Grade II-listed boozer the Black Friar spent nearly two decades as a burnt-out, blank-eyed shell before finally making its comeback last summer.
A fixture since 1886, the pub’s long history of serving its local community was cut short in 2006 after a fire ravaged its interiors and left it thoroughly blackened, inside and out.
After nearly two decades spent sitting empty, last year, after a significant £1.5 million restoration by developers Salboy, the original red brick and red sandstone was finally given a new lease of life as it reopened its doors and welcomed chef Ben Chaplin (formerly of 20 Stories) to the helm.
Now, one year on, the team behind its resurrection is celebrating a year back in business by offering guests a selection of drinks and dishes for £1 throughout August.
From glasses of prosecco and pints of lager and cider to side dishes and bar snacks, there will be a host of opportunities to grab a bargain at the pub this month.
From 2 to 5 August it will kick the celebrations off with £1 glasses of prosecco, followed by £1 bread and olives from 9 to 12 August.
From 16 to 19 August, drinks can enjoy £1 pints of Black Friar lager and Orchard Pig cider, then from 23 to 26 August, all A La Carte side dishes – including truffle fries, miso and sesame courgettes and a heritage tomato salad – for £1.*
Neil Burke, managing director of the historic venue said: “We’re so excited to be celebrating our first birthday and want all of our friends, neighbours and loyal guests to come and celebrate with us.
“At the Black Friar, our main focus (other than top quality drinks and grub) is to give back to our local community. We hope that by offering some of our most popular menu items for just £1 that our guests will feel the love.”
The pub has a fascinating history and is said to have once been a favourite haunt of the notorious Kray twins, who reportedly used to hold meetings in its bar.
For over 100 years it was a well-known watering hole and, as you’d expect, there are plenty of stories of fights and scandals unfolding within its wallls.
Prior to that, it had originally been called the School Inn but, after that burnt to the ground, it was renamed as the Blackfriar in 1886 and traded as a pub until 2001 when it was sadly gutted by another blaze.
Since reopening, the pub has been hailed as a triumph by local and national critics alike. The Guardian’s food writer Jay Rayner wrote after a visit that he would “be rather chuffed” if the Black Friar was his local.
To see the full menu and book, visit the Black Friar’s website here.
Offer T&CS: Available Tues-Fri, 2-26 August. Valid when you order at least 2 courses from the á la carte menu. Available any time in all areas – Pub, Restaurant + Garden. Have as many as you like of each, all £1 per glass/portion, for the duration of your booking.
Feature image – The Black Friar
New stations appear across Manchester for city’s rentable ‘Burnham bike’ scheme
The roll-out of Greater Manchester’s Bee Bike cycle hire scheme has stepped up a gear, with new docking stations appearing across the city centre.
The scheme, nicknamed the ‘Burnham bikes’ as a nod to London’s ‘Boris bikes’, initially launched in Salford and along the Oxford Road corridor.
Several new yellow stations have appeared around Manchester now, with plenty more on the way.
The next phase of the roll-out of the Bee Bikes has seen stations installed around St Peter’s Square and Manchester Central.
By the time the scheme is complete, bike numbers will increase to 1,500, which will include 300 e-bikes.
It’s all part of the vision for a Bee Network – a joined-up, integrated public transport network across the region.
And it’s certainly off to a more successful start than Mobike, which famously withdrew from Manchester due to high levels of vandalism and theft.
The Bee Bikes are funded by TgGM and operated by Beryl, which runs similar schemes in London, Watford and Bournemouth.
Richard Nickson, programme director, Cycling and Walking at Transport for Greater Manchester, said: “The cycle hire scheme has really taken off in Greater Manchester since it was first introduced, and we are seeing significant numbers of riders and distances travelled by on the bikes- which is fantastic, particularly as we are still in the early days of the scheme’s roll out.
“The next phase of the roll-out has now started in Manchester city centre, with new stations installed at key locations including Manchester Central Library, Manchester Central Convention Centre and St Peter’s Square.
Manchester is OFFICIALLY in the running to host Eurovision
The potential host cities for Eurovision 2023 have been announced this morning – and Manchester is officially in with a chance.
The UK has stepped in to host the global singing contest in place of this year’s winners, Ukraine.
As our nation was runner-up this year with Sam Ryder’s Spaceman giving us our biggest success in years, it’s over to the UK to welcome all the countries taking part.
Cities have been announcing their bids for several weeks, with 20 expressions of interest to host sent in.
But it’s a complicated event, so those who wish to host need to actually have a suitable venue and the financial contribution too, and demonstrate that they will celebrate and honour Ukrainian culture and artists.
The shortlist of seven cities has just been announced live on BBC Radio Two, on Zoe Ball’s breakfast show.
The full shortlist for the cities that may host Eurovision in 2023:
If Manchester is successful, Eurovision will take place at the AO Arena in the city centre, Manchester City Council leader Bev Craig has announced.
She said: “We are thrilled to have made it through to the next stage to become the 2023 Eurovision host city.
“Manchester stands ready to put on the biggest party in the UK at the city’s AO Arena, taking our place in Eurovision’s unique history.
“We have a large and proud Ukrainian community in Manchester. It would be our privilege to host this iconic celebration on their behalf and we will do everything we can to honour them throughout.”
“We’re exceptionally grateful that the BBC has accepted to stage the Eurovision Song Contest in the UK in 2023,” said Martin Österdahl, the Eurovision Song Contest’s Executive Supervisor.
“The BBC has taken on hosting duties for other winning countries on four previous occasions. Continuing in this tradition of solidarity, we know that next year’s Contest will showcase the creativity and skill of one of Europe’s most experienced public broadcasters whilst ensuring this year’s winners, Ukraine, are celebrated and represented throughout the event.”
The final decision will be based on scoring criteria from the BBC and the EBU.
It’s expected that the host city will officially be announced in the autumn.