Stockport's answer to the Mackie Mayor and Altrincham Market is ready to go
It's no secret that high street restaurants are struggling. Oversaturation, food costs, staff costs, rising rents and business rents mean times are tough out there. But one high street food and drink movement is bucking the trend: food halls.
Multiple food and drink outlets, situated under one roof, with communal dining tables, craft beer and wine bars, coffee stations and places to hang around, get some work done and impress incomers. Perhaps a little play area for the kids too, if you're lucky.
In Greater Manchester, following the European model established by the likes of Time Out in Lisbon and Foodhallen in Amsterdan, we've seen it take off at Altrincham Market, followed by the Mackie Mayor in Northern Quarter - both operated by Blackburn-based Market Operations.
Since then we've seen plans emerge for new food halls in Macclesfield, Urmston and Stockport - where work has just about completed on the grade II-listed Produce Hall.
Opening to the public for the first time this weekend, the former fish and meat market has been transformed into a slick and modern 150-cover food hall boasting seven food traders, a cellar-bar and a co-working mezzanine hub.
Take a look at the video above for a first look around the space and a word with Produce Hall managers, Dan Baker and Joe Foster.
For more info follow @TheProduceHall - open six days a week Tues-Sun from 2nd April.