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Marco Pierre White Restaurant For MediaCityUK

'Celeb' chef opens New York Italian but should MediaCityUK go a different route?

Written by . Published on September 12th 2014.


Marco Pierre White Restaurant For MediaCityUK
 

MARCO Pierre White is to headline a new restaurant in MediaCityUK.

You can understand why the Holiday Inn at MediaCityUK has done it. MPW as a 'big name' might bring in more punters to a desolate restaurant. But it says more about how MediaCityUK sees itself than anything else.

This is the press release, Confidential comment follows:

Located in the Holiday Inn, the new restaurant will be a Marco’s New York Italian. With 165 covers, the venue is expected to be open in October and will serve Marco’s take on American-Italian food. 

The restaurant’s opening follows a deal between Black & White Franchising and Peel’s hotel division, Tower Hotel Management, which will run the new restaurant under a franchise agreement. Black & White Franchising has partnered with Marco Pierre White to roll-out his restaurant Steakhouse Bar & Grill and New York Italian brands across the UK. 

Part of a £200,000 front of house refurbishment project, work is now under way to convert the existing restaurant and bar areas.  

Visitors will be able to choose from a selection of fresh pastas, steaks, seafood, burgers and handmade pizzas while the restaurant will replicate the hustle and bustle of a classic New York Italian restaurant, appealing to those looking for a relaxed, fun place to eat that has the added attraction of having the provenance of Marco Pierre White. 

Managing Director of MediaCityUK Stephen Wild said: “This announcement is great news as it not only strengthens the appeal of the hotel but will complement the steadily growing number of restaurants and bars opening here, which is establishing MediaCityUK as a go-to leisure destination. 

“The presence of a Marco Pierre White restaurant will bring an exciting vibe to the mix, and will sit well with those looking to do business in a relaxed setting as well as among visitors taking in the many attractions on our doorstep.” 

Nick Taplin, managing director at Black & White Franchising, said: “The idea behind this restaurant is to create an environment where people can sit and enjoy their life, where diners can have a good time and enjoy traditional Italian favourites at any time of the day. 

“This new restaurant is all about providing a place where people can go for some nice food and a nice bottle of wine in a relaxed, affordable and friendly setting.”

MediaCityUK

 

MediaCityUK 

Confidential thinks this trumpeting is a little overdone.

Marco Pierre White the brand is a long way from Marco Pierre White the chef, who in the nineties at the age of 33 became the first British born chef to win three Michelin stars. 

This is MPW doing a Jamie and jumping on the Italian bandwagon while combining it with faddish Americana. It's a YAFI with knobs on. MPW may visit the kitchen on opening night but he certainly won't linger, although there will be at least five moody pictures of the man on every wall such as the one supplied above.

You can understand why the Holiday Inn at MediaCityUK has done it though. MPW as a 'big name' might bring in more punters to a very desolate restaurant. Tellingly Confidential has hundreds of pics of MediaCityUK but the Holiday Inn building is so dull we can't find a single one except as a tower in the distance.

But this news says more about how MediaCityUK sees itself than anything else.

The Dockyard pub, from Manchester-based Damson Restaurants, has transformed the area. It's brought a lively pub atmosphere to MediaCityUK while providing very good drinks and decent food. It's an independent. It has personality.

It also opens onto the main gardens at MediaCityUK, a very attractive place.

Other operators in the area such as Prezzo, another 'Italian' chain, might occupy a similar space as The Dockyard but is devoid of personality - and Wagamama is not much better. 

Wouldn't it have been preferable to take the example of The Dockyard and find a good indie operator that could have boosted the distinctiveness of the area rather than go for more of the same? 

People outside The Dockyard

 

People enjoy the sun outside The Dockyard

This is not to say indies are always better than chains, they aren't necessarily, they can be far worse, amateurish, lacking consistency.

But if you want a place to develop a character of its own then chains aren't the best means of achieving this, certainly if they heavily outnumber the indies. 

The lesson of Spinningfields in the city centre is instructive. It started with a festival of chains followed by a massacre of chains as they quickly moved on, now there is more balance to the area and it's far more appealing for this variety.

Let's hope MPW at Holiday Inn does well, but Confidential thinks that next time MediaCityUK looks for tenants it should opt for more originality. 

The Dockyard in the distance

 

MediaCityUK

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

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

What a load of crap this writer is peddling.Better Marco Pierre White than the local corporate,masquerading as 'indie'.Indie was a term for music labels God knows why it got applied to restaurants as it says nothing about the true nature of the restaurant company.Also there is nothing wrong with the Holiday Inn building.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan SchofieldSeptember 11th 2014.

It was me. Peddling crap though, that's an interesting profession, if messy. Do you use MediaCityUK regularly I wonder? Take a walk and drink there every week maybe?

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

Indies aren't always great, but even a half-decent one would be better than the latest identikit MPW gaff.

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

For me if it's to mean anything a Indie is a Mom And Pop establishment.Its not some local company with half a dozen different concepts,big PR and and seemingly cosy relationships with all the corporates developing in the city.

ShybaldbuddhistSeptember 11th 2014.

Do hotel chains use independent restaurants? If I was staying in a Holiday Inn somewhere I'd be more than happy with a MPW inspired restaurant. The place that's crying out for some individuality and independent shops and life after 8pm is our main shopping street, Market St. It's no different than any main shopping street anywhere in the country, bland and boring with banks and phone shops taking up prime retail space. It offers nothing but a cut through to the NQ or Deansgate after 8pm.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

Your absolutely right it's terrible .But this is Manchester not Salford and the council seems to evade responsibility.Its also full of people peddling crap,thanks to the council giving out loads of peddlers licences.Something that Manchester Confidential and MEN seem not to have noticed.

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

Afraid I haven't got statistics but the retail landlords on Market Street are likely to require higher rents and longer contracts than 'secondary' locations eg Northern Quarter, Oxford Road. This would be a barrier to independents starting up. In London the same situation applies to Oxford Street/Regent Street (high street/multinational chains) vs Seven Dials/the City (smaller independent cafes/shops).

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

No it does not.The landlords around Carnaby Street and Regent Street have deliberately encouraged diversity and not the same bland offer.

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

Peddlers' licenses are issued by the police, and not the council. Once issued they are valid across the country.

Beast is backSeptember 11th 2014.

Dockyard & Craft Brew (next to the Lowry outlet) are both really good examples of what can be done. We need more of the same please, there are a couple of empty units next to Wagamama. Another pub / beer house would be great and do very well.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DigsterSeptember 11th 2014.

Totally agree with this - Dockyard & Craft Brew are both excellent.

Trish KarneySeptember 11th 2014.

It could have been worse. The Holiday Inn could have invited the "Team" at "Famous" to open a massive outlet at MediaCity - thankfully though Penelopes already has a much superior offering in unpretentious surroundings and staff who treat you like an equal as opposed to a visiting lady from Wigan who shouldn't be allowed into the Northern Quarter.

10 Responses: Reply To This...
Karl WheatSeptember 11th 2014.

I don't understand your fascination and bitterness with AF, but I didn't know about Penelope's. Looks interesting.

Karl WheatSeptember 11th 2014.

Well, I guess I won't be going there. Open 7am - 2:30pm Monday- Friday.

Beast is backSeptember 11th 2014.

Fair enough if it's catering to the workers at Media City but this is exactly the reason I've never been to Penelopes.

Trish KarneySeptember 11th 2014.

My dislike of AF is down to its' pretentious nature and surly attitude. It has far too much of a hardon for itself. Not my cup of tea I'm afraid. Penelopes is more of a lunchtime place as opposed to somewhere to be checked in on Facebook with an Instagram of "dirty ho fries" or other such nonsense. It would be great if they opened later, or sold alcohol, but guess there's not the market, and it's kind of hard to find - shame, as it's top notch food.

AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

Penelopes does sell alcohol. Great food too.

Calum McGSeptember 12th 2014.

Well, every time Trish comes in to slag off Almost Famous, I'll pop up just to say how fabulous it is. They have a concept. For me, it works. For Trish, it doesn't. Just don't get the obsession with slagging it off...

Calum McGSeptember 12th 2014.

Plus you mean its, not its'.

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

'Concept'? What, selling burgers?

ShybaldbuddhistSeptember 12th 2014.

Mouse poo burgers. What a concept.

ShybaldbuddhistSeptember 12th 2014.

*Poop!!

Karl WheatSeptember 11th 2014.

I've never experienced any kind of surly attitude at AF. The service has always been casual but polite. It seems like you're the type of person that would go there and seek out the one waitor who isn't extra nice to you, just so you can kick off about it on here. This article isn't even anything to do with Almost Famous. By the way, Penelope's serve "dirty fries" too.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Trish KarneySeptember 11th 2014.

You have no idea what "kind of person" I am. Although you do seem to be a proper AF fanboy...

Ghostly TomSeptember 11th 2014.

I've not experienced AFs surly attitude but I've certainly had a basinful of their arrogant attitude towards their patrons. Been once and that was more than enough. Mediocre food at premium prices served with a big side helping of bad attitude.

Calum McGSeptember 12th 2014.

Karl, let's go for a burger.

Karl WheatSeptember 11th 2014.

Also, it would be nice if Penelope's could do a late night on a Friday or Saturday or something, because the menu looks really good.

Melissa ConnellySeptember 11th 2014.

I don't care too much who it is, it is replacing a restaurant area that was unused or at least not talked about so it surely must be an improvement to an area that 4 years ago was a building site. I think its looking great down there with loads of people around day and night. There are still units available and I think more buildings planned so I do hope that there will be more independent places but a repeat of dockyard probably wouldn't get used, it needs to be something else again - maybe music focussed? My only rant is... why can't you park for free? It isn't easy for everyone to get there by tram so they are missing a whole load of people who maybe don't want to go into town and are happy to drive/ not drink. The car park fees are extortionate

ParisSeptember 11th 2014.

I really want to like the Dockyard - God knows the Quays is crying out for somewhere half decent - but the staff are unfailingly useless and unfriendly and the food isn't up to it (in my humble - and I have given them a number of chances). I never have a moments thought about going to the Wharf on my own, but don't feel comfortable at all about doing so here, which is a shame as it would be a nice place to sit out. Are rents on the Quays so prohibitive that independents are discouraged?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 11th 2014.

I tend to agree on the food - I think they've gone downhill on that front since first opening.

SAZKSeptember 11th 2014.

Agree with this, staff seem poorly trained don't seem to know anything about the food or drinks they're selling. Food disappointing too. I don't hate it but I don't love it either, the minute theres a bit more competition they will need to up their game

CarlaSeptember 12th 2014.

Hi, Penelope's kitchen here, I never post or comment on anything really but with this article I just wanted to put my view across. We are a independent at Media city are have been since May 2013 so I'm really young in my business life here however I have to say if your a independent media city are incredibly supportive I have expanded from Dock grill to Penelope's ice cream, Penelope's kitchen and soon I open a licenced coffee house here which is crazy in only 18 months but I couldn't have done it without the help of media city, they really are behind indepentants. We have quite a lot of indies on site and we often meet for coffee in fact a lot of us are now friends and help each other out, there's a great indepentant spirt onsite. Indepentants are Penelope's kitchen Dock yard Damson Frurt Pranzo Pokusevski's Dock grill Thank you for your comments on Penelope's I have let the team know and I've noted them too. Penelope's kitchen x

PenelopeSeptember 11th 2014.

Hi, Penelope's kitchen here, I never post or comment on anything really but with this article I just wanted to put my view across. We are a independent at Media city are have been since May 2013 so I'm really young in my business life here however I have to say if your a independent media city are incredibly supportive I have expanded from Dock grill to Penelope's ice cream, Penelope's kitchen and soon I open a licenced coffee house here which is crazy in only 18 months but I couldn't have done it without the help of media city, they really are behind indepentants. We have quite a lot of indies on site and we often meet for coffee in fact a lot of us are now friends and help each other out, there's a great indepentant spirt onsite. Indepentants are Penelope's kitchen Dock yard Damson Frurt Pranzo Pokusevski's Dock grill Thank you for your comments on Penelope's I have let the team know and I've noted them too. Penelope's kitchen x

AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

When a Marco Pierre White earlier this year was mentioned for the Hotel Indigo,as part of the Coop developnment it was welcomed by this website.Why the change now?.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 12th 2014.

That hotel has STILL NOT been started...Now saying end of this year...

jeffmillerSeptember 14th 2014.

Oh my god! I work at Mediacity! We don't need another expensive restaurant!! We need a Boots or a Tesco! Ugh!!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkSeptember 14th 2014.

Oh my God! Another Luddite. Alas, these comments columns are full to the brim of them

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

Why is Jeff a luddite? I am going to take a stab in the dark that he wants somewhere cheap to buy his lunch... if a MPW restaurant is somewhere you'd be able to dine every day, then perhaps you earn far too much money and could give some to Jeff. Jus' sayin'...

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

But it's not like MC is short of reasonably priced lunch options - Booths (which is a vast improvement on a Tesco Express) Penelopes, Pokusevskis. There's also the food court at The Lowry less than a 5 min walk away.

Julian HallSeptember 14th 2014.

Lowry food court - do me a favour!! You have to be desperate or a visiting footy fan who knows no better. Booths? I find them a bit up their own chuffers to be honest! And you can hardly call either "indie" or reasonably priced (on the VFM scale). Decent reasonably priced, non-formula food will go down a bundle if it's done right. Good for Penelopes and any others who are keeping the true local economy supported.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

I didn't describe anything as "indie", I put the Lowry food court down as an example of where you can get a reasonably priced lunch, given the poster was complaining about everywhere being expensive.

AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

And i'm not sure what your problem with Booths is, but i'd certainly rather see more shops around like them than Tesco Express. Why don't you think their lunch options are reasonably priced?

Duke FameSeptember 14th 2014.

Media City is a bit of a plastic fad, I don't expect to see anything other than plastic fads taking up residence. An outdoor Trafford centre if you will

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousSeptember 14th 2014.

You're a pleb duke

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