Hawksmoor opens its Manchester outpost

hawksmoor manchesterOK, this really is going to be interesting. The people of Manchester have, for the first time in living memory, been graced by the opening of a really hot upmarket restaurant concept straight from the capital. Hawksmoor unveiled plans to open an outpost there last year and since then the Mancunian blogosphere has been in high excitement.

Preliminary reviews by the city’s trendy foodie types have been (perhaps understandably, given the chain’s “absurdly juicy” steaks and “first class” cocktails) universally positive.

Hawksmoor Manchester occupies a space in the Grade II listed courthouse building, built in 1896, on Deansgate, near the major new Spinningfields development. The old courthouse is currently undergoing a multimillion pound refurbishment with hopes that it will become something of a foodie hub. Restaurants such as the Handmade Burger Company have already opened there, however a new venture from Damson boss Steve Pilling – Mr Pilling’s Roast Restaurant and Oyster Bar – which was set to launch in the basement was cancelled last month. Presumably Mr Pilling didn’t want to go head to head with Hawksmoor?

The menu includes all the old favourites alongside new dishes such as Poutine Barm, a Montreal-meets-Manchester sandwich. On the cocktail list, Fitzpatricks’ Aviation and Deansgate No.2 are among new drinks with links to Bar Manager Richie Leach’s hometown.

Ending on a cautionary note, it’s worth observing that a – much less pricey than Hawksmoor – outpost of the Paris- and-London Relais de Venise steak concept, elegantly housed on one of the city’s most fashionable streets, closed in 2013 after not very long in business. Hawksmoor’s move is braver than it might at first sight appear.


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