But then, well, everyone knows what happened next.
The Hive didn’t get to enjoy the grand curtain-raiser it anticipated, and within days of setting up, it was forced to shut down.
But, after four patient months of sitting tight, they finally got to reopen this week – giving the Manchester suburb a much-needed boost post-lockdown.
More than a year in the making, The Hive has been launched by a group boasting decades of experience in hospitality – and the result is a refreshing change of pace for a region that’s been crying out for brand new bars and experiences.
They’ve chosen to cast a wide net and capture the attention of almost everyone in the area – and perhaps a few people further afield, too.
After taking our seats at the pre-launch event, we catch many of the other guests gazing at the ground.
At first it looks like a bit like they’ve all been reprimanded for refusing to follow the one-way system – but on closer inspection, it becomes clear they’re actually checking out the rows of vinyls embedded into the restaurant floor.
It’s a lovely design touch – giving diners the rare experience of tucking into meals whilst sitting above classic music from decades gone by.
When the rules relax a bit, some of these records will be played overhead, too. And the volume will rise high as the sun goes down.
The breezy ambience at The Hive is reinforced by its exposed brickwork, lovely thick seating (with a vital tipping function to lean back when you’ve hit a wall after devouring a big meal) and the sunny, helpful staff – who manage to keep tabs on the dining area whilst adhering to all the necessary rules and regs.
Big wide windows keep natural light streaming into the venue at all times – helping to light up the vibrant, eye-catching artwork adorning the walls.
As for the grub, the choice is plentiful.
The sharing platter alone has more than half a dozen different deep-fried small bites to tuck into – which we tackled together with relish before moving onto fish burger, chicken kiev and steak mains.
With a breakfast, lunch and dinner menu, The Hive has a bit of everything depending on what you fancy.
There’s a few different full English options and butties served at the crack of dawn, with sandwiches, burgers, a nice selection of small plates, desserts and kids menu available right up until 9pm.
Sunday Roasts are also in the mix – with options covering topside beef, lamb leg and roasted vegetable galette.
The Hive is all part of a big plan to get Stretford buzzing again.
The corporate crowd can pop in for a catchup over coffee with a client. Groups can book the private room upstairs and kick back with some beers and sport. And the night owls can congregate for cocktails before floating off into the big city.
It’s a diverse, refreshing addition to Manchester in an uncertain climate – and it could turn out to be a real neighbourhood favourite.
Manchester steakhouse Gaucho is serving a bottomless brunch with non-stop wine and cocktails
Manchester has a new three-course bottomless brunch offer, and it sounds like an absolute beast of a deal – with premium cuts of steak, unlimited starters, and an hour and a half of free-flowing drinks.
Launched by Argentine steakhouse pros Gaucho,the new bottomless deal gives diners 90 minutes to indulge in drinks like citrus negronis, pornstar martinis, spritzes, lager and wine, with a choice of red, white and rose.
Spanning three courses and 90 minutes of drinks, starter dishes are unlimited whilst main highlights include Gaucho’s cuts of free-range Aberdeen Angus beef, reared on the flat grasslands of the Pampas. Think premium wet-aged sirloin with chimichurri and French fries and spiral-cute churrasco de cuadril marinated in garlic, parsley and olive oil.
On the unlimited starters menu, you’ll find a mouthwatering selection of morcilla, chorizo and picante rojo sausage with a lemon aioli, a selection of empanadas, beetroot ceviche with nasturtium and mango nectar, plus prawn tostadas on Arepa bread.
Add in desserts like chocolate brownies with white chocolate ice cream and apple pancakes with Calvados caramel, Nutella and a dulce de leche mousse, and we’ll be surprised if you find yourself going home hungry.
Available on the last Saturday of the month between 11am and 4pm at Gaucho’s glitzy restaurant on Deansgate, dine inside a converted church surrounded by crystal chandeliers and deep leather booths whilst the restaurant’s in house saxophonist plays along to the resident DJ’s beats.
Greater Manchester chocolatier Slattery’s is selling a Hacienda-inspired Easter egg
Greater Manchester chocolatier Slattery’s is selling a Hacienda-inspired Easter egg, and it looks absolutely brilliant.
Featuring an Acid House smiley face in The Factory’s signature black and yellow stripes, a green bucket hat, silver music notes and a Brit Pop-style electric guitar emblazoned in the Union Jack, Slattery’s has really gone all out this year.
The special Madchester Easter egg also features Oasis’s debut 1997 album Definitely Maybe, although the Whitefield-based chocolatiers told The Manc that customers can opt to request a different album cover on their egg if they prefer.
Priced at £21 each, the edible work of art is made of milk chocolate and decorated with edible icing to create the effects of the album covers, bucket hats and other nostalgic Madchester memorabilia.
It is available to purchase in person from the Whitefield chocolatier’s store, and customers can also place orders for collection closer to the Easter weekend if they prefer.
However, it is not available through the online shop as due to its delicate nature the Hacienda-inspired egg is not able to be delivered by courier.
The family-run Slattery Patissier and Chocolatier is one of Greater Manchester’s absolute go to’s for a sweet treat, spanning three floors and attracting visitors from far and wide.
Based in Whitefield, Bury, it’s so much more than a cake shop: selling everything from handmade Belgian chocolate, freshly-made cream cakes, tarts, pastries, tortes and gateaux, all made fresh each morning, plus chocolate novelties, bars and gifts ranging from Easter eggs to chocolate lollies, discs and tubs, plus a dedicated vegan chocolate range.
Add to that bespoke build your own chocolate hampers that are packed and ribboned whilst you wait, and a selection of specially selected wines, beers and liqueurs, and it’s not hard to see why so many flock here – not just at Easter, but all year round.