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BREAKING: Deansgate Roast & Oyster Restaurant Called Off

The lucrative Grade II Courthouse site could go back on the market

Written by . Published on January 15th 2015.

BREAKING: Deansgate Roast & Oyster Restaurant Called Off

WELL, well, 2015 is certainly out of the blocks.

The arrival of London's Hawksmoor next door is enough to put the wind up the knickers of the most battle-hardened restaurant owner.

Room's gone, Aumbry's gone, Solita 3.0 is in, Iberica are halfway up the M6, Hawksmoor are just past Slough, Burger & Lobster are out buying neons, El Gato Negro have shut up shop in Yorkshire and are packing the car, Scene are spiffing-out Spinningfields Strada, there's twelve operators clawing at the doors of the all-new Corn Exchange and some Filthy Cow has squeezed her way into Lounge Ten.

What else? Well... Asha's, Spinningfields Kitchens, Bird & Beast, Ply, David Gale, Koffee Pot, burgers over here, burgers over there, weird cereal cafs and at least seventeen new Northern Quarter bars we know of but haven't yet had the time to dip our quills and tell you about. Blimey.

Now for the bad news. The long-running will they/won't they involving Steve Pilling's all-new Roast Restaurant & Oyster Bar on Deansgate seems to have been decided. The lease for 184-186 Deansgate (owned by Henry Boot Developments) looks to be back on the market - see here.

Courthouse DeansgateCourthouse, Deansgate

We all got terribly excited back in summer 2011. Mr Pilling, the Manchester greengrocer-turned-restaurateur who made successes of *breathe in*: The Midland, Sam's Chop House, Mr Thomas's Chop House, Damson Heaton Moor, Damson MediaCity, Dockyard MediaCity, Stockport's Red Lion Inn, Liquorice bar in the city centre and most recently, new Northern Quarter bar-cum-cave Guilty By Association, was to open a whopping great new restaurant in the Grade II Courthouse buildings on Deansgate with celebrated chef Simon Stanley.

The 6,000 sq ft, 150-cover Mr Pilling's Roast Restaurant & Oyster Bar was supposed to open in 2012 serving up 'classic British roasts, cuts of meat, pies, puddings, a large fish section including whole roast Dover soles, an iced fish counter with oysters alongside smoked and cured fish'.

Great. Problem being, nowt happened. Landlords, contractors, administrative bollocks and the ten plagues all conspired to make sure not one little oyster was shucked.

"I can't say too much at the moment," Pilling told Confidential over the phone. "For one we're in the middle of serving Nick Clegg, but we're also currently weighing up our options with the site.

"Once Hawksmoor were announced we obviously had to change our original plans, but this doesn't necessarily mean we're abandoning the site, we're currently mulling over a few different ideas for the space.

"Sorry I'll have to go, Clegg's fallen off his chair... again."

(Confidential may or may not have made up that last bit)

Steve PillingSteve Pilling

This is a shame. Pilling is a charming bloke and a proven restaurateur with passion for good wine and quality food carried over from his days as a greengrocer. Still, the arrival of London's Hawksmoor next door (frequently hailed as 'the best steakhouse in the UK') is enough to put the wind up the knickers of the most battle-hardened restaurant owner. 

Fingers crossed Pilling and pals come up with another winner and don't forgo the site  - if bloody Pizza Express or Zizzi move in we're moving to Liechtenstein and turing the lights off...

...the Dockyard Spinningfields opens in March 2015, you say? Ok, we'll hang around for a bit.

Follow @David8Blake on twitter.

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

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

Hawksmoor, the best steakhouse in the UK? I'll be the judge of that!....

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

It is in my opinion. Hope you enjoy testing.

FinoulaJanuary 15th 2015.

I went to the one in Air Street one Sunday. Totally and utterly underwhelmed. Service alone was good everything else was awful. Looking forward to the Spanish newcomers but not Hawksmoor.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AVOJanuary 16th 2015.

I think the Air Street one is the weakest in the chain. It's housed in a lovely building and the art deco styling, especially the windows are beautiful. When I ate there, the food was pretty average. The best one in my view is Seven Dials. I don't know why they differ so much. It's like the Grills in Manchester, I consider the Grill on the Alley to be better than the Grill on New York St. It just seems to be a more slicker operation and also the food is better.

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

Sorry to hear that, I had an absolute brilliant meal at Air Street. There were nine of us and I couldn't fault a thing, service is still a high point. That said, I do agree with Avo, I prefer Seven Dials of the branches I've tried.

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2015.

Oh dear, was really looking forward to this opening. The city lacks large, comfortable, quality and good value restaurants, the sort of place you can confidently take visiting family without fear of being ripped off or served a disappointing meal. I was counting on this to fill the gap. Hawksmoor sounds like just another expensive steakhouse, something manchester definitely doesn't lack!

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Damn! I paid a deposit to have my wedding there. I'll have to try and find another venue for May.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
Bint From belle epoqueJanuary 16th 2015.

Iya love. Bloody hell thats bad news innit. Ooooohhh I've got an idea, why don't you give me a call and we can try and sort something out. I could do you a good deal. £175 a head and I can upgrade you from Cheadle Hulme Drawing Room to the Alderley Edge Suite.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

That sounds like my kind of place. Please send a link to the venue along with some photos of yourself.

James CunninghamJanuary 16th 2015.

Why not try 47 King Street West.. family run business that never fails to deliver a personal touch! www.47kingstreetwest.co.uk…

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

@James is it gay friendly though?

AVOJanuary 17th 2015.

It' a shame the "personal touch" isn't reflected in the food at 47KSW. I visited for afteroon tea. Sandwiches were served on stale bread and the cakes were of a poor quality and bought in.

rinkydinkJanuary 18th 2015.

Bint from Belle Epoque ha ha. Love it

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

Me Nan'll do you some sarnies and a pot of tea at here if you are struggling. Beef paste and crisps with typhoo. 7 quid a head. Just ignore her budgie, its a violent shit.

Poster BoyJanuary 16th 2015.


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