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Marco Pierre White opens in Manchester

Chef’s franchise to move into derelict building and Browns Brasserie opens shortly

Published on January 11th 2011.

Marco Pierre White opens in Manchester

A Marco Pierre White (MPW) restaurant is to open in Manchester. This will be in the presently derelict City Buildings close to Victoria Station.

The MPW restaurant will be located inside a 150 room Indigo Hotel from the Sanguine Hospitality group. This Liverpool-based hotel company is nothing if not ambitious.

Co-founder Paul Bolton speaking to TheBusinessDesk.com, said: "There's never been a better time to build a business like this. We currently manage seven sites but by this time next year we'll be at 12 and in 18 months we'll be at 17."

The company has an agreement with MPW to develop branded restaurants alongside hotels. Last year to great success Sanguine bought Hoole Hall Hotel on the outskirts of Chester, did a deal with Hilton Hotels, converted it into a Doubletree Hilton Hotel, and inserted a MPW restaurant.

Not that the Gordo thought much of the place on his review visit (click here). In fact he was angry over what he saw as dumbed down food for Northern oiks.

As for Manchester, MPW has a chequered history with the city. This stems from the ill-fated attachment of his name to the Lowry Hotel’s River Restaurant when it first opened a decade ago. It was a relief to everybody when the link between the celebrity and the five star hotel was broken shortly after.

Still if Sanguine get it right here then the hotel and the restaurant will be a real asset for the northern end of the city centre – especially in view of the redevelopment and rebuild of Chetham’s School of Music and the Cooperative head office complex.

Across town on Spring Gardens, Brown’s Brasserie is due to open on 28 January this month. We broke the news of its arrival last year, click here.

This should do well: mid range dining in the opulent surroundings of a classic Edwardian banking hall. It’ll hit the business market here right on the button unlike the waste of space Athenaeum pub it replaces. There’ll be breakfasts and brunches, lunches and afternoon tea, dinners and beef Sunday roasts from £10.95.

Food will include Oxfordshire smoked Barbary duck, stilton and watercress salad with walnuts, spiced pear, and a Japanese yazu dressing for £6.45, half a dozen oysters for £7.95, confit of Suffolk pork belly with crackling, squash purée, French beans and a mustard and thyme jus for £13.45, slow cooked shoulder of Welsh Lamb in a rosemary and garlic jus with minted broad beans and peas, served with honey roasted carrots and sweet potato dauphinoise for £15.45.

The venue seems to be pitching itself somewhere between Brasserie Gerard and Grill on the Alley. Readers can apply to be at the opening party on www.brownsmanchester.co.uk

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

EugeneJanuary 6th 2011.

Thats great news re the new hotel and MPW restaurant...that site has been derelict for as long as I have known it (at least the past 8 years). It looks pretty small though for a 150 bed hotel...is it gonna be a tall one? When is it expeted to open?

EARL OF DIDSBURYJanuary 6th 2011.

Great news on MPW and the refurb of the victorian city buildings too , Victoria Stn is also expected to be rebuilt (however on hold for the moment), Browns Brasserie will make another good contribution too the city too , however its food can be a bit average .

LS LuridJanuary 6th 2011.

This is actually quite a large site and in the ruined area at the rear it can go vertical. Could be a good building if there's enough money to be brave.

Andrew RevansJanuary 7th 2011.

I've has variable experiences in Brown's. St Martin's Lane had excellent food and service but was not cheap even for the West End. Leeds was dire; half the items on the menu were "off" and the staff's attitude was appalling. If they get the Manchester one right though it should be a success, and a worthy occupant of a splendid space.

Matt WJanuary 7th 2011.

I wonder if MPW will be using a well know brand of stock cubes?

TomegranateJanuary 7th 2011.

City Buildings is one of my favourite city centre derelicts, it's always seemed very strange that it's empty in such a prime spot. A new restaurant is a decent enough use, though I had hoped for something a bit more interesting apt to it's distinct look. MPW should hope the building's most recent patrons don't return during dinner - have a look at this amazing (and scary) exploration of the inside of the place: www.28dayslater.co.uk/…/showthread.php?t=26177…

The GunJanuary 7th 2011.

That Athenaeum place still have the private club next door? Will Browns be taking this over too? Any chance of the St.James's Club opening evenings?... Gordo open a Dining and Drinking club please with your fat matress of wonga

ScoteeeJanuary 7th 2011.

Looking forward to Browns opening; we've been missing something new for a while ...

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 9th 2011.

Wow Tomegranate those pictures are very very disturbing, apocalytic. Which makes the name of the website that hosts them all the more relevant.

TomegranateJanuary 9th 2011.

Tell me about it, it's the first explore of an abandoned building that hasn't made me say 'wow, cool!' Brrr. Hard to believe something that monumentally grim was going on in such a central, fairly pleasant spot. My naivety knows no limits!

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2011.

So Marco's putting his name to another restaurant he'll have absolutely nothing to do with then - whoopie-doo!!Having visited Marco's restaurants at the Swan Inn in Ormskirk and his restaurant in the Cadbury House, Doubletree by Hilton Hotel near Bristol, I'll be sure to absolutely NOT visit the Manchester one. The food in Ormskirk was average to say the least. The place in Bristol was an absolute disgrace - ran out of food, served a starter of goat's cheese fritter the size of a sherbet lemon and added a couple of leaves of salad, then made us wait over an hour for the main courses which were also very miniscule in size and 4 out of 6 of them were stone cold - I sent mine back, but 2 of the others were so hungry they ate theirs cold - then desert was also miniscule (I hasten to point out that this isn't one of those grumpy northerner slates nouvelle cuisine cos you don't get enough food type of emails), there was literally hardly any food - based on the fact they ran out of half the dishes on the menu by 7pm, I reckon they shared what they did have between the number of diners who turned up!
Anyhow, I know they're basically a franchise, but don't let the fact that Marco's name is on it make you think it's going to be good - it will be as good as the management and chefs in charge of it as Marco'll as like never go anywhere near it - my advice is to let someone else go first before you waste your money!

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2011.

Carnt wait for Marco's to open in Manchester I have been to most of his restaurants up and down the country and love them all the Yew Tree being my favourite

AnonymousFebruary 9th 2011.

You haven't been to the ones in Aughton and Chester clearly. They are both shit.

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