Our weekly round up of stories you might have missed from around town

WE’RE going day into night on the Salford-Spinningfields border, hearing about a new type of turndown five-star style, finding out which is this month’s best burger to get our mitts on and celebrating another award from the Michelin stable…

2019 10 04 El Gato Negro Chef Patron Simon Shaw

Lucky cat

Simon Shaw and the team at El Gato Negro are absolutely thrilled to be recognised for the fourth year running with the award of a prestigious Michelin Bib Gourmand for the King Street restaurant. Running since 1955, the Michelin Bib Gourmand accolade highlights restaurants that provide ‘exceptionally good food at moderate prices’ and El Gato Negro is the only Manchester city-centre venue to be honoured in this year’s list. Speaking on his celebrated modern Spanish restaurant’s success, Chef Patron and Creative Director of El Gato Negro Simon Shaw, who has been recognised in countless industry awards, says: “I can’t smile wide enough. Four consecutive years is incredible. It’s one thing gaining a Michelin Bib Gourmand but keeping it is massive. What a great accolade for Head Chef, Milan Sojka, and the team, I couldn’t be more proud.” Felicidades!

2019 10 04 Firefly Cocktail 2

California dreaming

FoodWell by day, Firefly by night… from 6pm every day, the body-conscious deli-come-diner-come-yoga retreat over the river from Spinningfields will be transforming into a ‘new LA bar concept’ from Friday 11th October. ‘At night we come alive’ reads the preview, and Firefly promises a dining space along with a contemporary, music-led bar where you can sample an eclectic range of cocktails, unique beers and West Coast wine until 2am and dance the night away (the ‘roof forest’ comes complete with elevated DJ booth). Food (see top photo) includes a small plates menu of Californian tapas in the bar area and a new indulgent evening menu in the restaurant for a refined dining experience – and you can enjoy 50% off during the soft launch period 12th - 20th October. Adjectives include ‘enchanting’, ‘charming’, ‘bewitching’ and ‘alluring’. Which is how we’ll feel after a couple of those ‘eclectic’ cocktails. Maybe less so after a few more.

2019 10 04 Mamucium Aperitivo 5

Mamucium mixes it up

Thank spritz it’s Friday, and there’s a new happy hour in town, just in time. Head to Victoria Station’s Hotel Indigo from 4pm until 7pm, and aperitivo at Mamucium is go. Choose from a fine selection of classic cocktails including Bellini and Bramble, Manhattan and Mojito for just £7.95 each or two for £10. A special gin of the week will also be on offer, with G&Ts two for a tenner, and selected bottled beers two for £6. Ensure staying power with three aperitivo tapas dishes for £8, including salt and pepper squid, padrón peppers, giganti and nocellara olives and roasted baby chorizo, or mezze and antipasti sharing boards for £9. Aperitivo at Mamuicum is every weekday, but Fridays turn up the tunes with DJ Oscar on the decks.

2019 08 30 Lowry Hotel Refurbishment 3

Pillow talk

Forget cheap chocolates and swan-shaped towel sculptures; expect yoga mats, eye masks, luxury face creams and Totes Toasties on your pillow next time you stop over at The Lowry Hotel. As part of its £5 million revamp (including the refurbishment of its Presidential Suite, lobby, restaurant and bar) and to be more environmentally friendly, the Lowry is personalising check-ins and reinventing the turndown. Options include Wellness, Sleep Well, Snuggle, Eco or (our favourite) Indulge Us, with a bottle of Champagne and Elemis goodies. Says hotel management: "Of course, the traditional five-star turndown is still available for guests too." Right-oh.

Bongos Bingo Confetti

House party

Mission Mars have got the original Bongo’s Bingo show starring Jonny Bongo, singer Beverley Knight and various supporting acts and special guest DJs on side to hold their biggest-ever party and first ‘charity ding-dong’ in the historic Albert Hall on Thursday 17th October. In support of Onside, an organisation improving the life chances of young people in the North West of England and beyond, it’s bound to be a full house, so email now for tickets. With two different packages available for food and drinks (one including a complimentary bar all night long), revellers can enjoy a proper knees-up, bingo book and dabber in hand, until 1am.

2019 10 04 Honest Burgers Texas Chilli Burger

One to relish

For one month only, head to Bridge Street and get your hands on October’s Honest Burgers special – you have until Monday 28th. Exclusively for the run-up to Halloween, Honest has teamed up with USA born and bred BBQ sauce-makers Bull’s-Eye to create the Lone Star state-inspired TEXAS. It’s a hotdiggety spicy number, combining Honest beef with their steak chilli (using the same chuck steak that goes into their regular patties), Monterey Jack cheese, Bull’s-Eye Original BBQ Sauce, crispy onions, sour cream, lettuce and pickles. Served with Honest’s signature homemade rosemary salted chips, the TEXAS is £12.50 and aims to ‘create a warming special to mark the change of the seasons as we head into autumn’.

2019 10 04 Arta

Curry on winning

The Oscars of the curry industry are imminent and two local venues are in the running – Bolton’s Hot Chilli Restaurant and Venus Lounge Banquet Restaurant in Heywood. The finalists for the Asian Restaurant & Takeaway Awards (ARTA) will be gathering at a red-carpet event on Sunday 13th October at the Westminster Park Plaza in London, with Hot Chilli and Venus Lounge both up for the North West award category, based on ChefOnline survey data from over 350,000 customers. Best of luck to them both.

2019 09 03 Wilderness Interior

All change

As reported recently in our Property section, BrewDog’s most popular venue in the whole of the world (their website says they have breweries ‘from Aberdeen to Brisbane’) is on the move. Having been given notice by their Peter Street building’s owner to make space for a brand-new hotel complex on the site, BrewDog have apparently secured premises on Fountain Street. Hints were dropped when news of the eviction notice was made public by BrewDog, and now a licence application suggests the former Enzo site as the new home for the Scottish-owned bar chain’s new Manchester home. 

Not such good news for Get Chucked in Urmston, however, where - after three-and-a-half years - brother-in-law owners Sean Robinson and Scott Power will be flipping their last burgers on Sunday (6th October). Barely even cold, and the grills will be refired next weekend, when the Mexican-flavoured El Camino will take-over the venue, dishing up tacos, burritos and quesadillas. 

Elsewhere in changing news, we are awaiting word on a possible name update chez Wilderness NQ after a complaint from the similarly monikered The Wilderness bar in Birmingham. We're not sure what the new name is going to be yet, but as soon as we do, we'll let you know.