After several years of redevelopment, bosses behind the newly-revived legendary 60s gig venue New Century Hall have finally pulled back the curtain on its first phase – a stunning new food hall.
Eventually, the Grade II-listed building will be fully restored, right down to its sprung dance floor, 1960s ‘disco ceiling’ and vintage wood-panelled walls. But these things take time, so whilst developers get the whole place gig ready they’ve decided to crack on with a new food offering for the city.
Here, on the ground floor, the newly opened food hall plays host to six new kitchens, including a new project from Adam Reid, the acclaimed chef behind The French at The Midland.
Reid is here debuting a new butty concept, inspired by childhood trips to his family’s local baker.
Elsewhere, Altrincham Market House favourite Banh Vi has moved in offering its signature plant-based Vietnamese baguettes and nasi goreng, whilst Northern Quarter pizza staple PLY is venturing into the wilder side of things as part of a new collaboration with the planet-saving flour company Wildfarmed.
Firing everything in a custom-built pizza oven at the helm of New Century’s ground floor, chef Carl Fraenki-Retti has developed his recipe using their biodynamic flour to create a 24-hour slow proved dough which forms the basis of a vibrant menu.
You’ll also find father-and-son duo BaoBros23, winners of the 2021 British Street Food Awards ‘People’s Choice’ winners, slinging out loaded buns, fries and desserts, fresh off the back of their latest pop-up success at Riverhead Brewery Tap in Marsden.
Wilmslow sushi favourites Zumuku Sushi have also moved in, serving its authentic, fresh sushi and other Japanese favourites to the food hall.
Chef Tom Lowe is another new arrival, drawing from the great steakhouses of the UK and Europe and his passion for well-bred, native beef at new opening Tallow.
Working with 28-day-aged beef from local butchers, diners can find a range of high-quality steaks, burgers and sides.
There are also coffee and grab ‘n’ go concepts from New Century, plus local beers, wines, cocktails, teas, juices and smoothies.
The space itself has been designed by Sheila Bird Studio, with mid century decor inspired by the Grade II listed building’s original 60s features which have been restored and replicated.
The food hall will spill outside onto Sadler’s Yard for al fresco dining, drinking and regular events like the family friendly day on Saturday 24 September.
Atul Bansal, founder of Sheila Bird, said: “I stumbled across this building 10 years ago and had to get inside this space that had been locked away for so many years.
“I spent seven years trying to find people who would help me reignite the building’s soul, and now the building is alive and beating. Interior isn’t about designing something, it’s about giving something a purpose and I am so excited to have helped New Century to be reborn.”
Featured image: The Manc Group
Nurses across the UK say ‘enough is enough’ as they begin vote on strike action over pay
Hundreds of thousands of NHS nurses nationwide have now begun casting their votes on whether to strike over pay.
This is the first ever UK-wide ballot by the history of the nursing industry’s largest union.
The Royal College of Nursing (RCN) has this week asked 300,000 nurses if they want to begin a campaign for industrial action for the first time in its 106-year history – with the union urging its members to vote in favour of striking, and the union’s general secretary calling this a “once-in-a-generation chance” to make real change.
The vote comes amid warnings that nurses are leaving the profession in record numbers, and are unhappy with working conditions, staff shortages, and ultimately, pay.
The RCN said new analysis by London Economics found that pay for nurses has declined at twice the rate of the private sector in the last decade.
Their real-terms earnings are said to have fallen by 6%.
“Across the board, it’s unacceptable,” the RCN said on the opening of the ballot.
“We’re campaigning for a pay rise of 5% above inflation to overcome a decade of real-terms pay cuts, support nursing staff through the cost-of-living crisis, and recognise their safety critical skills [as] only by paying nursing staff fairly will we be able to retain existing and recruit new nursing staff to the safety critical roles they do.”
The union is urging its members, including those across Greater Manchester, to “make your mark on history” by voting for strike action.
RCN General Secretary & Chief Executive Pat Cullen said the nation’s nurses are “understaffed, undervalued, and underpaid”.
Calling on members to cast their votes, Ms Cullen said: “For years, our profession has been pushed to the edge, and now patient safety is paying the price.
“We can’t stand by and watch our colleagues and patients suffer anymore.
“Though strike action is a last resort, it is a powerful tool for change, and we must demand that change. Enough is enough.
She continued: “This is a once in a generation chance to improve your pay and combat the staff shortages that put patients at risk. Governments have repeatedly neglected the NHS and the value of nursing. We can change this if together we say ‘enough is enough’.
“Record numbers are feeling no alternative but to quit and patients pay a heavy price. We are doing this for them too. I have spoken with hundreds of you directly in recent weeks – it’s clear we need urgent change.
“Nursing is the best job in the world. Protect it with your vote.”
Featured Image – UKHSA
Signs say ‘Instagrammable’ Manchester restaurant Boujee is closed for good
Less than two months after Boujee closed its site in Liverpool, signs have appeared outside the Manchester site showing that it has also suffered the same fate.
A handwritten note simply reading “closed, so sorry” has been taped to the all-pink restaurant and bar’s front door, whilst a second on the restaurant’s terrace, which had been taken over by pop-up venue Carnival, read: ‘we are extremely sorry but due to unforeseen circumstances we are left with no other options to close the venue.”
On the Boujee website, all traces of the Manchester venue have now been removed with just the Chester site now available to book online.
The news should not come as a surprise, given that the restaurant has appeared to be struggling for several months now.
Earlier this summer, staff walked out of the Liverpool site complaining of unpaid wages and tips. At the time, workers said that they had received just 40% of their expected wages on recent paydays and claimed that management had withheld their table service charges for months.
The pay dispute was reported in the Liverpool Echo, after staff told the paper some colleagues had walked out of shifts over the situation and that others were struggling to meet their rent and mortgage payments.
A company message was shared with Boujee’s staff at the end of June in an attempt to explain to workers why they had not received their full pay.
It said: “It is with huge regret and disappointment that we are not able to pay the wages in their entirety today. We have exhausted every avenue and it is at the point where we require the revenue from this weekend and next in order to catch up and make the payments in full.
“Today we will be making a payment to all employees of 40 per cent of their total wage. On Monday we will make a second payment and this will be 30 per cent of their total wage plus 50 per cent of the service charge for the month.
“The following Monday we will pay the remaining 30 per cent and the remaining 50 per cent of the service charge.
“We are extremely sorry that it has come to this and I assure you we are doing all we can to get back on track and our team are vital in this path to recovery. We fully appreciate this is not acceptable and we thank you for your hard work, support and loyalty through what has been a very challenging time.”
Now, it appears that the business has had another setback as it has moved to close its Manchester site too.
The news follows an announcement from the former director and Real Housewive Of Cheshire star Lystra Adams who revealed last month that she had walked away from the business.
In a post on Instagram, Lystra wrote: “I’m walking away … As of yesterday 23/09/2022 I walked away from what I’ve know and loved for past near two years. As many of you may know I have given considerable time and dedication in building the brand and platform for myself.
“Over the past eight months things had taken a bumpy turn. I had confidence in that the board of directors would turn it around. Unfortunately mistakes were made along the way […] and it made the comeback near impossible.”
She continued: “As a 20-per-cent shareholder and the face of the business I want you to know that I did what I could with what I had. […] I’ve made my voice heard more than before as I dreaded this day would come. I’ve taken abuse in all forms for being the face of the companies involved as well as my daughter and enough is enough.
“Sorry it’s taken so long to speak out and I want to thank each and everyone that has visited or worked for Boujee and carnival from opening until now. All my love, Lystra.”