As Manchester’s indoor hospitality scene cautiously begins returning to some semblance of normality, new opening announcements seem to be absolutely everywhere.
These would usually be more staggered, but it seems a glut of operators were holding back for the long-promised “freedom day” of June 21st.
Amongst these, we count a smart new aperitivo and spritz bar, the arrival of Brighton-born vegan pizzeria Purezza in the Northern Quarter, a second NQ64 on Peter street and a new independent Piccadilly station stop-off called The Coffee Hive.
We also see the return of some solid favourites this week, including American Pies Chicago-style deep dish pizza and underground NQ vegan restaurant Black Leaf, which is back with an all-new menu.
Elsewhere, outdoor dining is still very much a thing. The Refuge is currently in the midst of hosting a huge street food takeover with some of Manchester’s biggest lockdown success stories – and this weekend sees two of our favourites, Batard and Badabing, take the reigns.
Read more about that (and our other top picks for the week) below.
Wales’ ‘only proper slurp spot’ NWR kitchen takeover at Mackie Mayor
Matsudai ramen have garnered huge praise from the likes of national papers the Guardian and Observer, now it’s been announced they’re taking over the New Wave Ramen kitchen at Mackie Mayor for two days. Technically it’s next week, but tickets have just gone live and are selling fast so we thought we’d give you a heads up. The event is part of a series that’ll bring some of the UK’s best ramen to Manchester for the very first time.
Confirm your bowl for a deposit of just £10 and check out the other upcoming events here.
A “Jewish grandma-style” wine-paired supper club, held in a cabin on stilts
Think “Friday night dinner” roast chicken with blackened lemons, whole-roasted garlic and sweet potato kugel, freshly-baked challah and borscht, followed by chocolate and chilli babka, then try and tell us you’re not hungry. Hosted by KAMPUS newcomer and bagel bakery-come-florist Breadflower, this one-off supper club takes place this Thursday 24th June with wine pairing from Ancoats’ Le Social Wine.
Held in the KAMPUS bungalow, tickets start from £40. Grab yours here.
The indie Manchester bakehouse serving amazing cheesecake-filled brioche pastries
There’s a lot of baking competition in Manchester, but indie startup Batard is rising fast through the ranks. Founder Lewis Loughman previously helped set up indulgent Manchester cookie house Gooey, now he counts the likes of Edinburgh Castle, Takk and General Stores amongst his wholesale clients. Popping up at The Refuge this weekend, his kolace, best described as what happens when “cheesecake meets brioche danish”, are a must-try – as are the cream-filled cannolis and sfogliatelle.
Catch Batard at The Refuge terrace this weekend, 25th-27th from 12-5pm.
Warm Sicilian brioche sandwiches on a Northern Quarter backstreet
What began as a Sicilian pop-up in an English butty shop found itself a new home at the other end of the Northern Quarter last year. The warm ice cream-stuffed brioche rolls here are a summer sensation – and now there’s a new addition on the menu. Think the same fluffy, house-baked brioche, this time slathered in sweet hazelnut chocolate spread and/or pistachio sauce and crunchy nut crumb. Just pull up on the street and order from the kiosk to take away.
Find Silician NQ on 14 Turner Street, between Thomas Street/ High Street.
The smart new Italian-inspired aperitivo bar inside a former Cafe Nero
Opened by two businessmen with no obvious hospitality background, we’re not mad on Haunt MCR’s name but the offering has caught our eye. Inspired by the Italian tradition of aperitivo (think British happy hour, but more refined), there is a big selection of Italian wines and spritzes here plus other classic aperitivo drinks like the negroni and its American counterpart: the boulevardier. Stuzzichini (finger food) is served from morning to night, though it’s not clear if owners plan to send out complementary plates between 5 and 7 – as is customary abroad.
Find Haunt MCR at 58 Peter Street.
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away free music lessons
Manchester music store Forsyth is giving away a host of free music lessons next month in a bid to inspire people to learn a new instrument, or pick up an old one.
The store is giving new and returning musicians a chance to receive a 10–15-minute free music taster session as part of its Music for All Learn to Play ’22 event.
Taking place across 8 and 9 October between 10am-5pm (8 October) and 1130am-30pm (9 October),short taster music lessons will allow all ages and abilities to have a musical experience that could turn into a lifetime of enjoyment, or even a new career.
Speaking on the free music lesson initiative, Emma from Forsyths said: “The past two years have shown how important music is to all our lives and how it can bring people together even in the most difficult of circumstances.
“We aim to help as many people as possible understand the unique joys and benefits of learning an instrument (or taking part in a choir).
“Anyone interested in learning to play an instrument or looking to pick it up again, should come and join us for this two-day celebration of music making.
“We’re delighted to be part of Music for All’s Learn to Play ’22 event, and we can’t wait to get started.”
OBE Jools Holland, Patron of Music for All, said: “Making music is very important to me. It’s my work, my pleasure, my friend, companion and therapist.
The charity Music for All believes passionately in the unique power of music to change lives and that is why it runs Learn to Play.
Music for All believes everyone should have equal access to music making.
The charity supports disadvantaged music makers by providing cash grants for tuition and instruments and by donating instruments directly.
Celebrated author Dame Hilary Mantel has died ‘suddenly yet peacefully’ aged 70
Dame Hilary Mantel has died aged 70.
The unexpected passing of the critically-acclaimed author whose celebrated career spans nearly five decades has just been announced by her agents 4th Estate Books and her publishing team at HarperCollins in two separate statements released this morning – who confirmed that she died “suddenly yet peacefully”.
The Glossop-born writer was famed for historical fiction work, and was most-known for being the author of the beloved Wolf Hall trilogy.
The statement by her agents confirming her passing reads: “We are heartbroken at the death of our beloved author, Dame Hilary Mantel, and our thoughts are with her friends and family, especially her husband, Gerald.
“This is a devastating loss and we can only be grateful she left us with such a magnificent body of work.”
Mantel’s publishers HarperCollins called her “one of the greatest English novelists of this century”.
The company’s statement reads: “It is with great sadness that AM Heath and HarperCollins announce that bestselling author Dame Hilary Mantel DBE died suddenly yet peacefully yesterday, surrounded by close family and friends, aged 70.
“Hilary Mantel was one of the greatest English novelists of this century and her beloved works are considered modern classics.
Mantel has twice been awarded the Booker Prize, the first time for the 2009 novel Wolf Hall, a fictional account of Thomas Cromwell’s rise to power in the court of Henry VIII, and secondly for the 2012 novel Bring Up the Bodies, the second instalment of the Cromwell trilogy.
She was the first woman, and fourth person, to receive the award twice.