WHO'S BEHIND IT? This is the first food and booze venture by local architect Nick Muir - who first spotted the empty Grade II-listed former textile workshop at the corner of Newton and Dale Street two years back.

The choice of fiddly Japanese food at least attempts to break away from the pack

WHAT IS IT? A new industrial chic bar and Japanese restaurant at an increasingly crowded end of Northern Quarter.

WHAT THEY SAY: “There’s not many bao-buns around the Northern Quarter - burger buns, maybe. We knew when it came to the food that we didn't want to mimmick the other restaurants in the area. My wife and I had been spending a lot of time in London visiting amazing restaurants such as Chelsea's Kurobuta and Bone Daddies Ramen Bar in Soho – people were queuing out of the building and down the street. That’s when we knew what we wanted to deliver at Cottonopolis." - Nick Muir Cottonopolis owner and Architect

WHAT WE SAY: What exactly has Japanese food got to do with Cottonopolis (first coined as a nickname for nineteenth century Manchester when the city controlled 80% of the world's finished cotton)? Bao-buns, sushi and Nigiri don’t exactly correlate with those dark, satanic mills. Still, it's an intriguing and refreshing concept, and Northern Quarter has, in recent years, suffered somewhat from repetitive serving syndrome - want a craft beer with that burger?

So while Cottonopolis still feels decidely Northern Quarter (of course there's brick, bare bulbs and cast iron), the choice of fiddly Japanese food at least attempts to break away from the pack. 


WHAT TO ORDER? Head Chef Joseph Grant and passionate sushi-chef Alistair Long have both spent time in Manchester's favourite Pan Asian restaurant, Australasia, and are keen to keep standards similarly high. Muir has given the young chefs creative freedom to deliver an inspired, yet approachable menu - all dishes will remain under £10. The menu swings around four themes: ‘ice’ features raw dishes; ‘fire’ consists of dishes cooked on the robata grill; ‘steam’ will be your dumplings and ‘oil’ are tempura bites. Bit chichi? Yes. But the blackened mackerel and pork belly baos suggest these boys know their way around the kitchen. Cottonopolis also boast a dedicated pastry chef and promise a good range of deserts.

AND THE BOOZE? Celebrated cocktail connoisseur Jamie Jones has put together Cottonopolis' cocktail menu, including a few experimental cocktails enhanced with a kick of wasabi and a whole lot of showmanship - including the ‘Takeaway Tommy’ complete with disco-ball ice cubes. Order the NWA - a hip-hop cocktail featuring Nikka Japanese whisky (yes, as in 'Nikkas With Attitude') that comes dressed in a blue bandana. 

WHAT ELSE? "Cottonopolis isn't just the theme, it's the feeling of the entire building and we’ve taken an honest approach to the design," explained Muir. "It's a Grade II-listed former textile warehouse so we’ve been sympathetic to the building and the original features. The cast iron columns still remain as do the original lifts and timber floors."

WHERE IS IT? Cottonopolis, 16 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 2AE

WHEN IS IT OPEN? Mon to Weds 11.30am-midnight, Thurs 11.30am-1am, Fri & Sat 11.30am-2am and Sun 11.30am-midnight.

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