THE well-known and much loved Mark Addy pub is to close as a restaurant with immediate effect. This means it will not re-open after the Christmas/New Year break which was due to finish on Monday 6 January.
Costs associated with upgrading the kitchens and restaurant areas have led to the decision. The physical upkeep of the site has been an issue for some time.
This is a blow to the food and drink scene. Owen Brown's food is as honest as British food gets offering up classics alongside game, off-cuts, offal and tripe.
Opened by Salford entrepreneur and bookie Jim Ramsbottom in the 80s the Mark Addy was the first food and drink establishment in the city centre to face the waterfront for a century or more. It also had, and still has, the biggest river terrace around, directly fronting onto the River Irwell, on the Salford side. It re-opened as a restaurant/pub in 2009. The building is still owned by the Ramsbottom family.
The closure will mean that Robert Owen Brown's trademark North Western cooking will leave the city on a day to day basis. This is a blow to the food and drink scene.
Owen Brown's food is as honest as British food gets offering up classics alongside game, off-cuts, offal and tripe. Indeed the use of traditional Lancashire nose to tail ingredients - 'the waste not want not' principle - made Owen Brown's food distinctive, bold and refreshingly punchy. It also gained him fame nationally with critics such as Jay Rayner and fellow chefs such as Fergus Henderson.
Heaven was a grouse at The Mark Addy with lashings of Chateau Musar
Not that it's all over.
"We've had a great time at the Mark Addy but it now needs a lot of work," says Owen Brown, who recently released a book, Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle.
"We'd all like to thank our customers for supporting us during the last few years and hope they enjoyed what we offered with food and drink but also with the one-off events. I'm staying in Manchester and will be around cooking for my new event, training and catering company."
We're told to watch out for other 'residencies' to come from Robert Owen Brown.
The closure, of course, affects other staff, some of whom were exceptional at their jobs. Confidential hears that the Mark Addy may well continue as a bar selling real ales and the usual array of drinks. If that does happen let's hope some familiar faces at The Mark Addy can be re-employed.