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Thomas Restaurant and Bar set to open

Amidst restaurant gloom a bright northern star?

Published on March 1st 2010.

Thomas Restaurant and Bar set to open

We've had this missive with which to start March. After taking out and toning down the PR excess this new place looks like a real boost for city dining.

Confidential expects good things from this place. The Soup Kitchen's Wine and Dine nights have been very well-regarded for some time. If Phillips can bring that level of cooking to the restaurant it should thrive. It should also lift the reputation of the Northern Quarter.

Here comes the press release.

'Thomas Restaurant and Bar is due to open this month, offering a completely different environment to eat and drink in Manchester’s Northern Quarter. The menu is a collection of everyone’s favourite dishes and drinks with an emphasis on quality and value for money.

'Behind the venture are Paul Astill, Nicky Rybka-Goldsmith and Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka who between them own Cord, The Bay Horse and Soup Kitchen. Yvonne has an extensive background within the restaurant industry (including Reform, The Restaurant Bar & Grill and Lounge 10) and along with Head Chef Gareth Phillips (Greens in Didsbury, Atul Kochhars’ Benares in Mayfair and most recently Soup Kitchen) has designed a menu they feel will appeal to everyone yet inhibit no-one.

Phillip's Soup Kitchen cooking

'Through monthly Wine and Dine evenings held over the past year at Soup Kitchen, recipes have been created, refined and enjoyed by many loyal attendees – (click here for our review of one of these occasions.)

'The site has three floors designed for both drinkers and diners; with a very architectural design combining interior and exterior spaces to attract locals and new customers who may not have visited the area before.

'Customers can enjoy dishes such as: Posh Bloody Mary Shots with fresh oyster (£6); to the beer battered lightly spiced Fish and Chunky Chips (£9.50); and flavoured fresh Cheesecakes of the Day (£4.50.) There is a short yet perfectly formed wine list with each wine available by the glass and suggested wine choices to compliment many of the dishes are indicated on the menu.

'Using local suppliers, the menu gives customers what they want; and in this current climate pricing has been very carefully considered; Monday to Saturday before 6pm enjoy any starter/main or main/dessert from the menu for £11.95. And Sundays at Thomas are meant for getting together and relaxing with families, friends and loved ones with Sunday Roasts taking over the menu. (Individually priced at £8.95, or £11.95 for two courses and £15 for three courses).'

The business partners: Paul Astill, Yvonne Goldsmith-Rybka and Nicky Rybka-Goldsmith (apparently in his dressing gown)

That's the press release then. Confidential expects good things from this place. The Soup Kitchen's Wine and Dine nights have been very well-regarded for some time. If Phillips can bring that level of cooking to the restaurant it should thrive. It should also lift the reputation of the Northern Quarter as place a notch or two and add variety to a night out there.

It shouldn't be just the food that impresses either. Paul Astill, the designer of the restaurant, has a great eye for bars and restaurants. Having seen plans for the site we trust that Thomas will look the part, providing both intrigue and comfort.

We like the work of this business partnership and we like what they've provided for the city. Well with one exception. The music volume in their Bay Horse pub on weekend evenings is obscene. It's not just the forty-somethings in the office who think this, but the twenty-somethings too. Let's hope there's none of that late night bedlam in Thomas, just a sparky menu, a sparky venue and a great place to go - and to tell other people to go to as well.

Artist's impression: the colours may be different

Thomas will be open Monday to Sunday, midday to midnight (last orders at 10pm) and is located at 49-51 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1NA (Click here for a map). 0161 839 7033. www.thomasrestaurant.co.uk

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

Smyth HarperMarch 1st 2010.

Looks interesting, but (and I am sorry if this is blunt), the low-grade fashion shoot photo that illustrates this story doesn't fill me with confidence. Just comes across as people taking themselves (rather than the food) ever so slightly too seriously. Happy to eat my words after eating their food though!

AgricolaMarch 1st 2010.

That's a bit of an odd judgement Smitty. So if they were dressed in rags that would mean they loved food? Or maybe you could switch your point around and say if they care about the way they look they will care about the food they serve? The picture proves absolutely nothing, if the truth be known.

GordoMarch 1st 2010.

Yes boss, you have hit the nail on the head with the Bay Horse music policy. It's completely mental. Time I think to have a vote on this. Not one person, young or old, that I have asked likes loud music in bars or pubs; they are all, to a body, in favour of chat. What does everyone think?

Smyth HarperMarch 1st 2010.

agricola, yup, accept I'm being a bit harsh but just being honest that I find the pic a bit, for want of a better word, ponsy (is that how you spell ponsy? Prob should be ponsey. Or poncey. Arg. Actually is it OK to say ponsey in these politically correct times?)
Compare that with the nice pic of Heathcoate on the Michael Winner vote story. Pic of a guy in a white chef's top smiling at the camera? mmm, he's a chef. I'd eat his food. Pic of a three people being a bit posey and thinking they're a cheap album cover? Not so sure... I'll go and eat there once it's open and, if it's fantastic, come back on here and apologise. <br><br>
However, I don't think there can be any disagreement over the noise level at the Bay Horse, or indeed any pub! Unless you're under 18. In which case you shouldn't be in a pub. You're too young. You should actually be in a back alley having sex and throwing up your alcopops.

Christopher BryanMarch 1st 2010.

The loud music in pubs and bars is my pet hate.

If I want to go to a 'club' then I go to dance, I want the music loud and accept that I have to scream into my friends ears in order to talk.

If I'm in a pub or bar I expect background music as a maximum. Many places try to be all things to all people and it just doesn't work for me. Same goes with plasma screens pumping out music videos - who the hell wants to sit there all night watching crap music videos/or any TV in general.

DescartesMarch 1st 2010.

Ah but CB, and everyone, the simple fact is that if a bar turns up the volume and make the bar deafeningly loud: people talk less, and drink faster, meaning more money in the owners pocket. It's not about trying to be a club, it's about the bottom line, you're kidding yourself if you think you're anything other than a pound sign to bar owners.

John HarrisMarch 2nd 2010.

Best reason to avoid bars with DJ's - I've never seen one yet that didn't find the sight of customers talking to each other an offensive challenge to their domination of the venue.<br><br>Descartes may be right about the owners' motivation in cranking up the volume, but it doesn't work with me - I just leave

John HarrisMarch 2nd 2010.

This story by the way seems to be a very un-Mancon example of falling for a bit of PR puffery - when the place is open, it might be worth a story - so far it's just a dodgy photo of some people who clearly think they're too cool for school

AnonymousMarch 2nd 2010.

They're certainly too OLD for school.

Tyson ThebeerhoundMarch 5th 2010.

I agree that it does seem a bit like PR. By all means tell us it's opening, but let's wait to see it before getting too excited. After all, as you yourself say, the Bay Horse music policy is shocking and that's not their only problem. Cord is a joke, so that leaves only the Soup Kitchen as the credible partner in this venture.

Smyth HarperApril 8th 2010.

I did say I'd eat my words if I found that their style wasn't better than their grub, so - went to Thomas's last week for lunch and it was really, really good. Staff very friendly and attentive, and the food smashing. I'll be back! When's Mancon going to do a review?

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