Plans have been submitted for an eastern Mediterranean restaurant in the old Panama Hatty's site

The owners of El Gato Negro and Canto have submitted plans to open a new restaurant in the city centre.

Taking over the old Panama Hatty's/Featherblade site on Brown Street, just off King Street, planning documents state that the restaurant will not become 'another El Gato Negro', but will be 'designed and run on a similar basis but with an eastern Mediterranean style cuisine'.

"It's no secret that I’m very ambitious

In 2016, El Gato's chef-patron Simon Shaw revealed his ambition to open a new Middle Eastern restaurant in Manchester, following visits to the likes of The Palomar and The Barbary in London.

What followed first, however, was modern Portuguese restaurant Canto (reviewed here, pictured top), which opened in Ancoats in September 2018. Confidential critic Jonathan Schofield described it as an 'instant classic' and a 'huge vote of confidence in the area'.

161011 El Gato Negro Simon Shaw
El Gato Negro chef-patron Simon Shaw

Shaw - formerly executive chef at Harvey Nichols - relaunched Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning El Gato Negro in Manchester in February 2016, having up sticks from Ripponden in West Yorkshire. The tapas bar and restaurant rose to fame after winning best local Spanish restaurant in the country on Gordon Ramsay’s F Word in 2009.

Speaking to Confidential last year, Shaw said: "It's no secret that I’m very ambitious, we do have future plans for El Gato Negro and beyond. We always keep an eye out for new opportunities..."

Panama Hattys Grand Pacific King Street
Plans are in for the basement of the grade II-listed King Street building - formerly Panama Hatty's

Plans for the restaurant will now go to consultation before going before the council's planning department.