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That Cafe to close

Shock news: well-loved Manchester restaurant closes and doesn't blame the recession

Published on May 13th 2010.


That Cafe to close

Confidential called That Cafe, Levenshulme's cosy gem of a restaurant this week.

The bad news might be that this beloved place is closing, the good news is that it's closure will be a celebration not a funeral. People who love the business will be able to say an affectionate goodbye. And for once there won't be a long queue of suppliers who haven't been paid waiting at the door.

We spoke to Allan McMinn one of the owners. He confirmed news we'd been hearing.

“Yes, we are closing for good on Saturday 29 May.”

So what's caused That Cafe to shut its doors? The recession?

“Absolutely not,” says McMinn. “The restaurant's been here since the eighties, we've been here for 13 years. That's a long time, and we have another business idea we'd like to pursue. We put the premises on the market, it wasn't a decision forced upon us.”

It's unclear whether the new owner will be using the building as restaurant or not.

McMinn knows that there is an emotional bond between the restaurant and its many loyal customers.

“It has been emotional announcing this, I personally phoned our regulars to let them know of our plans. But we are proud of what we've done. We've managed to keep open a quality suburban restaurant with a changing menu and great produce. We've been part of people's lives, hundreds of people have memories of weddings, anniversaries and parties held at That Cafe. It's not been a decision taken lightly and some people have been upset. But we feel we need to move on.”

Nor will McMinn and his co-owners be leaving the food and drink industry.

“We own The Long Causeway Trading Company up in Cliviger (between Burnley and Todmorden). We have a 10 acre small holding with pigs and sheep. We are already selling produce in Farmers Markets. We want to develop this business, see where we can take it. That's impossible when we have to be here all our evenings, although I'm sure there will be many times when we will miss the people we've worked with and served.”

The loss of That Cafe will be a loss for Levenshulme and south Manchester, it was one of that necklace of cracking locally run restaurants running through the south of the city: Isinglass, The Lime Tree, Greens, Rhubarb, Cafe Jem&I and Damsons.

The bad news might be that this beloved restaurant is closing, the good news is that it's closure will be a celebration not a funeral. People who love the business will be able to say an affectionate goodbye. And for once there won't be a long queue of suppliers who haven't been paid waiting at the door.

See ya, That Cafe you've been a good 'un.

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Mrs MMay 14th 2010.

The closure of That Cafe will be a massive loss to the area. This is a wonderful restaurant and we've had some fabulous meals there. Good luck to the owners in the future and you will be missed greatly.

AnonymousJune 7th 2010.

Fantastic restaurant and very sorry to hear this news. Hopefully it can reopen but will be a very hard act to follow. I echo your thoughts Mrs M, which Good Luck to the owners in their venture.

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