You’re gonna need some napkins as Fat Hippo lands in Liverpool and Manchester
From hungry hippo to Fat Hippo - it’s time to limber up for a good belly-bustin’ as the North West finally gets a taste of the North East-born burger joint.
Fat Hippo is set to open on Liverpool’s Bold Street as a standalone restaurant and as a concession inside Manchester’s Lane7 venue. It might have taken a long time for it to get here but I’m ready and raring to face-plant me some Fat Hippo.
Our BurgerLab have been known to reach for the watermelon, Brown Ale, baked beans - and charcoal
Ahead of the openings, I got hold of Fat Hippo’s mother of marketing, Abbie Gilbertson and Jackson Pollock-ed her with a round of quick-fire questions to get the pre-launch lowdown. So, if you’re waiting for the kettle for the boil for the 64th time today, dodging your emails, or sitting on the khazi, here’s a decent way to pass five or ten minutes.
How did Fat Hippo come to be?
Abbie Gilbertson: "Way back when in 2010, Fat Hippo was born in a cosy little end-terrace in Jesmond. What started out as an ambitious business plan for our founder and MD, Mike Phillips, during his university days, became our OG restaurant and a firm favourite in the popular Newcastle suburb."
Fat Hippo: Is that because you feel like one after you've eaten there?
AG: "Fat Hippo got its name as - for all their bad press - hippos are sociable animals that like to eat together."
Why Liverpool and Manchester?
AG: "The North East just couldn’t contain us anymore so the North West was the perfect next step. Plus, they’re amazing cities!"
We're excited to have you but what took you so bloody long to get here?
AG: "I know right?! When we do things we like to do them right so we just needed to make sure everything fit into place for our next move."
What can we expect from the menus in the new Liverpool and Manchester venues?
AG: "Liverpool is a full standalone restaurant and can expect THE WORKS! Manchester is a concession which just means you can visit us inside the amazing new Lane7 leisure complex popping up inside the Great Northern building.
How do you make sure each restaurant has its own identity?
AG: "Mike our MD has always had a keen eye for the perfect buildings and locations but paired with the formidable Julie Chambers (our magician of an interior designer), each restaurant can be sure to pack its own punch."
You boldly claim to serve up the “best burgers" - why should we come to Fat Hippo for a burger over anywhere else?
AG: "We're all about good, old fashioned, roll up your sleeves and get it all over your face kind of food. As well as our signature beef and boneless buttermilk chicken patties - that come with free fries as standard - we’ve also got a carefully designed range of vegan, gluten-free and dairy-free options available. We’re a family-friendly burger joint, with a great value kids menu, all about good food and messy fingers."
You're renowned for your quirky flavours - what's the weirdest thing you've ever tried putting on a plate?
AG: "A lot of people think our notorious PB&JJ (which is a double beef patty layered with American cheese, chunky peanut butter, bacon jam and smoked chilli jello) is fairly quirky but a solid favourite all the same. Although our BurgerLab have been known to reach for the watermelon, Brown Ale, baked beans - and charcoal."
If you could go for a pint and a burger with any Manchester icon (alive or dead) - who and why?
AG: "Gotta be Morrissey - bet he’d smash one of our vegan burgers."
Pick 3 legendary Scousers (alive or dead) for a night out in Liverpool - who and why?
AG: "Gotta be Cilla, Kim Cattrall and Jacqui Abbott - what a girls night that would be!"
Fat Hippo, Bold Street, Liverpool is due to open in Spring/Summer 2021.
The Manchester concession will be opening in Lane7, Great Northern Warehouse once lockdown restrictions are lifted next month.
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