Food & Drink

Mancs remember Station Chippy, the Piccadilly Gardens takeaway that served chips and gravy through a hatch

Daisy Jackson Daisy Jackson - 3rd December 2021

There aren’t many meals quite as fulfilling as a huge helping of chips at the end of a night out – and an old relic in Manchester city centre had a reputation for exactly that.

The Station Chippy used to stand at Piccadilly Plaza, facing out onto rows of idling buses.

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The Piccadilly Gardens takeaway wasn’t fancy, but it was the destination of choice for Mancs heading home from a night out for years.

At one stage, Station Chippy installed a hatch, from which it would pass out massive portions of chips swimming in gravy.

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It also used to serve giant spring rolls and was famed for its spicy curry sauce, ladled onto chips.

Piccadilly Plaza. Credit: Manchester Libraries

Professor Brian Cox even said, in an interview with the M.E.N. back in 2019, that it was his favourite place to eat in Manchester.

He told the paper: “I remember Piccadilly Gardens bus station vividly.

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“I didn’t go to Manchester very much until I was 16. I used to go to Cloud 9 on Cross Street.

“Me and my friends used to get the bus from Oldham to Piccadilly and walk down. I was a goth at the time so I used to walk down in overcoats and purple hair.

“Then at the end of the night we used to go to the chippy in the bus station chips to eat chips and curry sauce at 3am before we got the night bus back.”

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Memories of the Station Chippy were the talk of the town earlier this week, when people shared nostalgic memories in our Mint Manchester group.

Late nights in Station Chippy. Credit: Flickr, Portlandbill

Helen kickstarted the conversation with this post: “Does anyone else remember Station Chippy in Piccadilly Gardens, near where the bus stops are? Surely can’t just be me? Not sure what year it was there until but has to be at least 15 years as you could enjoy a post meal cigarette!!”

Chantelle replied: “Use to come out of Saturdays snd straight over there before getting our taxi home sh*t faced. Good old days”

Claire commented: “I do was it along the row of shops and picadilly radio was upstairs? Best chippy after the pubs and clubs at 2am in the 90’s”

Keri added: “Always finished the night queuing at the hatch before getting a taxi”

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Anita had a rite of passage at Station Chippy too, saying: “Had my first ever donner kebab in there!”

Station Chippy was underneath Piccadilly Radio. Credit: Manchester Libraries

Mark had a word of advice though, writing: “we use to order chips and gravy, then when they brought it over we’d say oh and can of vimto as well please, then leg it. Wasn’t a very good Idea running drunk with chips and gravy in a tray”

Over on Twitter, the subject turned to the stark lack of late-night chippies in Manchester these days.

Someone tweeted: “You know what you can’t get late on in Manchester after a few beers these days ? A decent chippy. Manchester used to be full of them. Every fkin corner. This is more important than Brexit.”

In reply, another said: “The station chippy at Piccadilly Gardens was the winner. Rest in peas.”

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Rest in peas indeed.

Featured image: Manchester Libraries / Wikimedia Commons