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Friday Food Fights Gets #UpInYourGrill

MCR food slam gang reveal latest plans to ruin your summer gut

Written by . Published on June 4th 2014.

Friday Food Fights Gets #UpInYourGrill

B.EAT Street’s Friday Food Fight at the Victorian Upper Campfield market hall has been taking Castlefield by the danglies since early-March and slapping it about with mounds of naughty, naughty grub, grog and DJs.

It's an old industrial building, exposed brick, peeling ceilings, an inside area and a large outdoor sun terrace. Our theme is New York style block-parties, rough around the edges, shipping containers, brick and dust.

But FFF has been put on ice for the time being (until the second round in September) as the city’s new booze and food good-time guys, Chris Legh and Will Evans of B.Eat Street, prepare to set loose two more events on the city.

The beer-focused Brew Bash MCR will take to the same Upper Campfield Hall for a one-off event on the evenings of Friday 11 and Saturday 12 July, while the next biggie, Up In Your Grill MCR, will host ten weekends of summer block parties from Friday 20 June until mid-August in an undisclosed ‘industrial location close to Northern Quarter’.

Get guessing.

So when we saw B.Eat Streeter and Friday Food Fights co-founder Chris Legh walking down Deansgate, we gave chase like a hungry Jackal. Diving on his back, we dragged him into a pub, bought him beer and nuts and forced him to tell us what he had planned… He’s a cagey bugger.

NoshB.Eat Street are bringing the nosh

Chris... sit back down. So Friday Food Fights, that went well didn't it?

We were busy from the get-go. We were originally hoping for 1500 people through the door a week but it went from 1500 to 2500 coming and going throughout the night. Around 20-22k over the twelve weeks, more than we expected.

Why did it take off so quickly?

Firstly, the site is spectacular. But nobody in Manchester had merged the food, booze and music like that before. We wanted to put something totally different together. For me the real success was the new start-ups who shone amongst the well established restaurants like Solita and Yang Sing. Four of five of those smaller guys have gone on to more events because of Friday Food Fights. We're proud of that.

So that's it for FFF?

No, we'll be back with Friday Food Fight in mid-September, but we need to move away from it now and look how to up-the-game. We're unsure if we'll be in the same venue, we're looking at our options. We want to take it to the next level, change it up and keep it fresh, add additional elements, perhaps up the capacity, add more food and entertainment. Just get bigger and better. We're very conscious that we want to stay as an event, we were asked about doing Sundays but we don't want to stray into becoming just a market. That's not us. We're a turbo-charged food court with top drinks and music.

Friday Food FightFriday Food Fight

We hear you've got a Brew Bash up your sleeve?

That's a craft beer event we'll be staging at Upper Campfield on the evenings of July 11 and 12. It's a one-off event, 30 different beers from twenty breweries, four or five of our food partners with DJs. It's essentially a two day beer-festival, just swap the older CAMRA beards for younger trendier beards. And the no-beards too, of course.

Up In Your Grill is your next big event. What's the story?

It's a natural progression for us. We're in to finding these great spaces that you've never noticed before. We've got an amazing venue, in and around the Northern Quarter, but we can't tell you yet because we're nailing out the final agreements. It's an old industrial building, exposed brick, peeling ceilings, an inside area and a large outdoor sun terrace. Our theme is New York style block-parties, rough around the edges, shipping containers, brick and dust. It's slightly smaller than Upper Campfield, so we'll have four or five food operators in there, booze and a DJ perched high above everyone.

'Around NQ'... any ideas?'Around NQ'... any ideas?

It's over two days this time, still free entry?

Up In Your Grill will be over ten weekends from Friday June 20 and on the Friday night, Saturday afternoon and in to Saturday evening. I think because our capacity has decreased but we've up'd the entertainment side, with each one curated by a different club night like Horse Meat Disco or Funkademia, we may have to charge a small entry fee, but it'll only be a couple of quid, and hugely worth it. There's big plans, we've pulled in Jamie Scahill from TwentyTwentyTwo on this one, amongst others, we may even bring up some names from London to put alongside the Manchester lot.

Who's been confirmed?

(With that Legh's eyes shifted from side-to-side, a crafted grin spread across his mug. Jumping up he flipped our bar stool, swigged his pint and darted from the pub. 'You'll have to wait and seeee....' trailed him down Deansgate).

Up In Your Grill will begin at 4pm on Friday 20 June and will continue for ten weekends. The line-up will be announced on Friday 6 Junehere and @beatstreetmcr #UPINYOURGRILL.


Upper Campfield, CastlefieldUpper Campfield, Castlefield


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

AnonymousJune 4th 2014.

Loved FFF. Something different before a night out and a good excuse to have more than one meal. Where will Up In Your Grill be? Near'ish NQ? So maybe into Ancoats... Halle St Peter's perhaps, not industrial enough... Smithfield Market?

SteveJune 4th 2014.

I tried Umezsushi at FFF for the first time and loved it. I'd never even heard of the restaurant in MCR (near Victoria station). Bugger to find though. Which is half the fun

SpennerJune 7th 2014.

A great concept that hopefully will continue at the new venue. My reservations are that imposing an entry fee, no matter how small, will put people off ( i know, it's only a maybe). Im guessing the success of the former venue was largely down to the transient nature of the clientele. People went in for food and a beer and moved on. Constant turnover of clientele. I think charging an entry fee will encourage those people that wish to pay it to stick around for longer, to get, as it were, value for money and take advantage of the good music. The turnover won't be the same. The advantage of the previous venture was a choice of cracking grub for under a fiver. Add an entry fee of £2 and this starts to get a bit expensive. I hope to be proved wrong!

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 7th 2014.

You're right about this, and I know that the £3 charge they surprised everybody with at the final FFF annoyed a lot of people who had queued for so long, not a nice way to treat people that.

MikeJune 7th 2014.

They had mentioned the £3 cover charge on the last FFF and the fact it was for charity. It was all over their twitter and facebook that week

AnonymousJune 10th 2014.

Which charity did it go to?

David BlakeJune 10th 2014.

This one: www.joshwilson.org.uk/… - They raised around £6000 at the final event

AnonymousJune 9th 2014.

Using a popular event to raise 6k for charity, when they could have charged and kept it.....your right Anonymous, really not nice people...

Manc UnionJune 16th 2014.

Is the NQ at the weekends not rough enough already these days? Is the involvement of WHP wholly appropriate after the death,stabbings and assaults at Parklife? I think Manchester City Council should be investigating this bunch, not allowing them another event in Manchester! FFF was good but this new season of events is growing bigger by the week and will get out of hand. How is it being policed to ensure that the sad incidents at Parklife are not repeated? They've got blood on their hands and it ain't from the burgers. Greedy!

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