Whether you were born here or drawn here, there are plenty of reasons that Manchester has become home to so many thousands of people.
Many now-locals have chosen to make Manchester their home, moving from across the globe to put down roots in our fair city.
And attracting swathes of people is Capital & Centric’s community-focused developments in the city centre, notably the historic Crusader and new build neighbour Phoenix.
The social impact property developers have restored the 180-year-old building into a block of one and two-bed apartments with exposed brickwork, original cast iron columns and wooden beams, and huge windows.
Those who live here include Yasu Jordan Sato, 34, along with his wife Mai and young son – Yasu was born in Japan and has since lived in LA and Paris working as an exterior designer in the motor industry, but it was Manchester that beat out those other international cities for the young family.
Yasu says that the comparisons often made between Brooklyn and Manchester are completely correct.
He said: “My brother lives in Brooklyn in New York and I always make the comparison between Manchester and Brooklyn. Certain parts look exactly like Brooklyn, it’s cool and the people are so warm and friendly.
“People complain about the weather, but honestly I found Paris more gloomy in comparison!”
On their decision to move to Manchester, and Crusader, Yasu said: “It was a bit crazy. We’d never been to Manchester and knew very little about the UK. We’d been to London once. So we really didn’t know what to expect at all.
“We were really surprised with just how liveable the city is… it deserves the focus. I really feel people don’t know how great Manchester is, that includes some people who live here who probably take it for granted.
“We only really spoke basic French, so it’s been a dream to get here and meet new people. We love the food too! We love Thai, Vietnamese, Mexican, we’re spoilt for choice in Manchester and it’s all so accessible. All the good bits of a massive city without having to get the subway everywhere.
“We knew Crusader was for us. My wife loved the bricks and the history of the building. We’re settling into life as a family here too.
“People often find it strange we’re raising a child in the city, but that’s a very UK view. People do it all the time in America. With canals, green spaces nearby and the city on our doorsteps, it’s perfect for us.”
Another international resident is Dino, who lives in the industrial-style Phoenix. He moved to Plymouth from Athens aged 17 to study – and then headed to Manchester ‘at random’, choosing it over Birmingham or London.
It’s all worked out for him, with Dino saying that the salary ceiling in the north no longer seems to apply to Manchester.
Dino said: “I moved to Manchester from Greece as a student around 15 years ago and since then have lived all over the world but, when it came to buying a home and settling down, it was always going to be here.
“It really is a home away from home. I love the people, the positive vibe and the amazing social scene.
“A lot of big companies moved up from London after Covid so it’s got the job opportunities too. If they’d have been around I would never have left all those years ago for work. There’s no salary ceiling anymore in Manchester so you’re keeping talented people in the city.
“Living in Piccadilly East I’ve got everything on my doorstep and it’s a really friendly and safe community. I’ve got to know loads of my neighbours and it’s a nice feeling to know they’re around if I need anything or just want to hang out. Athens is where I was born, but Manchester is my home. It truly is a piece of heaven.”
Donovan Hervig, 50, has lived in some pretty big cities in his life, including Tennessee, Northern Virginia, New York City, and in South America, but when his young son settled in North Wales with his mother he turned to Manchester.
Then he found himself spoilt by cultural and artistic diversity, friendly people and mild summers.
Donovan set up the US-based online travel agency Ideal South America, which he is able to manage from Manchester despite concerns around time zones.
He said: “I’ve been in the UK over seven years now and finally have dual citizenship. It’s been a long road, but well worth it! Manchester is not far by car or train from my son in North Wales and it’s got the best of everything you want from a city but it’s compact, walkable and the people are easy to talk to. It’s diverse too; with people from all over Europe, and the world.
“It’s easy to meet family, friends or even potential customers, without having to travel far. I’ve lived in New York City – which is amazing – so much to see and do. But like London, it’s much more expensive and takes an hour to get anywhere!
“These days I prefer somewhere smaller, a bit more laid back, less expensive and easier to get around … to me that’s Manchester. And the entertainment scene is still brilliant too! Football, arts, music – you name it. And the airport is well connected for international travel as well – second only to London.”
Donovan moved into his two-bedroom apartment in Crusader in May 2022, where he’s perfectly-placed to make the most of the surrounding food, drink and live music scene.
Donovan has made the most of the surrounding communities – live music and drinks in the Northern Quarter, the square at Ancoats, food at Mackie Mayor and even Oxford Rd.
He continued: “After viewing houses in south Manchester where I was living, my teenage son and I started warming to the idea of living in the city centre instead. More convenient and modern – a different experience.
“If we found the right place – we thought it’d be brilliant for me and us both – a good change. But we didn’t want to sacrifice too much space either. We viewed some small, cramped apartments in the Northern Quarter… no thanks!
“Then we saw the flats in Crusader and… wow! So much more spacious, and in an interesting historical building, with a sense of community (owner occupied) and cool vibe.
“We’re really enjoying it here. I can pick up my son at Piccadilly just around the corner and we can walk to restaurants, the cinema and Man City matches – no public transport! I can easily walk to the office, meet friends for nights out and receive out of town visitors.”
Residents from both Phoenix and Crusader can relax in the mill’s stunning hidden courtyard, once a dirty, concrete car park and now a green oasis kitted out with BBQs and fire pits.
It was a major attraction for residents, Donovan said: “I just thought I could get all the things you struggle for in places like London and NYC, where it’s crazy expensive to live. And you don’t get outside space and can at times be a bit unfriendly. Not Manchester!”
You can find out more about life at Capital & Centric’s Crusader here.
Featured image: Supplied
All the best Joshua Brooks gigs and events on this February-April
Now the January slump is finally behind us, we’re raring to get stuck into a new season of live music, club nights and more. Thanks to Joshua Brooks’ line-up, we’ve already got a fair few in our diary.
Since its revamp back in 2021, JBs has gone from strength to strength, not only welcoming back returning customers who’ve frequented the much-loved Princess Street venue for years but ushering in a whole new crowd. With plenty of food, booze, music and live events, it never disappoints.
With that in mind, Joshua Brooks has an absolutely jam-packed schedule of live music, club nights and more this month and leading right up until April, not to mention plenty more to come this year.
With the likes of Pola & Bryson, Monrroe, GLXY, DUSKEE and Kira headlining, legendary drum, bass and jungle label Shogun Audio is returning to Joshua Brooks this February. Expect a thumping sound system, cutting-edge visuals and a room packed full of ravers. Grab your tickets HERE.
2. Super Bowl LVII – 12 Feb
Although the majority of dates on the list are music-related, the Super Bowl is one of the biggest sporting events of the year, so of course these lot are showing the game. With sharing platters and £2 pints on offer, not to mention table packages, it’s going to be one of the best places to watch the Bowl.
3. Whippin Label Paty with Melé – 17 Feb
Whipping Records are bringing two of their most popular artists back to the Brooks with Mele and Toby Simpson set to rock up and play a mix of world music-influenced house, transatlantic hip hop, UK techno, classic Chicago grooves and more. There’s something for everyone. Find out more HERE.
Treating the basement to what’s bound to be a banging DJ set, Joshua Brooks is one of the next stops on TS7’s massive headline tour, kicking off hours of house beats and basslines from 10pm onwards. You’ll want to grab a ticket for this one.
5. Luuk Van Dijk – 24 Feb
Amsterdam DJ Luuk Van Dijk is one of the most diverse we’ve come across in recent years and he’ll be greeting this beloved Princess Street venue with his unique sound once again just before the end of the month. Secure your tickets now and you’ll get to listen to him all night long.
6. Yousef – 25 Feb
Yousef is one of our absolute favourites, playing a variety of deep and tech house to all-round floor-filling dance music and everything in between. With support from Powda and the Dunmore Brothers, he’ll be playing for three whole hours — what a way to close out February. Get your ticket HERE.
Heading into March, we all know how great Thursday nights at Joshua Brooks are, even more so when they tea up with Tribal to bring you resident trick label DJ Ammara, as well as Nick Spencer, Max Rottier and Mcminn. Now that’s value for money. You can book in for any phase or all of them (why not?) HERE.
8. Moxy Muzik with Darius Syrossian – 3 March
The following day, you have JBs second night of Moxy Muzik for 2023 with Iranian DJ Darius Syrossian, who’s set to put on a three-hour set of house, UK garage and minimal techno. Moxy is one of the best up-and-coming local labels and definitely know how to put on a hometown show. Don’t miss it.
A pioneer of modern progressive house, London-based producer Ilan Bluestone has shot to fame on the international dance music scene. With some big singles and remixes over the past few years, not to mention his sophomore album Impulse, this master of synths is a good reason to stay up. Tickets HERE.
10. Horse Meat Disco – 10 March
Not just one of the best-named dance nights: it’s simply one of the best dance nights full stop. The London stallions are bringing the likes of Supernature, Scott Forrest and Rhod Parry to set the night off on a four-horse race to fill the floor and take the roof of 106 Princess Street. We’ll see you there.
That’s right, Mason Maynard is making a special appearance at Joshua Brooks along with guests Calvin Clarke and Ervs. The set will run from 10pm until 4am and tickets are bound to go quickly. Grab yours now while you still can.
12. What Hannah Wants – 17 March
Let’s. Effin. Go. What Hannah Wants is to be heard and with a dedicated fan base already behind after some unforgettable nights at Warehouse Project, she certainly will be. Give us that hard-hitting house or give us death. Tickets will go on sale soon, so keep your eyes peeled.
A true raver born on the underground scene, Seb Zito sets are legendary. The owner of Seven Dials Records and Fuse London, not to mention a resident at Infuse Ibiza, the Joshua Brooks crowd will be treated to a full night of techno and deep house until 4am. Say no more — tickets HERE.
14. Hannah Laing – 24 March
Dundee’s Queen of House, Hannah Laing is making her way down to Manchester as part of her North Headline Tour and we can’t wait — her ‘Murder On The Dancefloor’ edit alone is worth coming along for. Tickets aren’t yet live but you can join the waiting list now.
Next up is Max Dean, who after absolutely killing it at JBs back in December has been invited back to the basement once again. The house and minimal tech DJ is only 21 but is already making a splash on the electronic scene. He’s also got a few unreleased tracks just raring to go — maybe you’ll get to hear them.
16. Toman – 31 March
To close out Joshua Brook’s March offerings, Manchester is being treated to another rising Dutch DJ in Toman, as well as support from Pirate Copy. He’ll be playing what’s sure to be a lively three-hour set from 10pm and the student discount tickets have already sold out, so grab yours while you still can.
Joshua Brooks is kicking off April in style with a throwback for the ages. It’s been seven whole years since the last Just Skank event anywhere in Manchester and it just so happens that JBs has been selected for the night garage, D&B, dub and bassline. You simply cannot miss this one.
18. Fleur Shore – 14 April
As we hit the middle of the month, Birmingham’s very own Fleur Shore is back at JBs and playing all night long, from start to finish — this girl doesn’t need support. After a huge year playing all over the globe, she’ll be making the basement her own. Tickets HERE.
With festival season on the horizon, JBM Music and Retro Events are doing their bit to get you in the mood by hosting a warm-up party for this year’s Retro In The Park. The massive weekend line-up of DJs, worldwide acts and local artists might be over in Burnley but you can get in the mood a month in advance right here in 0161. Might as well get started early.
20. Full Circle – 21 April
Last but not least, our final pick from Joshua Brooks’ events this April is their Full Circle night which will take you back to what they call ‘the golden era of deep house’. With the likes of Route 94, Infinity Ink, No Artificial Colours, Brian Murphy and more on the playlist, we tend to agree. Get in booked in HERE.
Japanese-Brazilian hybrid, SakkuSamba, is putting on a special Valentine’s menu
For anyone who hasn’t made it down to SakkuSamba, not only are you missing out but you might have also just found the perfect place to take your special someone this Valentine’s Day.
If you haven’t heard of this unique Spinningields restaurant before, SakkuSamba is the Japanese-Brazilian hybrid where surf and turf meet in an intimate and stylish setting.
From the moment you walk in to see the pink-hued lighting and floral surroundings, you immediately feel like you’ve been transported to a different world. And what better way to be greeted into that world than with a rose and a glass of fizz? Say no more.
That’s right, as part of their Valentine‘s offer, the menu not only kicks off with you being presented with a rose by the ever-welcoming staff, which you can then hand to your partner as if you planned the whole thing especially for them (we won’t say a word), but you also get a glass of prosecco on arrival too.
SakkuSamba’s Valentine’s offering runs from 13-15 February and promises their unlimited dining experience as well as a special sharing dessert. You can book a lunchtime meal for £42.50 or secure yourself an incredible dinner for £55.50.
In case you’re wondering what makes it ‘unlimited’: part of what makes their dining experience so unique is how expansive their menu is, bridging across two beloved but equally varied cuisines.
Lucky for you, you’ll be able to order pretty much everything they have on it through a simple tablet on your own table, meaning you can spend even more time just the two of you on your special night.
As for the limited edition Valentine’s dessert, SakkuSamba’s Manchester restaurant will be creating its very own special sharing dessert and that’s all we’re allowed to tell you about it — all we know is that it’ll undoubtedly be delicious.