The whole country is holding in a collective breath as we wait to see if England will be crowned champions in the Euros Final this Sunday.
The men’s team haven’t won a major championship since 1966, so history was made when the Three Lions beat Denmark 2-1 on Wednesday night.
With excitement building and bosses around the city handing out extra days of paid leave like they’re going out of fashion, there’s never been a better excuse to make a big day of it ahead of the match.
Get yourself set up for the night with a solid scran at one of these killer spots in the city, dishing up everything from burgers and pizzas to grilled cheese, loaded salt and pepper chips and more.
Bread and Bowl at the Crown and Anchor
A whole loaf of sourdough bread, hollowed out and filled with all your favourite grub? Sounds like the perfect pre-match scran to us. Filling choices include Full English, a ‘nacho bowl’ will chilli con Carne, guac and sour cream, a ‘brie’ bowl with added mozzarella and gruyere, and a Philly cheesesteak stew.
They’ll even deliver a post-match ‘hangover package’ to your door, so if you’re really taken why not get another on order for Monday? You’re going to need it.
Find Bread and Bowl at the Crown and Anchor, 41 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EE. Open Sunday, 10am-7pm.
Salt and Pepper at Black Dog Ballroom, Northern Quarter
As the name suggests, everything here gets the authentic salt and pepper treatment: from chicken strips and massive king prawns to tofu, sticky beef, and wings. Have yours with boiled rice, salt and pepper crinkle cut chips, or stuffed into flatbreads for the ultimate pre-match scran. S&P has also got a site in the Arndale market, great if you want to take it away.
Find Salt and Pepper at Black Dog Ballroom on 52 Church St, Manchester M4 1PW. Open Sunday, 12pm-4am.
Northern Soul Grilled Cheese
The home of grilled cheese in Manchester, these guys do not mess about. They’ve got two sites in the Northern Quarter; a more casual takeaway spot just off High Street, and a cafe with outdoor and indoor seating just down the road off Tib street.
Breakfast grilled cheeses are served until 12pm, after that choices include ‘The Midnight Bacon’ – their signature three-cheese toastie served with a sticky bourbon-glazed pork chop; and the ‘Pig on a Lead’ – the ultimate mac and cheese grilled sandwich, served with 9-hour BBQ pulled pork.
Find the Northern Soul Grilled Cheese cafe at Unit G20, 21, 44 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA. Open Sunday, 11.30am – 7pm.
Lust, Luck, Liquor and Burn
Lust Luck is known for its super slutty burritos, nachos and tacos, all of which come dripping in delicious house-made sauces, for good reason. But don’t overlook the sides here, either – there are some belters on the menu. Our favourite? The bacon-wrapped jalapeno poppers, filled with goats cheese and served with a sundried aioli.
Find Lust, Luck, Liquor and Burn at 100-102 High St, Manchester M4 1HP. Open Sunday, 12-11pm.
Fact: it’s impossible to go wrong with a Rudy’s pizza. The multi-award-winnning chain, first started in Ancoats, now has sites across the UK but the quality here is still just as brilliant as ever.
Favourites include their nduja Calabrese pizza and Capricciosa, topped with prosciutto cotto, kalamata olives, portobello mushroom and artichoke hearts; but you’re just as well off ordering a margherita here – the neapolitan sourdough base is so good, you don’t really need anything else.
Find Rudy’s at their Ancoats restaurant on Cutting room Square or on Peter Street, next to Albert’s Schloss.Open Sunday, 12pm-10pm.
Crazy Pedro’s Pizza
With two sites, one in the Northern Quarter and another on Bridge Street, no matter where you are watching the football n town it’s always easy to get to a pre-match scran at Pedro’s.
The pizza here is a world away from Rudy’s: New York in style, not Neapolitan, it comes with crazy toppings and can be ordered by the pie or slice.
Think burger-themed pizzas like the ‘Mac Daddy’, topped with mini hamburgers, jack cheese, burger sauce, a nacho-laden pizza laden with pico de gallo, gauc, tortillas, chilli and salsa, and their ‘World Famous Hot Dog Pizza’.
Find Crazy Pedro’s on Bridge Street or on Short St in the Northern Quarter, next to Dive Bar and NQ64. Open Sunday, 12pm-12am.
‘Please help’ – plea to save one of Manchester’s oldest theatres as beautiful building falls into disrepair
A fresh appeal and Crowdfunder has been launched to try and save one of Manchester’s oldest and most beautiful theatre buildings.
The Hulme Playhouse Theatre and the Nia Centre are at risk of closing down once again as both the list of repairs and the cost of living rise.
The venue, used now as a community hub and events space operated by NIAMOS, is in ‘desperate need of repair’ and they need to raise £50,000 for the urgent work.
Without it, it’s feared that the ‘cold and leaking’ building could be lost forever and ‘another cultural institution could be turned into flats’.
At present, the historic Grade II-listed building doesn’t have a heating system, and winter has brought new pressures.
NIAMOS, a group of local residents and community volunteers, say they want to ‘honour the important legacy of this renowned venue’.
The beautiful building in Hulme was first opened in 1902 and is one of only two remaining W. H. Broadhead theatres.
At one time, Broadhead owned an empire of theatres, and designed the space to resemble a factory from the outside, hoping to help working class audiences in Manchester feel at home.
In 1956, the BBC took over and turned it into BBC Soundstage North, where The Beatles’ first-ever live radio performance was broadcast from.
Then the legendary Nina Simone opened it theas The Nia Centre in 1991, becoming the first African and Caribbean-led theatre in Europe.
The cultural significance of this building really can’t be overstated, and the NIAMOS team are desperate to save it.
They said in their Crowdfunder: “Our mission is to preserve the heritage of the Nia Centre and Playhouse Theatre, by keeping the building and the Arts it facilitates accessible to all communities, all ages and capabilities.”
NIAMOS’ message continued: “We need help to be able to keep all the incredible projects that happen in the building going and make sure the space stays open as a hub for the Hulme community and beyond! We need to honour the important legacy of this renowned venue, still independent in the heart of Manchester, and not let another cultural institution be turned into flats.
“We want to make sure the building stays open as much as possible over winter and improve the equipment that local and young artists have access to through us, including music production, sound and lighting engineering, arts workshops, film and media production and acting classes.
“The building is in desperate need of repair and a heating system which we currently do not have at all! Alongside all of this, the running costs of the building and the rising cost of living mean we are under pressure this winter.
“We rely on volunteer support to run and host events for our community and our voluntary members have worked extremely hard to keep the building afloat, but our members cannot give as much of their time as we need and with the challenge of a cold and leaking building we are in need of help to save this space from closing down!!
“When the current directorship took over the running of the building they also took on significant debts, this has meant we have been two steps forward and one step back. Despite all the hard work of the people who have been running the space voluntarily we need help over the quieter winter months.
“We need to stay open long enough to apply for further funding bids, including long term support from the Heritage Lottery fund, as we are a grade II listed building. We have an amazing programme of events and projects we want to put on this year that will build on sustaining us financially and provide opportunities for community artists and creatives.
“Keeping this building open and functional is of great importance for Hulme and the surrounding areas communities; we need your help! Developing heating solutions and doing necessary repairs in the building will enable us to stay open during the colder months and help us with our aim of making the building more conscious and sustainable.
Tim Martin is blaming ‘people drinking at home’ for UK Wetherspoons closures
It’s no secret that times are hard for hospitality right now, with pubs and restaurants shutting left, right and centre – but when UK pub giant Wetherspoons starts closing its doors you have to wonder if anyone can survive in this climate.
In September last year, the budget pub chain began listing sites for sale with 32 boozers going up as part of what it described as a “commercial decision”.
Now, it has listed even more – and arch-Brexiteer Wetherspoons boss Tim Martin is apparently blaming people ‘drinking at home’ for the closures.
After the chain suffered a £30 million pound loss, CEO Tim Martin told PA news agency that people ‘have got into the habit of staying in’ ever since Covid and that that was why sales were down on 2019.
He also blamed lockdown restrictions brought in to stop the spread of Covid during the heigh of the pandemic for the pub’s losses,
He said: “The aftermath of the pandemic and lockdown restrictions have been far more difficult than anyone thought.
“That is the picture for the whole pub and restaurant industry. People thought that after lockdown there would be a boom in people suffering from cabin fever but, instead, it has almost become the opposite situation as people have got into the habit of staying in.
“That’s the big thing that means sales are down on 2019. Things are improving now but it’s slow.”
The pub sales are being handled by CBRE and Savills. Toby Hall, senior director at CBRE, said: “The excellent mix of locations in this portfolio is rarely seen in the market.
“With more than half the portfolio located in London and the South East and other strong locations in the South West, Midlands and North we believe the pubs represent an excellent opportunity for existing pub operators and new entrants.”