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The Mark Addy To Close

Hefty repair bill forces closure of classic Manchester restaurant

Written by . Published on January 5th 2014.

The Mark Addy To Close

THE well-known and much loved Mark Addy pub is to close as a restaurant with immediate effect. This means it will not re-open after the Christmas/New Year break which was due to finish on Monday 6 January.

Costs associated with upgrading the kitchens and restaurant areas have led to the decision. The physical upkeep of the site has been an issue for some time. 

This is a blow to the food and drink scene. Owen Brown's food is as honest as British food gets offering up classics alongside game, off-cuts, offal and tripe.

Opened by Salford entrepreneur and bookie Jim Ramsbottom in the 80s the Mark Addy was the first food and drink establishment in the city centre to face the waterfront for a century or more. It also had, and still has, the biggest river terrace around, directly fronting onto the River Irwell, on the Salford side. It re-opened as a restaurant/pub in 2009. The building is still owned by the Ramsbottom family.

The closure will mean that Robert Owen Brown's trademark North Western cooking will leave the city on a day to day basis. This is a blow to the food and drink scene.

Owen Brown's food is as honest as British food gets offering up classics alongside game, off-cuts, offal and tripe. Indeed the use of traditional Lancashire nose to tail ingredients - 'the waste not want not' principle - made Owen Brown's food distinctive, bold and refreshingly punchy. It also gained him fame nationally with critics such as Jay Rayner and fellow chefs such as Fergus Henderson. 

(Click here to add text)


Heaven was a grouse at The Mark Addy with lashings of Chateau Musar

Not that it's all over.

"We've had a great time at the Mark Addy but it now needs a lot of work," says Owen Brown, who recently released a book, Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle.

"We'd all like to thank our customers for supporting us during the last few years and hope they enjoyed what we offered with food and drink but also with the one-off events. I'm staying in Manchester and will be around cooking for my new event, training and catering company."

We're told to watch out for other 'residencies' to come from Robert Owen Brown.

The closure, of course, affects other staff, some of whom were exceptional at their jobs. Confidential hears that the Mark Addy may well continue as a bar selling real ales and the usual array of drinks. If that does happen let's hope some familiar faces at The Mark Addy can be re-employed.  

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield or connect via Google+

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

Steve SpencerJanuary 6th 2014.

Why continue going for years and years if it's so bad? Makes no sense.

gazzathom40January 6th 2014.

Sorry - no great loss. Venue was very tatty with that off-putting smell as you walk down the stairs. Never felt welcoming, but more a throw back to the 80s

1 Response: Reply To This...
Prince_HarmingJanuary 6th 2014.

I have to agree with you here. I went on a couple of occasions and was always completely mystified with Confidential's seemingly overwhelming love for the place. From the moment you walked in to the tired, beaten-looking foyer it felt like a time capsule from a thankfully bygone era, and the smell you mention was in full, throat-clogging effect. The decor and odour once you arrived in the bar area was no improvement and on the two occasions that I felt pushed outside by the smell on to the much-vaunted 'sun terrace', I moved from pissy arch to pissy arch looking for some comfortable furniture and breathable air. I'm honestly not sad at all to see the place go, and if it does reopen as a real ale venue then some serious redecoration and a tanker of Febreze would go a long, long way.

Beast is backJanuary 6th 2014.

I have to feel sorry for the staff at risk but it's no real shock to hear they needed a lot of money to upgrade. It's not been attractive since the 80's Boddingtons & cheese platter days

Great GobsbyJanuary 6th 2014.

The food will be a great loss. On its day it was the best proper NW food around. Good Lord this isn't going to be a whinge fest by the minority of customers who were put off by the damp carpets - probably customers who love that 'authenticity' when abroad or eating street food in Thailand or something.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Prince_HarmingJanuary 6th 2014.

You absolutely right, it's completely unreasonable to not want damp, awful-smelling carpets in a food establishment.

BillyJanuary 6th 2014.

Very talented chef and nice guy!

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 6th 2014.

Let me remind people that personal comments about individuals that can't be substantiated will be removed.

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 6th 2014.

Are you referring to the previous comment about the chef from Billy?

Richard KiddJanuary 6th 2014.

Sad news. Always enjoyed this scruffy Salfordian gem. Staff were always friendly and did well despite the building obviously being in need of renovation. I hope the venue and name lives on after some much-needed investment… I'd rather sit on the Salford side of the Irwell on a sunny day than among the glass canyons of Spinningfields…

Mark StuttardJanuary 6th 2014.

Gutted to see the end of this place - yes it needed a lick of paint and a refresh, but the food was always excellent, and the staff were great. Had many an amazing Gastro night there, including our last Christmas party. There was a recent question on Twitter from someone asking which restaurant embodied Manchester food... I think the Mark Addy was one of those places, so it's a massive shame to see it go. Let's hope these projects of ROB keep him within Manchester, or else the city loses a gifted & innovative chef. Best of luck to all the staff.

Rob MarstonJanuary 6th 2014.

I agree with Richard Kidd and will add that I have eaten some of the finest food there in Manchester or London, including at St John's in Spitalfields, its spiritual southern cousin

SteamyJanuary 6th 2014.

Very sad news indeed. The steak with chips and bearnaise was one of the best in Manchester in my opinion.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 13th 2014.

The bernaise was good indeed but the stench of man wee which accompanied it not so good.

Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on January 6th 2014.
GeorgeJanuary 6th 2014.

ROB was is and always be an inspiration to traditional local English cooking, always looking and experimenting with dishes that long been forgotten, he gave the great re-birth to them and tickled our taste buds. Excellent and talented Chef whom the city needs to keep and enjoy his delights for many years to come. ROB, you always gave me a great taste of quality food!!!

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2014.

Shame for everyone involved, top guy rob but theses things happen. I would suggest the marble arch as a fantastic city center alternative or the shoulder of mutton further afield. Good luck to all the staff in their new ventures

culture vultureJanuary 6th 2014.

Won't be sorry to see this place go, it was hanging! STench of pee outside on the so called terrace over looking smelly rat infested river is not my idea of bliss. More likely that RAmsbottom has finally seen the light of day and bowed out under pressure from all the new eateries in Manchester that have opened in the last few years. Can't think why MC thinks it to be a blow to Manchester Food & Drink scene - it won't be! Good luck to those out of a job - join the club!

SoapysudsJanuary 6th 2014.

I was told some time ago, it was going to shut for the development of some sorts to take place. Another needless tower block. And why is it referred to a Manchester restaurant, when it is in the City of Salford?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
George GraphicalJanuary 6th 2014.

Because Salford is a mere suburb of Manchester albeit one with city status - but realistically, come on

rinkydinkJanuary 6th 2014.

Get over this please! Like it or not Salford is just a Manchester suburb. It's irrelevant on anything more than a local level

Andrew JonesJanuary 6th 2014.

Great shame, was great food and service, better than any Living Venture soulless crap, even if some short sighted fools couldn't appreciate that through the grottyness.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 6th 2014.

Nah! Sorry. You're way out. Comparing the Oast House or Alchemist to this smelly hole (sorry!) is ridiculous!

Andrew JonesJanuary 9th 2014.

You, sir, are a moron.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2014.

I live in Detroit, and I frequent Manchester when I can to see friends and explore the food, drink and art scene. The Mark Addy was my first stop on my first trip to Manc and since then, I've always requested a rendezvous there at the beginning of every visit. The food was always amazing. My first visit I had the ham roll sandwich with honey glaze dip, and I've also had partridge, and a few other dishes as well. But my real favorite is the Manchester Egg. This was one of the few spots left that served it. It would still be great to stop in for a pint during future visits, but Owen's presence and the Manchester Egg will TRULY be missed. This was my absolute favorite restaurant and pub in Manc. Cheers to Owen, and I hope I can hunt you and your Manchester Egg down next time I'm in town.

rinkydinkJanuary 6th 2014.

It says in the MEN that it's reopening under new management. So actually, it's not closing after all. Non-story!

Amanda EveryJanuary 6th 2014.

If it's reopening under new management, then why weren't the staff transferred under TUPE? What happened there. then?

1 Response: Reply To This...
Poster BoyJanuary 7th 2014.

...because "Closed due to refurbishment" is the classic 'trade' misnomer...

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 6th 2014.

Rinkydink I did put in that it may well continue as a bar with drinks but it will not be the Mark Addy as we've known it for the last few years. There will be no a la carte menu cooking excellent regional food. So therefore it is changed and we have lost an important restaurant. This species of the Mark Addy has ceased trading. It's an important food and drink story.

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 6th 2014.

It might be better! You don't know yet

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2014.

This happens in the world we work in Every fucking potential customer now Think they know everything about the World of catering , bloggers , reviewers 2 bit microwave chefs everyone wants ago Because they bought a free range chicken What wasn't actually free range ... It's a hard life hospatality not 1 made Up of dining out and having monthly Supper events with foodie friends talking About the latest fucking hot dogs and Newest shitty burger on the block !! Owen brown will be back like always For how long who knows !

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Simon TurnerJanuary 6th 2014.

Kerouac via Google translate?

Poster BoyJanuary 7th 2014.

Full translation; I believed in a good home, in sane and sound living, in good food, good times, work, faith and hope. I have always believed in these things. It was with some amazement that I realized I was one of the few people in the world who really believed in these things without going around making a dull middle class philosophy out of it...

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

Simon Turner - funny as fuck.

Trish KarneyJanuary 7th 2014.

I'm always wary when a venue and chef is surrounded by so much sycophancy, which is what put me off going. Shame I won't be able to give it a whirl now. Someone who works in the council offices in Salford told me that it was going to be turned into a Nandos. Can anyone confirm?

Davina DobbsJanuary 7th 2014.

Trish why are you always 'wary' of people being praised. Psychological issues as a child?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Trish KarneyJanuary 7th 2014.

Not at all Dr Dobbs. I'm merely saying that I always cast a wry eye on those establishments which have queues of people pandering to the patron.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

Please don't praise the chef cos Trish won't go.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

On the other hand I am suspicious of the attacks on the place.

Tim HartleyJanuary 7th 2014.

The owners got permission a few years ago to redevelop it as a bigger bar/restaurant with more space above ground but retaining the riverside space. It would be good if this now prompted redevelopment to take place.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

If you have ever had a meal devised by Robert Owen Brown, in any of his restaurants/pubs, you would know that he put his heart and sole into his dishes which were made with love and pride by a chef who wants to make his punters happy. I hope he finds another local spot to enable him to dish up his fine food.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

I loved the food there and the service was absolutely spot on. If they could have solved the damp/cold problems then it would have knocked all the overpriced Spinningfields eateries on their arses. There are only so many hanging kebabs you can have before the novelty wears off, but good food, well prepared, will always be in demand.

Jon GrievesJanuary 8th 2014.

Sorry to hear that Rob and the team have ended their time at The Mark Addy. I am sure they will all find great new opportunities within the city. It is hard work out there as the centre of Manchester shifts and changes but lets hope that even with all the investment for the new places that people remember that it is cooking like ROB's that first began to get us all noticed.

AnonymousJanuary 14th 2014.

Closed down owing a lot of money to a lot of people......................

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 17th 2014.

You too

AnonymousJanuary 15th 2014.

went once, food was ok, place was freezing and stunk of piss

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2014.

So true

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