El Gato Negro will open in Liverpool’s Exchange Flags later this year
Simon Shaw, chef patron and creative director of Manchester’s King Street restaurant, El Gato Negro, has confirmed plans to open a second branch in Liverpool’s Exchange Flags later this year.
The new venue will be taking over the site formerly occupied by Steven Gerrard’s Vincent Café and Cocktail Bar after a deal with chef Aiden Byrne recently fell through. It is expected to undergo a refurbishment in alignment with the Manchester restaurant’s stunning interior, which reflects its refined and relaxed mode of dining.
it seemed only right to bring the venue to a second city in the North and Liverpool seemed like the perfect fit.
Critically acclaimed El Gato Negro, has been a huge success in Manchester since it opened in 2016. As well as receiving a clutch of favourable reviews in national newspapers and guides, it has also collected a significant number of awards including a Michelin Bib Gourmand (which it has held for three years running) and an AA rosette.
The menu is renowned for its seasonally influenced tapas dishes, using the highest quality ingredients. Dishes explore modern and traditional Spanish flavours and techniques and are complimented by a drinks list featuring some of the country’s best wines and sherries.
The new restaurant aims to be a base for Liverpool’s business community in the week and a cultural and gourmet dining destination in the evening. Exchange Flags is a landmark building with Neoclassical and modern features, hoping to draw in locals for after-work drinks and dining.
Originally from Yorkshire, Simon Shaw is a highly regarded restaurateur with over 35 years of experience - most notably as chef patron and creative director of El Gato Negro and formerly the inaugural head chef at Harvey Nichols’ restaurant in Leeds. He was then seconded to their London operations; first heading up the kitchens at Prism, their prestigious City of London restaurant, before moving to the flagship Knightsbridge store as Executive Head Chef. During this time Simon visited Catalonia and the Basque Country, falling in love with the diversity and excitement of modern Spanish cuisine.
In 2005 Simon returned north to open El Gato Negro in the Pennine village of Ripponden. Its reputation grew, gaining awards and accolades: winning best local Spanish restaurant on Gordon Ramsay’s F Word; listed annually in the Good Food Guide; Hardens called it ‘best tapas in the north’; the Observer’s Jay Rayner feted it; The Times ranked it number one tapas bar in the north’; the Observer’s Jay Rayner feted it; The Times ranked it number one tapas bar in the country; and finally being awarded the prestigious Michelin Guide Bib Gourmand for 2017, 2018 and 2019.
“I am really looking forward to opening a second El Gato Negro restaurant,” said Simon Shaw. “Liverpool’s an incredible city and I love the community spirit and vibe there.
“The restaurant has been so popular in Manchester that it seemed only right to bring the venue to a second city in the North and Liverpool seemed like the perfect fit.”
The launch date has yet to be revealed but El Gato Negro Liverpool is likely to open in the autumn.
El Gato Negro, Walker House, Exchange Flags, Liverpool L2 3YL