The team behind one of Ancoat’s coolest venues has been quietly working away on plans for a new venue on the other side of town for months. Now, at last, they’ve teased out some details – promising to open this summer and bring ‘Manchester’s biggest beer garden’ to Piccadilly East.
Called Diecast, the new 5,000 capacity space is set to be something of a behemoth. Within its giant new beer garden, its vast outside area will also house an open-air BBQ kitchen, ‘NeoPan’ pizzeria and festival-style ‘House of Daiquiri’ and ‘Rum Town’ bars.
Specialising in frozen daiquiris and pina coladas alongside heritage and new world rums, when the next heatwave hits this summer we know where we will want to be drinking.
Add to that plans for an in-house beer and kombucha brewery, night market, brewing co., warehouse restaurant, and a huge festival stage, and it really does sound like this is going to be a huge new opening for Manchester this summer.
Set to open in stages, according to bosses the outdoor area will launch first although no date has been set as of yet.
Emphasising the size of the project, Joel Wilkinson, DieCast Director and owner, said “We’re taking all our learnings from Ramona and The Firehouse, but this time it’s on an industrial scale.
“It’s more than a venue. It’s an area within itself. A new creative neighbourhood for the city.”
Built around a 250,000-square-foot former foundry and warehouse. Untouched since its last update in 1983, it’s a paradigm of Manchester’s industrial aesthetic: with corrugated steel, roof-block walls, large roller shutters, and a concrete terrazzo stretching throughout.
Just a few minutes walk from Manchester Piccadilly train station, Diecast will be located between Store Street and Ducie Street. To keep up with more updates, make sure to follow Diecast on Instagram here.
Feature image – Supplied
A restaurant in Ancoats is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel
A Manchester restaurant is serving up plates of crispy fried squirrel – and their customers absolutely love it.
Taking game dishes to a whole other level, the wild crispy buttermilk fried squirrel at Ancoats restaurant Street Urchin comes served atop a creamy pulled ham hock cassoulet, with hazelnut bread croutons and nettle pesto and costs £22.50.
Sourced from their game supplier in Cumbria, it might sound nutty but owner Rachel Choudhary told The Manc that the dish has proven incredibly popular – and that the team has been ‘really surprised’ at how much of a hit it has become with customers since adding it to the menu.
She said: “We were looking for something new for the game options on the menu. Kev was speaking to our game supplier and randomly asked if he had any grey squirrels. Happily, he did.
“The whole team tried the dish the day it went on and the majority thought it was really good.
“We weren’t sure if it would sell, but have been really surprised. So many people have tried it and given good feedback. We’ve recommended that they eat it like chicken wings and pick it up, that way you get most of the meat.
“I’d never tried squirrel before and I absolutely loved it, it has great flavour, rich buttery texture, and it’s wild, free-range meat.”
The gray squirrel currently has an estimated population of 2.5 million in the UK according to the Game and Wildlife Conservation Trust and is considered a good sustainable alternative to factory-farmed meat.
It is legal to control grey squirrels by shooting or trapping them in the UK in a humane manner and even helps protect the UK’s endangered native red squirrel population.
Whilst some might find the idea of eating squirrels a tad unappealing, many chefs argue it is better to eat them when culling as it means the meat does not go to waste.
English market diner Street Urchin was first opened on Great Ancoats Street in 2019 by husband and wife team Rachel and Kevin Choudary.
Prior to opening in town, the couple ran The Victoria in Altrincham for eight years before deciding that it was time to move on.
Their Ancoats market diner has made its name on being one of the few city centre restaurants specialising in fresh fish, with everything from clams and mackerel to cured chalk stream trout, king scallops, and whole grilled red gurnard regularly available on the menu.