Manchester’s giant food hall and music venue Escape to Freight Island is switching things up this spring by moving in a host of new food traders.
Dessert shops Choo Choo eclairs and Soft Boi are going, as is Baratxuri’s basque country-inspired grill from the award-winning Ramsbottom restaurant and burger joint Patty Queen.
In their places will come some exciting new additions – such as Carnival, a brand new meaty grill concept from Hawksmoor co-founder Richard Turner; and Lucky Foot, a chargrilled and deep-fried chicken offering from the same team behind popular Liverpool spots Belzan and Madre.
With all the new traders due to all be in place by mid-May at the very latest, the revamped food market will open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday.
Keep reading to find out who’s moving in – and what to expect from their menus.
Carnival is a new collaboration concept from food writer, butcher and restauranteur Richard Turner, a co-founder of some of the best grill restaurants in the country including Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue Co, Blacklock and Meatopia Festival.
Turner and the team will be taking over the grill of what previously was Baratxuri, following the departure of Rachel Stockley at its Ramsbottom site. The brand said on its departure: “After almost two years we have decided it is the time to move on to explore some new opportunities for our family-run restaurant so watch this space.”
Using the finest produce from a single producer farm, Carnival menu highlights will include fine cuts of premium rib, porterhouse and T-bone steak, as well as pork chop with apple tamarind ketchup, lobster with wild garlic, smoked beef short ribs, crispy fried scampi and potato gratin with anchovy and parmesan.
There will also be a limited ‘Front Row Seat’ chef’s table-style tasting menu available to those who like to see all of the action. Bookings will open later this month.
The team behind Belzan refresh their current counter this month with a brand-new deep-fried and charcoal-grilled chicken offering called Lucky Foot. Serving first-class birds, there’s no need to feel guilty about where your chicken is coming from here.
As for what’s on the menu, think fried chicken burgers, different salted fries (chicken, spicy, seaweed and plain), plus massive chicken tenders and sweet potato chunks – and that’s just for starters. We’ve had a little sneak peek, and already can’t wait to go back.
Known for their outrageously rich (not to mention ginormous) cookies and doughnuts, Manchester bakery Gooey will move into Freight Island as part of a new 2022 dessert offering.
Fans can expect to find specials like hot cookie dough and ice cream here, as part of an exclusive offering for the market, alongside the other tasty products they’ve become so well known for.
Manchester bakehouse Batard will join Gooey this April in catering to Freight diners with a sweet tooth, serving up dessert pies and ice cream to the masses.
Pitching up outside the Plant Room, the bakehouse will have its very own diner in partnership with Wildfarmed, a community-led farming system on a mission to fix soil through regenerative farming co-founded by Andy Cato of Groove Armada.
The one and only Burgerism will take over from Patty Queen at Escape to Freight Island in May, bringing what are widely considered to be the best smashed burgers in town to this corner of Piccadilly.
Fans of the brand can look forward to the famous ‘Cheesed’ burger with two smashed patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and Burgerism sauce in a brioche bun, alongside the mouthwatering chicken burger.
Feature image – The Manc Eats / Batard / Burgerism
Police arrest four men and shut down ‘incredibly dangerous’ cannabis farm in Salford
Police have shut down a suspected cannabis farm in Salford today, arresting four men.
Officers swooped on the property on Arthur Street in Swinton after finding evidence that the house was being used to grow cannabis plants.
The farm has been described as ‘incredibly dangerous’ to other occupants in the area.
Three rooms in the house were full of plants growing, with a huge amount of wiring surrounding them that posed a fire hazard.
The four men detained by Greater Manchester Police (GMP) Salford Neighbourhood Team were subsequently arrested on suspicion of involvement in the production and supply of cannabis and remain in police custody for questioning.
Sergeant Peter MacFarlane said: “Locating a cannabis farm is a great result for the team who are gathering intelligence and working hard to crackdown on drug-related crime across Salford.
“Farms of this nature are also incredibly dangerous to other occupants in the area. The building itself is still being made safe due to the amount of wiring around the plants. Criminals running these types of enterprises have no regard for public safety and in these conditions, an electrical fault from bad wiring could easily start a fire and endanger lives.
“The arrests and seizures then go someway towards disrupting the supply of illegal drugs and the criminality that comes with it, and will also make our communities safer.
“This operation was intelligence led and a huge part of our intelligence comes from members of the public sharing information with us. If you have suspicions about a crime taking place please report it so we can take positive action and bring those responsible to justice.”
You can make a report by calling 101 or 999 in an emergency. You can also report via the LiveChat function on GMP’s website: www.gmp.police.uk
Alternatively you can contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.
Featured image: GMP
‘Groundbreaking’ new app to help get homeless people into work launches in Manchester
Homeless families across Manchester are set to benefit from a “groundbreaking” new service that gives them access to employment support.
With the ultimate aim of helping homeless people move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes, Manchester City Council has announced a new pilot partnership with Beam – a social enterprise that fundraises on behalf of homeless people and connects them with a supportive online community.
Through Beam’s “innovative” app-based platform, homeless people can raise money for items that often end up being financial obstacles to them moving into a permanent home, whether than be funding equipment or training to help them secure stable and financially-viable employment, or towards a rental deposit, moving van, or other homeware essentials, and everything in between.
Donations come from people in the local community, and are shared out equally between participants, so that everyone reaches their fundraising target within an average of 17 days.
Having helped more than 1,300 homeless people “achieve their goals” since being founded in 2017, Beam isn’t just about funding, as it also has a team of caseworkers who provide one-to-one help with employment to those in need.
The caseworkers also lend a hand with searching for properties online, communicating with landlords, and booking house viewings, while Beam also works with a network of vetted landlords to help people find a home
The initiative also provides further support for at least six months after moving.
Over the next year, Manchester City Council says its pilot partnership with Beam will initially support 25 families who are living in temporary accommodation in the region, and move them into their own private rental homes.
Residents can be referred to the scheme by the Council’s housing teams, as well as other local services, and each person is assigned a caseworker from Beam, who then supports them on their journey into stable housing.
“No one chooses homelessness voluntarily,” admitted Councillor Joanna Midgley, Deputy Leader of Manchester City Council.
“And when it happens, it can be devastating, which is why we are looking at a range of solutions to help people secure affordable and decent homes in Manchester.
“Our new partnership with Beam is an innovative approach to improve people’s life chances, supporting them, where possible, into sustainable jobs allowing them to move out of temporary accommodation and into their own homes.