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Byrne And Living Ventures Combine For MCR Michelin Star

Reservations now being taken online at www.manchesterhouse.uk.com or call 01565 622312

Published on July 31st 2012.

Byrne And Living Ventures Combine For MCR Michelin Star

DEAR FOODIES we've had some news from Tim Bacon and Aiden Byrne (Bacon is on the left above, Bryne on the right).

So we learn that Aiden Byrne is teaming up with the formidable talent at Living Ventures. Can the partnership deliver a star though?

Here's the official statement.

'Tim Bacon, Managing Director of The Living Ventures Group, recently responsible for helping Allied London to energise the dining scene in Spinningfields with Australasia, The Alchemist and The Oast House, has made a clear declaration of intent by forging a joint venture with renowned chef Aiden Byrne, the youngest chef ever to be awarded a Michelin star in the UK. 

'Byrne will join Bacon and his business partner Jeremy Roberts as a shareholder and director of the new venture. 

'Their vision for a multi-level, world class dining experience will be realised with The Restaurant and Lounge @ Manchester House located in Tower 12, Avenue North, Spinningfields, the building was formerly known as Manchester House and acts as the inspiration behind the name.

'The goal is to create a restaurant that embodies Manchester and its people, celebrating the history and culture, with a strong desire to bring a Michelin Star back to the city centre after losing its only star back in 1974. 

'“It is incredible that a city of Manchester’s size and pedigree does not have a starred restaurant, there should be 3 or 4 at least and we at Living Ventures would like to get the ball rolling.  I invite other chefs and proprietors to join in the endeavour.” says Bacon 

'Due to Open March 2013- more detailed information will be available late 2012.'

Confidential has been following Byrne's progress in the north west. The Kirby-born chef has headed up several kitchens since moving back from London.

He returned with his own establishment, as chef-proprietor, at The Church Green in Lymm in 2009. The talent was clear as soon as he opened, less certain was the fit of British fine-dining with a former pub in a commuter town.

Previously to Lymm as a 22-year-old heading up the kitchens at Adlards in Norwich he became the youngest chef to gain a Michelin star. After that achievement he ramped up the pressure on himself by becoming head chef at the Grill Room at The Dorchester Hotel. Clearly he's not a man afraid of a challenge.

Recently there have been several rumours about his ambitions to bring a Michelin starred restaurant to Manchester, including a strong one that would have seen him taking over the kitchens at the MacDonald Townhouse Hotel on Portland Street.

Instead we learn he's teaming up with the formidable talent at Living Ventures - indeed this has been an open secret for a while.

Can the partnership deliver a star though?

The omens aren't great for companies and individuals who state stars as ambitions in Manchester. Anybody remember Establishment and Ian Morgan - now Gordo's favourite restaurant Rosso?

Still, that doesn't mean we shouldn't aspire in the city to Michelin stars. Confidential wishes Bryne, Bacon, and Living Ventures the best of luck. This is a team that stands as good a chance as any, a well-resourced company, a highly talented chef and a good location. It might work.

Reservations now being taken online at www.manchesterhouse.uk.com or call 01565 622312.

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

Manchester House During Conversion Last YearManchester House During Conversion Last Year

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35 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

pollolocoJuly 31st 2012.

I seem to remember the same ambitions being stated for Australasia prior to it opening a few years back? To be honest, are we really bothered whether Michelin like it? Having had a number of mediocre meals over the years at the Church Green I for one won't be holding my breath....however I wish them all the best.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark SyddallAugust 4th 2012.

I feel the same as you,certainly about the Church Green !!

Richard HJJuly 31st 2012.

Lord, the weekly press release from restaurateurs hoping to bring a flipping Michelin Star back to Manchester. Abode, Manchester 235. The list goes on. None of them got it. Here's a thought. Open. Serve good food. Make people happy. Make some money. Keep people happy. Tweak the menu. Make people happy. Then maybe, just maybe think about claiming a prize for all your work. Consultation over. Who do I invoice?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
RevaulxJuly 31st 2012.

Spot on! Couldn't agree more...

Nick WestJuly 31st 2012.

Spot on. And given Michelin covets attention to detail above almost everything else, I'd make sure the press release didn't contain cringeworthy grammatical errors.

lukeunabomberSeptember 7th 2012.


bigearsJuly 31st 2012.

I cannot wait for this! The problem Manchester has had is it has never actually had a chef who has gained a * - yes, they have worked in * restaurants but either inherited them or not been Head Chef. 2 of the North Wests best Restaurantuers under 1 roof will bring success! And Richard HJ - 235?? dont be silly

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Richard HJJuly 31st 2012.

T'was 235's stated intention for Linen at launch. Unfulfilled on ground of - as you point out - silliness.

bigearsJuly 31st 2012.

sorry richard, didn't mean it to sound like it did!

DavidJuly 31st 2012.

oh dear, it's like City Life, circa 2004. Is the Establishment still going? Obsidian? The Ginnel - now *that* was worthy of a star.

1 Response: Reply To This...
RevaulxJuly 31st 2012.

The food at Obsidian was outstanding, for a while at least. I can't help thinking that if they'd followed Richard HJ's excellent advice, they would still be in business and possibly even flaunting a star.

AnonymousJuly 31st 2012.

There are a lot of restaurants in manchester who charge top whack for mediocure food. A star quality restarant might just help to sort themselves out and either charge less or up thier game. So best of luck to Tim and Aiden I really hope they deliver.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 31st 2012.

Totally agree Anonymous, far too many with their heads stuck somewhere instead of quality all about charging the most

MarceJuly 31st 2012.

I have had quite a few meals at at the Church Green and the food on the 3 course a la carte menu has been exceptional and reasonably priced. But this quality of food has just not worked in a small pub in Lymm and would do much better in a restaurant in Manchester. Aiden Byrne is a great chef and if anyone can get a Michelin star back to Manchester, he can. Hope the new venture works.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJuly 31st 2012.

Thank you Marce...I can't stand whiney, smug 'foodies' who are never happy no matter how good a place is. They will always find something to complain about. How lucky they must be to be able to eat out at top end restaurants so often that they can make these obnoxious statements. I wonder how many homeless people they step over on the street as they make their way to these fine establishments.

AnonymousAugust 1st 2012.

Sounds exciting, but "The Restaurant and Lounge @ Manchester House"? It can't seriously be called that. We already have a "The Restaurant Bar & Grill". That's already one "The Restaurant" too many. Am hoping this is a working title and it will be called something more imaginitive.

AnonymousAugust 1st 2012.

Heading up, heading "UP"! What's going wrong with the English Language ffs

Simon TurnerAugust 1st 2012.

In addition they need to get their apostrophes sorted; telling us they want to "bring a Michelin Star back to the city centre after losing it’s only star back in 1974", tut tut.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldAugust 1st 2012.

Simon, sorted and actually we should have corrected it for them.

Kris CullineyAugust 1st 2012.

What is it with these people. I just wish they'd just shut up knuckle down and attain a star, then start shouting about it.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Reader XxxAugust 2nd 2012.

That is right; earn the start first with years of good reputation; do not try and get the star before the putting the work in...

What happened to Jamie`s in King Street? I have had some bad reviews from my friends who have had dined there.

Consistency is key...remember that!

pollolocoAugust 2nd 2012.

I agree...Aiden Byrne has been up here for what 4 years or so now cooking in various places......yet to be impressed though. There was hot air about him taking over the White House in Prestbury a couple of years ago....I think this guy just loves his own press.

RayAugust 2nd 2012.

I would love to see a Michelin starred restaurant in Manchester - apart from providing the city with an aspirational restaurant (which it currently lacks), it would lift and encourage others.

City centre rates are a problem however, as is the lack of fine dining culture in Manchester. Birmingham has three Michelin restaurants, but two of them are outside the city centre.

Isabella JacksonAugust 2nd 2012.

I think Tim Bacon is a wonderful example of a restaurateur who continues to grow his expanding brands without compromising on quality or service - I had one of the best meals I've had in months at Gusto Knutsford last week. Aiden Byrne on the other hand comes across as a quitter with no staying power - if one of his ventures doesn't deliver his desired recognition or plaudits after a few months, it's time to start again. Look at the Church Green, it's been through (at least) three pre-pack administrations in as many years, leaving a lot of people out-of-pocket. Then there's Sole, how long did that last? Less than a year before another 're-launch'. I too remember the talk of taking over the Whitehouse in Prestbury, indeed was party to discussions about the lease/rent etc. The signs were not good. I hope Tim Bacon does not get his fingers burnt with this venture, he deserves more. As for the lack of a Michelin Star, I think that says more about the diners in Manchester than it does about the restaurants.........

3 Responses: Reply To This...
pollolocoAugust 3rd 2012.

bang on the mark Isabella......you've pretty much asaid it all.

Kris CullineyAugust 6th 2012.

I'm sorry I disagree Isabella. Quality and service? dont think so? As for profit and knowing the market without doubt! very succesfull yes! but I await the quality! Is Gusto not just an upmarket Italian?

pollolocoAugust 7th 2012.

I can see your point Kris....nothing I've had at a living ventures place has ever blown me away...decent enough though...they had Michelin pretentions for Australasia prior to opening....don't think so!

Isabella JacksonAugust 29th 2012.

Yes Kris, Gusto is an 'upmarket Italian' but what's wrong with that? It's as good as, maybe better than, Piccolino or even, dar. Having just at eaten at a 2* Michelin restaurant for the first time - been in many 1* establishments -

Isabella JacksonAugust 29th 2012.

.......dare I say, was what I was going to say, San Carlo. Anyway, having just eaten in a 2* Michelin restaurant for the first time (not in the UK) I must conclude that there is not a chef in Greater Manchester that could produce food anywhere near that standard - I know, I've employed and worked with many in my time. Forget chasing the impossible and just concentrate on delivering value for money and good food which is what most Mancs want - chuck in the the odd bling/celeb/posing place for good measure. I've eaten at all Aiden Byrne's establishments and always left distinctly under-whelmed and considerably lighter in the wallet - not to mention pissed off by the generic shite service always provided. Having been given a 2-year drink-driving ban last week, he'll find it a tad difficult to commute to Manchester (or Knutsford) from Lymm on a regular basis, so I predict the love-in with Tim may be short-lived (I hope so, for Bacon's sake)

AnonymousAugust 31st 2012.

Ah I remember Establishment - when the pretentious maitre d' asked if I "had ever had scallops with black pudding before?" "err yes, at Bruno Loubet's... about 9 years ago" - even my mother laughed!

Manchester is unlikely to have a starred establishment any time soon - and (frankly) doesn't really need one - new places are opening, most with a genuine emphasis on quality (rather meat-centric though - veggies still get short shrift and that can make meal planning tricky!)

I am not a fan of Aiden Byrne's but I am happy to be proved wrong... mind you with all the people impressed by Australasia, Mancunians are more likely to be impressed by cocktails and "cute waiters" than the food anyway!

AnonymousAugust 31st 2012.

oh and I still can't log in - even the "reset password" option does nothing... pffft

Kelly OrmesherSeptember 4th 2012.

Hi Anonymous, could you call the office on 0161 832 2880 and we look in to your issues. Thanks

AnonymousSeptember 6th 2012.

Manchester restaurants need a real boot up the arse! The best places are those that remain good value. Abode is ok, establishment actually delivered good food, when they did 7 at lunch, but they couldn't cope with 100 on a Saturday night. Apparently Ian Morgan now works for/runs a company running school canteens.

In my opinion the restaurants that portray themselves as higher quality are often the least enjoyable, give me tampopo, bar burrito, Nandos any day over a "fine dining restaurant in Manchester, at least you know what you're getting and leave feeling satisfied with both a full belly and wallet.

And don't get me wrong, I am a real foodie chef, I've eaten in starred restaurants all over the country and although they're expensive I've never felt that I have overpaid the way that I feel you will over pay in a "top" Manchester restaurant.

What doesn't help is the likes of mancon and Gordo/Jonathan schofield pro claiming that every new restaurant is amazing. In my opinion there are NO good fine dining restaurants in Manchester.

The Manchester dining scene is so far behind the Times. Every other restaurant is an Italian and there is very little in the way if innovation. Why can't somebody open a restaurant serving light, modern food at a price point that represents genuine value for money without ramming their faux fine dining ambitions down everyone's throats?

You could argue that the market isn't there. As cosmopolitan as Manchester appears to be, the people don't want to spend money on good food unless its in some overpriced posers palace. They'd rather spend it in the latest trendy bar.

Anyway, after that rather disjointed rant I would like to say that I wish Tim and aiden the best of luck. But if having the ambition to get a star in Manchester was enough to earn one, surely the likes of Ramsay and his peers would have opened up here already?

Wall-ESeptember 6th 2012.

Abode has a score of 5 which puts it inline and above several Michelin establishments in the Good Food Guide as does Aumbry. Yuzu is great but little known. Many other places in Manchester are over-rated. Hopefully this place and Pilling's new one will lift the standard somewhat though it really isn't as bad as people try and make it.

AnonymousJune 13th 2013.

To polloloco and Hero. Would you really go back time and again if the food was mediocre. You really haven't been going to the church Inn at Lymme. We travel over 50 miles to go to the church Inn and can highly recommend it. Good luck to Aiden and co.

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