Five-time British Pie Awards winner Ate Days A Week has closed its Manchester city centre pie shop for good after less than a year.
Having first opened in a former chip shop in Stockport, the music-themed pie shop quickly rose to dizzying heights – winning numerous awards and becoming the stuff of legend in Stockport.
As a result, post-pandemic the team decided to close their Vernon Street shop and up-sticks into Manchester city centre.
They took over the former Porky Pig unit by Manchester Town Hall in spring 2022 and received rave reviews from local foodies for their mouthwatering pies, roasts and breakfasts. But sadly, that chapter has now come to an end.
Sharing the news in a long, heart-rending Facebook post on Saturday night, chef-owner Andy James said that he had taken a risk opening the musical-themed pie shop, reflecting that ‘sometimes these things don’t work out’.
In large part he blamed the cost of living crisis, saying that food and drink costs were ‘rising rapidly’ and ‘utilities are absolutely out of control’, before adding that ‘the landscape of our economy is so obscured it’s frightening.’
The post also spoke of the toll the situation had taken on Andy personally, referring to ‘many sleepless nights’ spent ‘worrying, stressing and searching for ways this could be avoided.’
And of course, being a musical-themed restaurant, there were a few cheeky song lyrics worked in to ensure Ate Days A Week’s goodbye post was on brand: opening with lyrics Leonard Cohen’s Closing Time and closing with words from Taylor Hawkins’ favourite Foo Fighters track, Aurora.
Despite the sad news, however, Andy insisted that it wasn’t all doom and gloom: reassuring fans that there had been no job losses as they had been able to create roles for the full team at their other venues.
He added that he will be reopening the newly-refurbished Notion next weekend and has plans to bring Ate Days A Week’s Award Winning Pies to delivery platforms throughout Stockport and surrounding areas ‘soon’.
Commenting that ‘there’s no time to sit around moping’, he also confirmed that Ate Days A Week Pies will be available at venues including Stockport Country football ground, Blinker Bar, Bask, Lawing Deli and more.
Since sharing the post on Saturday evening, it has been liked over 200 times on Facebook alone with people quick to comment with their commiserations.
Badly’s PIes wrote: “Keep your head held high mate.. As you know we are in the same position & having to down size. To me I don’t see failure.. I see a failed government that hasn’t tried to prevent this. Every day I look online places are shutting. It’s a real shame but if we get through this… Which we will, things will be amazing going forward. Here if you need a chat anytime buddy Alex”
Vicky Sweeney-West wrote: “Sorry to hear this … But very happy to see you still have links at County. Treated ourselves to your lamb pie last time out. Mum said best pie she’s ever had … She’s 75 and has eaten many pies!! Keep going mate… Everything works out in the end.”
Gail Hilton added: “So sorry Andrew, in the time you were there, you made a lot of people very happy with your food, which was exceptional, the economic climate is harsh right now, you poured your heart and soul into your business and understandably the decision you made was crippling, but it’s the right one. Good luck with your new venture, take care.”
As well as holding a number of awards for its pies, Ate Days A Week had recently been named one of the top ten roast dinners in the UK by Rate Good Roasts. Its pies will continue to be available at other outlets across Greater Manchester, despite the closure of the city centre shop.
Feature image – The Manc Group
Manchester cafe Idle Hands mobbed by huge swarm of bees who took over outdoor tables
One of the Northern Quarter’s most popular cafes had an unusual issue on Saturday afternoon, when tens of thousands of bees paid a visit.
It seems the swarm of bees had got wind of Idle Hands’ legendary pies and took over one of the venue’s outdoor tables.
The cafe had to call in a local beekeeper after the busy insects rendered their outside space too risky for customers to use.
Incredible photos captured by local photographer Andrew Stuart and shared by the cafe show a jaw-dropping mass of the insects congregating beneath a table.
The cafe, on the corner of Dale Street and Tariff Street, was saved by the Manchester Honey Company, who humanely scooped them away to safety.
Idle Hands wrote on Instagram: “So, fun day at the shop today, with thousands of bees moving home and deciding to drop in on our shop and cluster under one of our tables (now forever to be known as the bee table) whilst on their journey.
“Massive thanks to @manchesterhoneycompany for coming and safely taking them away to a far more suitable home. And to @andrewstuart1 for capturing the event so well!”
They had previously posted on their stories: “Erm, anyone know what we do about this??? Swarm of thousands out of nowhere.”
Manchester Honey Company said: “This swarm landed @idlehandscoffee in Manchester and was collected by @manchesterhoneycompany. The bees were so friendly and calm and we were so well looked after by the friendly staff.
“The bees were collected from under a table and put in the hive. The queen was in the hive so the rest of the bees followed her in.”
The incident with Idle Hands is far from the first time that swarms of bees have caused disruption in the city centre.
Hit Christmas market stall opens permanently at Piccadilly Gardens
Crunch Korean Gansig has become a must-try foodie stall at the Manchester Christma Markets, now it’s pulled up at Picadilly Gardens permanently.
The hit Korean hot dog stall has wowed visitors over the past few years with its cheese, potato and meat-filled creations.
Deep-fried in a crispy waffle coating and then lightly rolled in sugar, these sausages on a stick come drizzled in sweet ketchup and mustard.
Incredibly moreish if we do say so ourselves, since first making their appearance at the 2021 Manchester Christmas Markets they’ve consistently been ranked one of the event’s best food traders.
Now, thanks to a new permanent stall popping up where it all began for the team, Manc foodies can enjoy their hot meaty and cheesy Korean goodies all year long.
Popular flavour choices include all-cheese, all-sausage and half-and-half versions, with a vegetarian-friendly cheese-filled version wrapped in a potato waffle coating, and halal-friendly options that are made using separate batter and fryers.
This really is a hot dog stand that caters to everyone. With owners having previously said they would work on a vegan hot dog once they got their own permanent stand, we don’t expect the plant-powered gang will be left waiting too much longer.
Sharing the news to Instagram, the Crunch Korean Gansig team wrote: “Hey guys, we’ve got exciting news to share! We are launching a new market stall in the Piccadilly garden street food market from tomorrow.
“After two years of successful Christmas trading, we are ready to take on a new challenge, and love to serve our hotdogs to you guys again!
“So come on down to the market and say hi, we love to see you there! See you soon!”
Fans of the Korean hot dog stall have responded to the news with enthusiasm, flooding into the comments to share their excitement.
One person wrote: “So excited we will have to go!!”
Another person said: “Nooooo stop!!! I’m so happy I could cry”