14 November 2019 by Neil Sowerby

YOU’VE got to hand it to GRUB. They must be reeling after their new street food fair base at the Red Bank Project was broken into but it’s business as usual there this weekend and they’ve got a new project on the go.

We’re unrepentant about our lack of the enthusiasm for the Christmas Markets. We’d prefer to do our festive carousing and gift shopping elsewhere. So welcome to STALL, which is set to land at KAMPUS just in time for Christmas.

This ‘alternative’ Christmas market will be for local independent traders only and bring some of the city’s best artists, makers and food producers to the £250m garden neighbourhood being developed by Henry Boot Developments and CAPITAL&CENTRIC. 

STALL will open on Friday, November 29 with around 20 stalls covering foods, home wares, prints, clothes and jewellery from local traders including Manchester Cheesecake Co (check out the medium salted caramel, above), Moon & Sixpence, Full Circle Tees and Blue Botanics. 

They will be alongside GRUB’s new bottle shop OFFY offering an assortment of canned craft beers, natural wines and an array of spirits for people to take home. 

Those fancying a drink on site will be able to choose from 12 lines of craft beer brewed by the local likes of Squawk Brewing Co., Pomona Island, Runaway Brewery and more alongside mulled wine or cider. For the foodies there’ll be vegan ‘fish’ and chips from The Bootle Oyster, fresh wood-fired pizzas from Pitch Pizza, deep-fried calzone from Fritto and fine beef sandwiches from Shoot The Bull.

GRUB director Jason Bailey told us: “We’ve wanted to launch a market for a very long time and what better time to do it than Christmas. We’re bringing together the city’s best artists, makers and food producers with the buzz and ethos of a traditional market. 

“We only work directly with business owners so we can make sure that visitors enjoy a connection with the people whose hard work and love has gone into the item they’re buying. That is the essence of a market for us and KAMPUS is the perfect place to do it. We can’t wait to get stuck into this pop up and find STALL a full-time home for 2020.”

Overlooking the Rochdale Canal, KAMPUS will feature over 500 apartments in two new blocks, two listed Victorian warehouses and the existing brutalist Sixties tower. Greenery will feature throughout the many open spaces, including a central lush garden (we used their CGI image) alongside two floors of independent bars, restaurants and shops.

It includes a range of diverse and quirky spaces, including the Bungalow – a disused security cabin on stilts – and Little David Street – a cobbled street closed off for decades. Transforming the former Manchester Metropolitan University site into the city’s newest neighbourhood, the project is due to complete in 2020, with the first residents scheduled  to arrive in Spring.

STALL opens on Friday November, 29 at 4pm and runs every Friday, Saturday and Sunday until December 22 at KAMPUS on Aytoun Street, Manchester. The event is free entry, no tickets are needed and everyone, including families and dogs, are welcome. For more info visit the Facebook page or www.kampus-mcr.co.uk