For several years, Prestwich has revelled in its reputation as the ‘next place to be’ in Greater Manchester. Estate agents have spent the better part of a decade branding the area as the most exciting part of the region, urging homebuyers to get in on the ground floor and join the up-and-coming community in the north.
It seems they might have been onto something. Head into Bury today, and there’s evidence to suggest that Prestwich is flourishing in a way that the experts were anticipating.
The town enjoyed a £2m high street makeover in 2017, with trendy bars and restaurants pitching up in the area before the local council acquired Longfield Shopping Centre as part of some big redevelopment plans.
But for all the colourful new neighbours moving in over the past couple of years – brunch spots, lively bars, intriguing restaurants – there’s been one thing Prestwich still didn’t have: A place that served genuinely authentic South American cuisine.
That’s where four locals saw an opportunity – and Gorge was born.
Drawing on the culinary knowledge of his Brazilian partner, Steve Vickerstaff and his wife Luciana teamed up with another couple to launch Gorge – an authentic Latin restaurant that would serve as an exotic new piece in Prestwich’s crystallising international jigsaw.
Battling against a series of setbacks enforced by rolling lockdowns, the quartet have realised their ambition and opened a stylish eatery on Bury New Road where diners can tuck into bonafide Brazilian food in rustic surroundings of bare brick, polished wood and artwork.
Immersing guests in what the restaurant calls a “true South American dining experience,” Gorge presents popular staple dishes from the continent such as Picanha na Chapa, Salgadinhos, Vegeterian Moqueca & Pao de queijo.
And of course, there’s a real medley of meat dishes to try – all supplemented by a glorious rainbow-like array of cooked vegetables.
Skilled mixologists have also whirled up some cocktail creations to pair with the meals – such as the Caipicoco, Espresso Latini & the Floresta Tropical, alongside an array of classics.
“We’re planning to offer something Prestwich has never had before – something new and exciting with a really nice vibe,” says founder Steve.
“But at the same time, Gorge will be independent and family-owned – fitting right in with the vibe of the community.
“We’ve fully rewired the venue from top to bottom. Everything’s been designed and built from scratch.”
Now the hurdles have been cleared and the doors are finally open, Gorge’s focus is on delivering a new experience for the increasingly multicultural Prestwich community – complementing the food with a Latin soundtrack.
The Gorge team added: “It’s been a long road for us as a business due to COVID, however, to finally be open and working on a dream that started in a household kitchen in Brazil is truly amazing.
“We’ve been given such a warm reception by the public so far, and we are super excited about our future.”
It’s been a long wait. But a local taste of Latin America is finally on the menu in Prestwich.
And it looks terrific.
Head over to the Gorge website to learn more and book a table.
Featured image: Gorge
The new Elvis-obsessed record shop on Bury Market selling old-school rock and indie favourites
A new record shop has opened on Bury Market selling old-school indie favourites – but according to its owners, nothing they havesells better than Elvis.
The brilliantly-named Off The Record has been a fixture at the market for several years, first popping up as a stall in the market’s open area before moving into its very own permanent shop front earlier this year.
Owners Bobby Horrocks and Angie Bessaad have a passion for music themselves and spend their free time scouring car boots and charity shops to build up their collection of 7, 10 and 12″ records.
They also buy collections of records from others and tell us they often have people come into the store to do just that.
In boxes at the front of the shop, you can pick up 7″ singles for as little as £1 each, whilst inside there are rows on rows of boxes housing albums for £6 a pop.
Elsewhere, a vintage-looking old radiogram and radio set are tucked into a corner, surrounded by stacks of records on all sides, a landline, and a CD and tape casette player.
All for sale, not just display, it feels a little bit like stepping back in time – in the very best possible way.
At the back, there is floor-to-ceiling shelving housing hundreds if not thousands of tape casettes, DVDs and CDs, and – of course – there is plenty of Elvis on display alongside the likes of Blondie, The Jam and The Beat;es.
Wwhilst there are a handful of indiie and punk rockers scanning the shelves when we pop our heads in, Angie tells us that the main attraction for nearly all their customers is The King.
Apparently, they sell more of his records than anything else by a country mile. That explains the giant lifesize cut out of him at their front door, then, and a big sign of letters spelling out his name behind it.
“Over the last three years it’s taken over my life,” Bobby told the Bury Times earlier this year.
“We have a lot of regular customers, it’s really changed our lives, I couldn’t ask for anything more.”
Long live the King eh. Especially here in Bury.
Featured image – The Manc Group
The Bury cafe selling raw cookie dough loaded with American cereal and ice cream
Bury is famous for its historic market, home to everything from roast carvery sandwich spots to cake stands and the original Katsouris Deli, but venture five minutes down the road and you’ll find another interesting local gem.
Called Rawkies, this adorable family-run dessert cafe is the brainchild of husband and wife team Adam Greenwood and Sophie Bussey – and it’s offering something completely new to Mancs with a sweet tooth.
The first cafe of its kind in the north to sell edible, raw cookie dough, Rawkies specialises in cookies with a unique twist and has a host of different edible raw cookie dough flavours – spanning Birthday Cake, Chocolate Chip and Nutella, Honeycomb, Rainbow, Eton Mess, Fudge, and Vegan Salted Caramel Brownie.
These can be ordered either as a ‘Classic Rawkie’ – mix-and-match scoops of raw cookie dough topped with various goodies like chocolate strands, whipped cream and sugary-sweet drizzles of sauce – or as something more substantial.
Other options see it stuffed into ice cream sundaes, atop pancakes, inside frozen cheesecakes, boozy (and regular) milkshakes, and even appear as an ‘egg and soldiers’ style combo with the addition of Kinder Milk Bars, white chocolate and caramel sauce.
Our favourite option, however, proved to be the ice cream breakfast bowls. Created as a nod to Northern Quarter dessert cafe Black Milk Cereal, which is run by a friend of Adam and Sophie’s, these swap cereal milk with soft serve ice cream for the ultimate indulgence.
With cereal choices spanning American favourites like Honey Hoops, Marshmallow Mateys, Cookie Crunch, Choco Snaps and Frosted Flakes, plus extra toppings like chocolate strands, saucy drizzles and flavoured crumbs, you can guarantee you will be leaving on a sugar high at the end of your visit.
Elsewhere, the cafe also offers a selection of hot drinks and bar snacks, dessert cocktails, coffees, lagers and ciders, with a second menu of sandwiches and sides, and even a raw cookie dough afternoon tea for two that requires a 24-hour booking notice period.
A charming little spot for a sugary pick-me-up, Rawkies is located in The Rock and opens from 12.30-10pm Tuesday to Thursday and 12.30-11pm Fridays and Saturdays. It is also available on Deliveroo.