Nine new bars, restaurants and bakeries are due to open in the city's former industrial heartland... NINE

IF you’re struggling to keep up with the sheer amount of fantastic independent venues that have recently announced plans to open in Ancoats, we don’t blame you. Even Confidential has run out of adjectives to describe this hip, effervescent, up-and-coming, fecund neighbourhood.

The area that was once full of clattering cotton mills in the heart of Manchester’s famous textile industry is in the process of becoming a hive of indie food and drink activity, with a multitude of the city's most highly-rated bars, bakeries and restaurants announcing plans to open new branches in the neighbourhood, joining the likes of Rudy’s, Se7en brothers, Squid Ink and Elnecot.

But who is opening where, what are they offering and when are they going to open? It's all here...


Where: Cotton Field Wharf

When: Spring

This haven for beer lovers originally opened their Castlefield bar in 2003 and was one of the first to offer an extensive selection of interesting local and international brews along with a friendly and relaxed vibe.

This spring Cask is to open a second venue on the canal side of the new Cotton Field Wharf apartment complex - which welcomed its first residents in October 2017.

A spokesperson from Cask said, “We are really excited by the opportunity to expand our little piece of Manchester into another great part of the city centre. We look forward to bringing Manchester’s most comprehensive choice of real ales and international beers to Ancoats.”

Cask Manchester

Jane Eyre

Where: One Cutting Room Square

When: April 2018

Bartending brothers Jonny and Joe Eyre are behind this new neighbourhood bar, named not after the famous novel by Charlotte Bronte, but their mum Jane.

The Jane Eyre Neighbourhood Bar will bring a mix of high-quality cocktails, featuring a short list of classic punchy numbers; keg and bottled beers from Manchester’s local breweries; a lively bar snack menu with charcuterie, cheese plates and weekly specials, and one deck vinyl sessions for the community.

Brothers, Jonny and Joe Eyre (pictured below) said: “We took inspiration from our late mum, and have been searching for the right neighbourhood and space to get the ball rolling. We’re going to be serving simple food and drinks made using high-quality ingredients."

Jane Eyre Bar 1

Sugo Pasta Kitchen

Where: Sawmill Court

When: June 2018

After opening their first restaurant in Altrincham in the summer of 2015, Sugo are now making the leap into the city with their second restaurant, due to open this summer. 

It feels apt for Sugo, which refers to itself as Greater Manchester’s first Southern Italian pasta kitchen, to be opening in an area once known as 'Little Italy' (due to the number of Italians who relocated there to work in the textile industry). It specialises in the typical cuisine of the region with a short, seasonally changing menu based around the characteristically intense flavours of ripe tomatoes, peppers, olives, olive oil, garlic, anchovies, capers, pine nuts etc. 

Alex De Martiis from Sugo, said: “We are ridiculously obsessive about bringing the excitement back into Italian cooking. We love the regeneration underway in Ancoats, and after thinking long and hard about the area, the history and the people we’ll be serving, the idea of a stripped back 60 seat southern Italian Pasta Kitchen filled us with joy.”

Sugo Pasta Kitchen 2


Where: Sawmill Court

When: Summer 2018

It’s almost hard to believe that Trove, the award winning artisan bakery, came from such humble beginnings. In 2011, they were selling handmade organic chutneys and jams on a market stall whilst getting ready to open their sourdough bakery in Levenshulme. 

Now, Manchester’s ‘Best Coffee Shop 2017’ has confirmed they will be opening a second site at Manchester Life’s Sawmill Court residential development, directly opposite Halle St Peters. The new café and bakery will be a beautiful, light space serving great food, delicious coffee, signature sourdough breads and pastries all day, along with a great selection of craft beers on tap and natural wines.

171006 Trove Levenshulme

Pollen Bakery

Where: Cotton Field Wharf 

When: Summer 2018

You wait for one artisan bakery to open, and then two come along at once (not forgetting the wonderful Campanio Bakery already well settled in Ancoats). 

After spending almost a year on the lookout for larger premises than their backstreet Piccadilly railway arch, Pollen, the sourdough and Viennoiserie specialists, have finally found somewhere big enough to incorporate an onsite cafe.

Named by the Sunday Times as one of the UK’s top twenty bakeries, Pollen has had dedicated punters queuing around the block for freshly baked sourdough loaves, cruffins and croissants since it opened in late-2016. 

Co-owner, Hannah Calvert, said: “We opened Pollen Bakery in September 2016, unsure how a bakery, in an archway at the back of Piccadilly station, would be received. We got busier and busier, the bread got better and better, and our team has expanded. We have now grown faster than our little arch can handle and we can’t wait for our next chapter in Ancoats. We look forward to welcoming everyone to our new home.”

2017 Pollen Owners

Mana Restaurant

Where: Sawmill Court

When: June

Chester-born Simon Martin (pictured below) has spent the last few years working for world-renowned chef Rene Redzepi at Noma in Copenhagen and then at his Mexican pop-up. Now he’s ready to go it alone and has chosen Manchester as the destination for his first restaurant, Mana, which will open in Sawmill Court in June.

Named after ‘the power of the elemental forces of nature embodied in an object or person’, Mana will be an informal dining experience serving a seasonal menu of ten to fifteen plates in quick succession, many featuring ingredients which will have been foraged from the wild. The restaurant will only open four evenings a week and dinner will set you back £105 per person plus an optional drinks flight.

20182603 Simon Mana

El Gato Negro

Where: Cutting Room Square

When: TBC

The Michelin Bib Gourmand-winning tapas bar and restaurant - which moved it’s original site from the hills of Ripponden to King Street in February 2016 - have confirmed rumours that they're close to signing for a spot on Ancoats' Cutting Room Square.

Chef patron Simon Shaw said: "It's no secret we've been actively looking for a strong second Manchester site. Ancoats is an incredibly young and vibrant space and an area in which I'd love to open."  

Shaw has discussed plans in the last year to expand the business with a new sister brand for El Gato Negro. The chef - a former executive head chef for the Harvey Nichols group - talked about his love for North African and Middle Eastern cuisine and a desire to blend this with Spanish influences.

El Gato Negro Stock

Hip Hop Chip Shop

Where: Sawmill Court

When: Summer 2018

The award-winning street food stalwarts have announced plans to open their first permanent restaurant in Sawmill Court. The Hip Hop Chip Shop, who won the Best Mobile Fish and Chip Operator Award at the 2017 National Fish & Chip Awards, plan to open in the summer. 

Co-owner, Jonathan “Ozzie” Oswald, said: “We’re going to create a relaxed dining experience with proper comfort food, tasty drink selection, live music, great artwork and top-notch service. We’ve grafted so hard to build this business from scratch, but our own restaurant was the dangling carrot to keep us going. We just want to show the world what we are made of and can’t wait to get going in Ancoats.”

The Hip Hop Chip Shop

Behind the Counter

Where: Ice Plant building

When: TBC

Joe Akka, the man who opened Manchester's Panacea nightclub in 2005, has plans to open a new venue in Ancoats, on top of his new pan-Asian restaurant, Fable, which is due to open in Manchester Hall on Bridge Street this year.

A licence application was recently lodged with the council for a new late-night venue called Behind the Counter (not to be confused with the recently opened Behind Closed Doors in Northern Quarter), located in the Ice Plant building on Cutting Room Square (pictured below) with proposed opening hours 'til 1am, seven days a week.

Ancoats Cutting Room Square