At last, it’s happening. The rumours have been boundless, but now (finally) it’s all been confirmed. Liverpool small plates favourite Maray is coming to Manchester, and we’re very excited about it.
Nationally-acclaimed, the eatery is so popular in its hometown it has not one, not two but three sites – making this new Manchester opening the fourth for the restaurant group (and its first beyond Merseyside).
Known for killer cocktails and adventurous small plates like its ‘Disco Cauliflower’ – served whole and doused in chermoula, harissa, tahini, yoghurt, pomegranate, almonds and fresh herbs – the move means that, for the first time in eight years, Mancunian fans will no longer need to hop on a train in order to get a taste.
Rather, they’ll soon be able to get a hold of all the favourites for which the group is known right here in the centre of Manchester.
Opening in the Bruntwood Works’ Union building on Brazennose Street next to ‘The Hidden Gem’ church, the new restaurant is due to open its doors in Manchester this summer.
In a central location that’s slightly off the beaten path, it will form part of the transformation taking place around the Town Hall and Lincoln Square.
Maray recently became the first independent in the north west to achieve a 2 star Sustainable Restaurant Association rating since lockdown.
Founded in 2014 by James Bates, Tom White and Dom Jones, the concept was originally inspired by the owners’ experiences in the Le Marais district of Paris – a vibrant area of the city famed as a culinary melting pot of Middle Eastern flavours and stand out cocktail bars.
In a nod to this, the menu at Maray features a selection of mezze, and small plates like falafel, lamb shawarma and baked halloumi.
It also boasts an extensive vegan and vegetarian offering – think wild mushrooms with cannellini beans, sweet potato with tahini and date molasses, and spiced lentil and rice mejadara.
The drinks list is just as stellar. When it opens its doors later this year, diners can expect a range of bold and delicious cocktails and an incredible wine list.
Drinks on offer include a margarita bolstered with Turkish apple tea and sumac salt, a house G&T made with beetroot infused gin, and guest favourite – The Agent Cooper, Maray’s famous riff on an espresso martini.
Wines from across the world also feature, with a focus on grapes and varieties originating in the same area as many of the recipes.
Speaking on the new opening, Managing Director James Bates said: “Opening a restaurant in Manchester has long been an ambition of ours and we have combed the four corners of the city to find somewhere we felt was just right.
“We’re so excited to get going at Union, we love the area and feel like we’re going to be right in the middle of it all, in a city with a huge reputation for loving restaurants, nights out and a good drink!”
Feature image – Maray
Ancoats restaurant publicly exposes ‘angry influencer’ after spat over free meal
A restaurant in Ancoats has publicly exposed an influencer (twice…) who tried to ask for a free meal in exchange for exposure.
Lucky Ramen, a tiny spot on Blossom Street that has had queues forming for its noodle soups and Asian brunches, has become embroiled in a spat with an unnamed social media star.
It all started yesterday when the restaurant went public with a message it had received, which was requesting a complimentary brunch in exchange for a post on Instagram.
Lucky Ramen shared the message and wrote that they were ‘thrilled you appreciate our food’ but that the team ‘appreciate paying customers even more’.
They described it as ‘another thrilling DM from a blue tick superstar asking for a free feast in exchange for an Insta post’.
Which was already dramatic enough, but the influencer in question has been quite cross that Lucky Ramen in Ancoats has taken a swipe at them publicly.
It appears they’ve followed up with a much less polite message, saying the independent business is ‘bang out of order’ for trying to expose them.
The influencer asked: “So you think people like us don’t deserve to eat for FREE???”
They argued that they were trying to promote the restaurant for free, offering ‘time, labour, effort and positive energy’ in exchange for the free meal as compensation.
The unnamed user then said: “Your arrogance makes me sick. Haha very funny, you got a couple of giggles but we’re the ones that are laughing.
“We go where we want, eat what we want and lastly – it’s all for free! WHOS LAUGHING NOW???”
Of course, Lucky Ramen hasn’t left that message in the DMs either, once again sharing screenshots on its Instagram page.
And they’ve chosen to smack the influencer with pure sarcasm in retaliation…
They wrote: “Dear angry influencer. Okay, aaalright… you got us! We’re truly sorry for attempting to uncover your behind-the-scenes tactics yesterday and, you know, us trying to make a living and sh*t.
“But hold on, the new message we just got deserves more than a standing ovation!
“This follow-up DM is a total game-changer, and guess what? We’re now rolling out the red carpet for all the free meals you desire. And that’s not all – our chefs are ready to part ways with their Crocs and Birkenstocks, throwing them in as an extra bonus for your tender love and labour! Even my dad’s medal of honour from the Japan war is up for grabs – he’s feeling generous the old geezer, and he’s even contemplating wheeling in his new eco-friendly hybrid wheelchair for you!
“Just hit us up with another DM, let us know when you’re swinging by to collect your well-deserved goodies, and don’t forget to leave a glowing 5-star review on both Google and TripAdvisor.
“We appreciate your understanding and, once again, sorry for the “inconvenience” we caused.
“Bon appétit + Arigato-the-f*ck-outta-here.”
Will the influencer reply again? Someone pass the popcorn.
‘Dangerous’ disqualified driver jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan
A “dangerous” disqualified driver has been handed jail time after crashing into a funfair in Wigan last year.
Jordan O’Reilly, from Platt Bridge in Wigan, has been sentenced after pleading guilty to causing serious injury by dangerous driving, driving while disqualified, driving without insurance, perverting the course of justice, and failing to provide a specimen.
The 21-year-old was given three years behind bars following a trial at Bolton Crown Court yesterday (29 February).
O’Reilly’s sentencing comes after he crashed his vehicle into a funfair in Wigan while trying to evade a police pursuit back in October 2023.
#JAILED I A disqualified driver who led police on a chase and crashed into a crowded funfair in #Wigan has been jailed for 3 years
After failing to stop for a Greater Manchester Police (GMP) patrol, O’Reilly then drove in excess of the speed limit and overtook a number of vehicles, all before proceeding to abandon his own moving vehicle to escape.
The vehicle O’Reilly abandoned then carried on moving, and shockingly, ended up colliding with two members of the public at the funfair – with one woman sadly left with “serious injuries” as a result.
But thanks to the help of members of the public, O’Reilly was identified as the driver and later arrested by police.
A ‘dangerous’ disqualified driver has been jailed after crashing into funfair in Wigan / Credit: GMP
After he was released on bail, it was established that he had attempted to engage others into assisting him in evading prosecution.
Speaking following O’Reilly’s sentencing this week, PC Wood, of GMP Transport Unit, commented: “O’Reilly’s disregard to his driving disqualification and actions behind the wheel that day were reckless and dangerous, and he put countless people at risk of harm. The injuries caused to the victim show the consequences dangerous driving has on other people.
“GMP would like to thank the members of the public who ensured that O’Reilly faced justice for his actions.”
PC Wood also took a moment to remind the Greater Manchester public that if they know someone who is driving whist dangerously, or while disqualified or unfit to be doing so, then they should report it to GMP.