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REVEALED: El Gato Negro Site Fallen Through

New Manchester tapas restaurant were reportedly eyeing-up the former-Room site before Living Ventures struck

Written by . Published on January 29th 2015.


REVEALED: El Gato Negro Site Fallen Through
 

INTERESTING one this.

El Gato Negro, the new-to-Manchester Spanish tapas restaurant that's had Manc lips smacking since we broke news of their arrival in the city, was supposed to move into the former-Brasserie Blanc site (main image) on Chapel Walks this summer.

"El Gato Negro are still 100% committed to coming to Manchester this summer"

However, Confidential has since learnt that the deal on the site has fallen through in recent weeks due to 'issues with the landlord'.

More interesting still is that El Gato Negro, captained by celebrated Yorkshire chef Simon Shaw (formerly of the illustrious Harvey Nichols restaurant in London's Knightsbridge) and backed by a successful Manchester businessman (who wishes to remain anonymous), were instead eyeing-up a move on the former-Room restaurant site at 81 King Street - which closed abruptly two weeks ago.

However, the clout of Living Ventures chief Tim Bacon was too much for custodians Bruntwood to resist, and yesterday saw the sudden announcement that LV's Pan Asian bar-restaurant brand Grand Pacific (Austalasia's diminutive sibling on The Avenue) would launch in the prestigious location by October 2015 - read here.

The former-Room site at 81 King StreetThe former-Room site at 81 King Street

Chef Simon Shaw (left) of El Gato NegroChef Simon Shaw (left) of El Gato Negro

This is no great surprise, the covenant between Living Ventures and Bruntwood has seen deals agreed on multiple sites across the city from New York Street to the new Gusto in Elliot House on Deansgate.

As proven as Living Ventures track record is for churning-out successful and hugely impressive spaces (Artisan, Manchester House, Australasia, the list goes on...), you can't help but feel Bruntwood's knee-jerk revert to type has denied the exceptional building - once the notorious Reform Club & Restaurant - a truly distinctive, one-off operator.

Confidential has also been made aware in recent days of one particular three-star Michelin chef whose ears had been pricked by the newly-vacant site.

Still, as anyone who recently visited Room will tell you, the place was looking tired and unloved. Let's take satisfaction then that LV - a reputable operator with riches and reputation - will be tasked with returning the 143-year-old building, a 'mad piece of high Victoriana', to its previous glory.

So where next for El Gato Negro? Chef Shaw tells Confidential that 'El Gato Negro are still 100% committed to coming to Manchester this summer' and have been 'offered a number of different sites' since the first deal fell through'.

Confidential has everything crossed for El Gato Negro. Shaw is a talented chef who turned a knackered old pub in the West Yorkshire sticks into a desination tapas restaurant, no mean feat by anyone's standards. Let's hope he finds somewhere to shine in the city centre.

Because if not, we're told a move to the provinces 'can't be ruled out'.

Follow @David8Blake on twitter.

www.elgatonegrotapas.com

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

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Probably shit it because iberica is opening in town with a lot more money behind them, I don't blame him

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

So we could've had a three michelin star chef and EL Gato Negro but instead we've a long vacant site and Australasia light? That's it, I'm off to Liverpool.

1 Response: Reply To This...
food for thoughtFebruary 1st 2015.

See ya

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Disappointing that Reform space becomes another boring LV, but they're what Manchester's in love with so I suppose it makes sense. Could never see El Gato Negro making a go of the Brasserie Blanc space. Didn't seem right. So probably fortunate it's fallen through.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Hero
RevaulxJanuary 31st 2015.

True: Brasserie Blanc couldn't. Their other branches are perfectly decent, but the Manchester one was a dismal hole

SquirrelitoJanuary 29th 2015.

El Gato Negro might have been a lovely fit for the Reform Club, given a big enough budget. Maybe the also-fallen-through Courthouse unit might be a better fit than the bland glass fronted box that is the old Raymond Blanc site

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

Living ventures should team up with El gato for the room site.

BaggioJanuary 29th 2015.

the former 'stock' building remains empty, doesn't it?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

It's being turned into a hotel

AnonymousJanuary 29th 2015.

The sites been empty for several years, how stupid can these landlords be?

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

If EGN could've made the Room site work, then it's pretty disappointing to see another LV venue muscling in instead. Particularly when it's nothing better than Grand Pacific.

John BrocklehurstJanuary 30th 2015.

Wings, Hawksmoor, and El Gato. I'll never leave Manchester again. Simon Shaw is a genius with food, Michelin star for a genius, how about that?

SteamyJanuary 30th 2015.

El Gato Negro in the Cornerhouse building. What you saying? You guys?

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

Oxford Road could do with some decent restaurants.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

LV getting the Room site is the worst possible scenario, it will become just another bland generic space serving average food & drinks at ridiculous prices to a crowd eager to suck at Tim Bacon's teat. EGN in that space would've been unique and potentially spectacular.

AnonymousJanuary 30th 2015.

Pan Asian food in the old Reform Club? By Heavens it could work. Think Colonial - say Singapore circa 1910. A sort of Gentleman's Club atmosphere, except women are allowed in. Maybe a billiards table in the corner. And ceiling fans, lots of 'em. And gin and tiffin. OK the promised DJ could be an unwelcome distraction but that's a minor matter. Oh and by the way, I despair of all the negative comments about LV. I see nothing wrong with commercial empire building - Manchester House, Australasia, Grill on the Alley (and NY Street) are some of the best restaurants in Manchester. So stop bloody moaning - there is plenty of space in Manchester for El Gato Negro and anybody else, rents permitting.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 30th 2015.

Hear hear

Hero
RevaulxJanuary 31st 2015.

LV bashing is indeed tedious and unwarranted, but it would have been nice to have something more individual in the glorious Reform Club. Ceiling fans would be a massive improvement on the horrible air conditioning unit in the private dining room though

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2015.

Yes I look forward to eating 'small plate' tempura king prawn dish (3 prawns) with watercress foam for a 'very reasonable' £7.95, whilst sipping a £15 champagne cocktail, sat on wicker chairs in the undersized eating area, crammed in between an item of mouldy taxidermy and Liz from Corro's backside. This is exactly what this place will be like. Mark my words.

AnonymousJanuary 31st 2015.

If you can't stand the kitchen get out of the restaurant. But hold on a minute - its not going to open for at least several months so why not wait and see what its actually like before deciding that the eating area will be "undersized" and that stuffed animals (or birds perhaps) will be our dining companions.

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2015.

Yeah but you just know it's going to offer the usual mediocre and expensive food in a heavily themed environment with the emphasis on the bar offer. I'd like to be proved wrong.

AnonymousFebruary 1st 2015.

Back to Ripponden then please Simon, we miss you

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