedule but they should be open well before Christmas.
HIP HOP CHIP SHOP There have been problems along the way for this permanent base for the current Manchester Food and Drink Awards Street Food Trader of the Year, but co-owners Jonathan and Holly Oswald and Luke Stocks look back on track to open soon In Blossom Street, Ancoats (where else?). Keep in touch with their progress via @thehiphopchippy. Meanwhile, you can sample their exquisite fried fish dishes most weekends at the Cargo events space at Media City.
BEATNIKZ REPUBLIC TAP We’ve crossed the Rubicon (Great Ancoats Street actually) to 35 Dale Street in the Northern Quarter. Here next door to Idle Hands coffee shop this Green Quarter brewery’s bar is rapidly taking shape. It willoffer 14 keg and four cask lines with up to 50 per cent devoted to their own beer, the rest to guests. Also promised wide selection of spirits - especially gin and bourbon - wines, natural wines, sparkling wines, ciders and cocktails. Plus bar snacks with vegan options (all the beers are vegan). After a meteoric rise Beatnikz has been shortlisted for Brewery of the Year in the Manchester Food and Drink Awards. Our hop-driven faves?Generation IPA and Beach Bum West Coast Pale Ale. Expect it to open in October.
CASK AT COTTON FIELD WHARF We’re hopping back to Ancoats for another craft beer newcomer – in the same Islington Marina development as Pollen Street Bakery. Newcomer is maybe a misnomer. The original Cask has been a bar stalwart for 15 years on Liverpool Road, Castlefield. They too are just weeks away.
QUICK BROWN FOX Anything but quick. This is something of a tease. This bank conversion on the corner of Swan Street and Oldham Road has been a long time in the making. There is more impetus now, as owner Joe Parkinson is selling one of his NQ bars to Northern Monk. We have high hopes for the Fox (we’re told the furniture’s in), whose US-inspired selling point is it’s all-tap, even the Prosecco and cocktails. But the big focus will be on 30 keg beers – including star imports from Barcelona’s Garage Beer Co. Imminent. Gone and said it now.
KALA Serial crowdfunder and bistro opener Gary Usher is being strangely coy about this venture in former fashion store on Upper King Street after initial side talk about evening adding on a hotel. It’s quite understandable, his latest restaurant, Pinion on Prescot opens within a fortnight. taking on Manchester city centre is a whole new game but the quality of his food and service offering never dips. We suspect we may be talking spring.
THE IVY You’d be forgiven for thinking that enormous plant-covered building that has sprouted up in Spinningfields was an Eden Project wannabe. Instead, it’s the entirely appropriate home to our upcoming branch of The Ivy, a nationally spreading offshoot of the venerable West End celeb haunt. Brunches, teas and cocktails will be served inside the timber-framed Pavilion Building. Whether it aspires to finer dining we shall soon find out.
PORTA, SALFORD We’re big fans of both the Altrincham and Chester Portas. Their upmarket tapas and seasonally sensitive specials have earned them a nomination in both Best Casual and Out of Town Dining categories in this year’s Manchester Food and Drink Awards. We love their their baked goat cheese with honey and orange. Porta’s arrival in Bexley Square, opposite the New Oxford, is a major boost for an area still mourning the loss of Caffe Lupo Italiano
DISHOOM Manchester Hall is a stunning period venue for this much-loved London Indian chain, which should do it real justice when they open in November (CGI impression is our main image). Expect a combination of authentic and playful twists, such as their legendary bacon naan, which kicks off their all-day menu. Read our full report on the backstory behind their arrival at the former Freemasons HQ
Finally to Fika, in the former Bakerie premises on Lever Street, a kind of wild card in this pack. It’s yet another venture from Steve Pilling, whose team run NQ neighbours Guilty by Association and Lost in Tokyo. This time the inspiration comes from Swedish coffee culture. The phrase is often translated as “Coffee and cake break”. We suspect it’s a bit like Hygge, only with crumbs. Whatever, this particular Fika is apparently planning an array of savoury mains for its proposed November opening.