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REVEALED: First New Restaurant In King Street Rethink?

Quill restaurant set to open in the former-Duo store on stirring shopping street

Written by . Published on January 2nd 2015.

REVEALED: First New Restaurant In King Street Rethink?

LET'S be honest, the whole 'death of King Street' doom and gloom thing was becoming tiresome.

Let's just be chuffed that the first King Street news of 2015 is one of optimism. There's nowt as dismal as 'death', 'decay' and four hundred 'To Let' signs.

'Bond Street of the North'? Give over. The three big 'R's: recession, rents and rates, had seen to that. So how do you solve a problem like King Street? Well, increase city centre parking costs of course. Footfall fell, spending habits changed, 'savvy' Aldi shopping suddenly became trendy. Fancy that.

By 2014 and they were still dropping off: Monsoon, Timberland, Aubin & Wills, Duo... A few of the street's luxury old guard stood true, Hermes, Watches of Switzerland, but then it's much easier to meet rent when you only need one person to drop £5,000 on a Birkin bag or Rolex GMT.

Something had to change. As far back as 2009, in an article gravely titled, The Death Of King Street, the editor argued that a few spots to eat and drink (and some traffic?) might pick things up a tad.

Come 2015 and talk has turned again to food and drink. It is hoped that a sprinkle of bars/restaurants/cafes added into the mix (alongside new and well-performing retailers like Bravissimo) will return confidence and feet to the street.

King Street with the potential new Quill unit (first on the right)King Street with the potential new Quill unit (first on the right)

It's an obvious move. With a swelling city centre population and tourism numbers soaring (Manchester is fast-catching Edinburgh as the UK's second most visited city) the competition for city centre bar and restaurant units is fierce.

New-to-Manchester operators (Hawksmoor, Iberica, El Gato Negro, Wahaca, Burger & Lobster, the list goes on...) are scrambling for space, and you need only look a short way up Deansgate to The Avenue in Spinningfields (dubbed a 'retail graveyard' in early-2014) to see the impact change of use from high-end retail to drinking and dining can have. New restaurants Thaikhun and Fazenda - formerly LK Bennett and Ted Baker - are rammed.

Good news then that King Street's first licence application of 2015 has landed on Council desks.

Quill Restaurant - from the team behind Didsbury's Chalk Bar and Grill - is set to open in the former-Duo unit at 20-22 King Street (between The Body Shop and White Stuff) if approved by the licensing committee.

Chalk Bar and Grill, an independent venture by Didsbury businessman Chris Longmate and Dominic Gottelier, the former general manager of Alderley Edge's long-standing Wizard gastropub (reviewed here), opened on Wilmslow Road in Summer 2014 to decent reviews - read ours from October 2014 here.

Quill will be their second operation.

Quill is from the team behind Didsbury's Chal Bar %26#38%3B Grill %28pictured%29Quill is from the team behind Didsbury's Chalk Bar & Grill

Confidential has been in touch about the slant of the new restaurant but the guys are giving very little away at present, as is often the way when licence applications are still under review (Hospitality 101: Never ever mug off licensing).

We're told more details about Quill will be released in the next few weeks. We'll be sure to let you know as soon as we get them.

But for now, let's just be chuffed that the first King Street news of 2015 is one of optimism. There's nowt as dismal as 'death', 'decay' and four hundred 'To Let' signs. Now, let's get that empty Monsoon store sorted shall we...

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

Alex24January 2nd 2015.

A high-end residential element would help King Street as much as new dining options.

DavidJanuary 3rd 2015.

David Blake is a liar,those restaurants in Spinningfields that occupy former retail units are not 'rammed' unless he only bothered walking past on New Years Eve..Also Mr Blake other cities with tourists like London and Edinburgh manage to have both shops and restaurants.Manchester is losing most of his high end retail,while the likes of Carnaby Street and Regemt Street are thriving retail area.Tourists don't only want only to eat,they also want to shop,especially high end overseas tourists.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark Garner The Publisher.January 3rd 2015.

David, I don't like people calling other people on this site liars, staff or no. Apology please or I'll bar you for good when I launch the new back end.

DavidJanuary 3rd 2015.

Those restaurants are not 'rammed',as you and he both know.Anyone who walks past there would clearly see that.If you ban people that says more about you than me.Goodnight

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2015.

Quote:- "So how do you solve a problem like King Street? Well, increase city centre parking costs of course." Exactly why many of Manchester's "fleeting" city centre restaurants are never as busy as we would all like/hope to believe too, eh David??

AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2015.

You Mancon people! What is it with restaurant customers and their cars? They could enjoy a few glasses of wine with their meal and get public transport or a taxi back home. Or maybe get one of their affluent friends to pick them up. When I out in Manchester, the last thing I want to be thinking about is driving there, where I'm going to park and if I'll get a parking space. There's so much freedom in not having the car when I'm out in Manchester. As for the price of parking in Manchester? One more time, Mancon...the price of eating out in town makes the cost of parking completely insignificant.

James CunninghamJanuary 3rd 2015.

I believe the article was referring to the retail problem of King Street when suggesting putting up parking was an issue. Let'e be honest extending parking charges to 8pm AND on Sundays AND increasing the charges DOES send people to the free parking Trafford Centre that still has plenty of designer shops!

food for thoughtJanuary 3rd 2015.


AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2015.

Good post david. Agree slightly. Any new business in Mcr is good in general- more jobs more business tax. But I do feel there is far too many restaurants opening in Manchester recently. Northerners are less demanding than our london counterparts. How many different burger joints do I really want in my city?! I'm content with McDs burgers to be fair. More choice, less of the same. Totally agree with we need more retail shops in city centre! More independent clothes shops or gift shops. Council should consider a scheme to get young fashion ppl with ideas to open lil boutiques with financial aid. This is coming from an Asian restauranteur whose ssites are usually full with overseas student- yes they prefer shopping than eating! TY

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 3rd 2015.

If you're "content with McDs burgers", i'm not sure I fancy eating at your restaurant.

Barry MaginnJanuary 4th 2015.

Think it was a slightly tongue in cheek point.

Calum McGJanuary 4th 2015.

"Northerners are less demanding than our london counterparts" - speak for yourself mate.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2015.

Only chavs are interested in designer clothes nowadays.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 4th 2015.

...and the wealthy Chinese tourists who flock to Manchester nowadays.

AnonymousJanuary 4th 2015.

Depends on the chavs....not seen many of them in Nicole Farhi....

rinkydinkJanuary 4th 2015.

It's a stupid generalising comment that simply isn't true

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 4th 2015.

(Last Anon)

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

too many restaurants

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