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New Manchester Gastro-pub To Open

Jonathan Schofield and new life for a faded city centre boozer

Written by . Published on January 7th 2014.

New Manchester Gastro-pub To Open

The Crown is the Manchester city centre pub that everybody forgot. 

Other menu items will include crispy tripe with Lancashire shaved pickled onions.

Bang in the traditional business quarter, yet a skip from Manchester Art Gallery and Chinatown, it occupies the ground floor of a dowdy eighties office block. For years The Crown has been a lonely bastion in this area of the hard drinking pub in terminal decline. 

Now it's to be transformed by the New Moon Pub Company. These boys are well-known in the north west for their sprucing up of moribund boozers in Cheshire, such as the former Red Cow, now the Old Sessions House in Knutsford.


Old Sessions House

The Crown will re-open in mid-March 2014 after what one of the company bosses, Dave Mooney, calls: "A complete smartening up."

"The Crown," he continues, "will be unrecognisable after we've finished with it. Everything will go, the bar, the kitchens, the internal layout. The front windows and the entrance areas will be transformed with a whole re-working of the signage. People will be so transfixed by the ground floor they won't even notice the offices above."

But what about the name? Won't people associate the Crown with an old, dowdy and failing business?

"Of course they will, that's why we're changing it," says Mooney. "It's going to be called the Beef and Pudding. This is a reference to a cartoon from the Peterloo Massacre of 1819 with one of the militia saying we're sending the people back to their beef and pudding. In our pub we'll be bringing the Beef and Pudding back to the people in the old Crown pub."

The Unusual Inspiration For The Name Of The Pub

The unusual inspiration for a pub name

Marketing eh? A massacre as inspiration. Weird. In a peculiar twist of fate the Waterhouse pub, a one minute crawl down Fountain Street, was the former offices of Slater Heelis solicitors who represented the militia after Peterloo. 

Still the name will help embed the pub in the city. And as Mooney says, "I was born in the old St Mary's Hospital, opposite the Palace Theatre. I love Manchester and its history. I wanted to reflect that in the name, especially as it marks my return to Manchester."

And the food?

"Our chef is Nic Duncan," says Mooney. "She used to work at Parlour on Beech Road, Chorlton, and is Harvey Nics trained. She'll be delivering a frequently changing menu of good quality, British food. Of course we'll have a beef-pudding, one with our own horse radish. There'll also be fish and chips and a signature dish of steak with black-eyed peas. Other menu items will include crispy tripe with Lancashire shaved pickled onions."

Crispy tripe. Now the man's talking sense.

There'll be a strong winelist, a decent spirit range and three cask ales including an in-house Tatton Ales brewed pint. The restaurant area of Beef and Pudding will seat ninety and the pub area forty. 

In the week that we learnt the Mark Addy was closing this is very good news. There's always room for a good pub operator bringing a good chef and creating jobs in the city centre. The more food and drink options the better. 

Img_5354The Crown - soon to be Beef and Pudding

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

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

Steve NolanJanuary 7th 2014.

Crispy tripe? Count me in.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

Is that you Nolan, gutted that the jukebox and sambuca sessions will end?

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2014.

Mark Addy did tripe, offal and the like ... It's just not attractive enough for most people. Bad idea to go down that road .... Do nice food please!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

deary me

PryonicJanuary 8th 2014.

I'm not a fan on offal myself but know plenty of people who are - why can't they do both? The Mark Addy did well there, it was one of my favourite places to eat out - I'd have a steak or pigeon while a friend of mine ate liver or tripe!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 8th 2014.

Pryonic, Anonymous, why not read the whole story, you know actually read it? Then you might have read this and not lashed out: 'She'll be delivering a frequently changing menu of good quality, British food. Of course we'll have a beef-pudding, one with our own horse radish. There'll also be fish and chips and a signature dish of steak with black-eyed peas.'

PryonicJanuary 8th 2014.

Jonathan - that was meant to be a reply to the above Anon comment actually. I had read they are doing more and was pleased - I admit I worded it badly ;)

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

If only they could remove those 3 concrete pillars in front... unless they can incorporate these into a new facade

AlanJanuary 8th 2014.

The Crown (formally the Crown Hotel) was run down until it was transformed several years ago by new owners with great traditional beers, & food it was packed most days both lunches and evening, then the brewery killed it by the prices and bad area management and it was sold by the owners. Once again this started the fast decline to its present sorry state. With its great city location I am sure it will be great once again, cannot wait to try it when it reopens, the right operators will always do well there. Best wishes.

SquirrelitoJanuary 8th 2014.

Sounds promising

Tyson the BeerhoundJanuary 8th 2014.

Location is good and in the right hands, it will do well. Glad to see it's featuring real ale as well.

Angela HiltonJanuary 8th 2014.

I hope they have decent ales and/or decent liquors

MCR Cuture VultureJanuary 8th 2014.

Crispy tripe - yikes not for me please. But this comment surprises me from JS. "The more food and drink options the better." Haven't we got enough drinking and eating places in manchester. That is all we have, too bleedin' many allready. Northern Quarter is overflowing yet they keep allowing more in. City centre is full of drunks we don't really need any more pubs, we need some Cultural venues not JUST MORE PUBS SELLING WHAT THEY REATE AS THE BEST FOOD IN TOWN. We need something a bit different! If I had the money I would do just that but unfortuately I don't.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 8th 2014.

Well I'm not saying we don't want more culture either, that would be lovely as well.

Eugene Spain)January 10th 2014.

M/cr vulture culture."Haven't we got enough drinking and eating places" Turin in Italy a city of a similar urban population has approx.2185 places to eat M/cr has approx.(G/tr M/cr) has approx. 1577 to eat.A massive difference between places serving a similar size population.NO WE DO NOT HAVE TOO MANY EATING PLACES.We should eat out more like the continentals.

Dave MansbridgeJanuary 8th 2014.

Oh my God.... Oh my God.... I work across the road from The Old Sessions House and live five minutes away from what will be Beef and Pudding.... I may as well just put my paycheque directly into the account of Messers Newman and Mooney. I know this place will be a massive success. Good luck gents.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul NewmanJanuary 9th 2014.

Hahaha - Love that Mr M x

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2014.

What's a "paycheque"?

Tom ClarkinJanuary 9th 2014.

I used to go to school with Nic Duncan, good look to her!

Paul DownesJanuary 9th 2014.

After an extended period of stagnation and lack of investment and with so many new arrivals in the vicinity, The Crown So long left behind has been in desperate need for a re invention. Paul & David with The New Moon Pub Co are most definately the team to take it forward and certainly have the credentials to improve not just The Crown but also re invigorate a forgotten corner of inner city Manchester, from the current caretakers we wish them every success in their new venture, you are the catalyst that the premises has been patiently waiting for. 'Give them no Quarter Boys' Can we book a table for March 18th please !

Julie BagnoliJanuary 9th 2014.

Chef Nic carried on Jenny Cole's great start at The Parlour, keeping the classic, quality English dishes there well-styled and light. With Dave Mooney they'll give the Damson boys a good run for the 'local, seasonal' money in town. In time for 'Best Newcomer' already eh?

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