Manchester city centre has been ranked as the best retail and leisure destination in the UK for the third year running.
After taking the title for two years prior, and after the city showed resilience in the face of nationwide closures throughout several lockdowns during the COVID-19 pandemic, a new study has now revealed that Manchester has clinched the top stop once again.
The city has retained the largest range of retail and leisure offerings in one shoppable location across the UK.
According to Colliers’ inaugural LocateVenues retail rankings report – which monitors the retail and leisure offering at commercial venues nationwide – Manchester has come out on top and taken the title over several other major UK cities.
Glasgow came in second overall, with Leeds centre in third place, Birmingham fourth, and fellow North West city Liverpool rounding out the top five.
Colliers says its annual study looks at metrics including venue type, brand presence and strength, vacancy and refurbishment rates, floorspace availability, price positioning, and the mix of different retail and leisure categories.
The 9,000 venues and individual destinations that made up this year’s research range from major city centres, to local town and neighbourhood shopping streets, shopping malls and designer outlets, and retail and leisure parks.
Standalone grocery stores, service stations, retail in rail stations, hospitals, and business parks were also included in the study.
Speaking on the results of the research and commenting on Manchester’s victory for 2022, David Fox – co-head of Retail at Colliers – said: “The diversity of retail and leisure offering in Manchester is what has allowed the city to maintain its top ranking.
“The findings of LocateVenue show that to thrive, destinations need to provide a genuine mix of brands and services, a large proportion of independents and an offering that is matched to the needs of the catchment area.
“Gone are the days when high streets or retail parks could rely on the provision of chains and anchor stores as real thought needs to be given to the occupier mix.
A Japanese fine dining restaurant is opening in the former Randall & Aubin site
A new Japanese fine dining restaurant will open on Bridge Street in Manchester this October, bringing a theatrical ‘multi-sensory’ dining experience to the city.
Giving diners the chance to dine from specially created 7 and 11-course tasting menus or opt for a traditional ‘chef’s choice’ experience at its six-seat Omakase counter, bosses say it will offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes currently not seen outside of London.
Called MUSU, which translates as ‘infinite possibilities,’ the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Patron Michael Shaw, who has worked at top eateries including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Canne.
Shaw has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine in preparation to open MUSU and will bring on Head Sushi Chef Andre Aguiar, who has trained under renowned Japanese sushi master YugoKato, to head up the kitchen.
When MUSU it opens its doors on Bridge Street on 6 October, diners will be treated to a new tasting menu concept that promises to deliver a ‘multi-sensory dining experience.’
Its menu is divided into three sections – Sentaku, Kaiseki and Omakase – giving diners the choice between ordering dishes a la carte style, opting for a set seven or eleven-course tasting menu, or entrusting the chef to create their ‘perfect menu.’
As for the new high-end Japanese restaurant’s design, MUSU’s multi-million-pound interiors will boast bespoke Italian furniture, subtle mood lighting and bespoke Geisha-inspired walls, with a bar made from Dekton stone, banana leaf patterned brass and onyx.
A huge festival dedicated to the wonders of Spanish cuisine is coming to Manchester next month.
Organised as part of country-wide celebration by Spanish brewery Estrella Galicia, the festival will bring some of the city’s finest Spanish and South American chefs together for a vibrant mix of tapas tours, foodie masterclasses and high-end tasting menus.
Hosted cross Manchester, London, Cardiff, Brighton and Newcastle, locals can take part in the ultimate Spanish food tour with selected restaurants offering their best-selling tapas plates with a pint of Estrella Galicia on the side.
Former Masterchef contestant Caroline Martins of the Sao Paulo Project will host a special tasting menu at her current home inside Ancoats’ Blossom Street Social, mixing traditional Spanish dishes with influences from her home country of Brazil in Central America on Sunday 11 September.
An official Estrella Galicia Chef Ambassador for 2022, Martins has made quite a name for herself since arriving in Manchester – appearing on the Great British Menu earlier this year and wowing local diners in Ancoats with her Alice in Wonderland-style food.
Known for serving weird and wonderful creations like edible ‘beef fat’ candles, marshmallows topped with tongue-numbing Jambu flowers and desserts disguised as poisonous mushrooms, Caroline has become something of a local sensation since moving to Manchester in 2020.
Elsewhere across the festival, local tapas favourites Evuna, La Bandera and the family-run staple El Rincon de Rafa will all get involved in a special tapas tour across the city on Thursday 29 September.