JLife chews the fat with some of the area’s hospitality businesses to discover how they are coping with restrictions and keeping the community safe, while a side helping of new faces have defied all odds to open their doors during lockdown.
Andrew Addleman, founder of Brackmans Bakery & Coffee Shop
Brackmans has been open all the way through lockdown. We had to adapt and make a lot of changes – obviously with the coffee shop seating area being closed, we were forced to make the difficult decision of having to furlough some of our staff.
So we got creative and advertised through social media that we were doing deliveries, and this became very popular (especially with Shabbat orders and Sunday bagels) and we still offer delivery service at the weekends. The Eat Out to Help Out campaign in August proved very popular – it kept us remarkably busy – but since then, things have been quite slow.
We are hopefully getting going with an app and website for online ordering next month and that should help us meet customer demands for ordering without having to queue up at the counter. Generally, we have received a great deal of continued support from our loyal customers and we want to say thank you to each and every one for helping us through this challenging period.
Robert Rosenfield, founder of the Traditional Bagel Company
During lockdown I decided to create a new business after selling the State Fayre deli three years ago. This was brave in the current climate, but I thought to myself: ‘be positive, life is what you make it, and if you work hard you will see results.’
So, I came up with the Traditional Bagel Company as an answer to the challenges many still face, who are unable to get out during lockdown. It is a frozen product you boil and bake at home, sold in packs of six, which you keep in the freezer and use when you need – so there’s no throwing stale bagels away the day after. It has really taken off for me, and in the space of two weeks, I was stocking them in eight local stores with more following suit.
I feel it is important for people to shop locally to support small businesses, so they do not have to close. I feel for the hospitality sector moving forward as I think more people will choose to shop online as they may fear contracting the virus, which I feel may be here for a while. I do feel that people are support local shops at the moment, so let’s hope this trend continues and we do not all become recluses!
Johanna Burden, founder of The Coffee Sack
Before we fully reopened in July, we remained open serving takeaways for a number of days each week. Sales were obviously nowhere near what they would have been, but the local community were fantastic in supporting us, with some customers coming in every single day to support us!
At the beginning of lockdown, we adapted by using our contacts with suppliers to source items that the local community were struggling to get hold of. One of our chefs even spent several hours searching all her local shops for nappies for one of our customers!
We tried to make Mother’s Day and Father’s Day a little special for the local community by offering takeaway afternoon tea and treat boxes (pizza boxes full of homemade cakes and a bottle of beer for dad!)
We think the high street is such an important part of the community. Over the past three years, it’s become clear to us that we are not just somewhere to get coffee and something to eat. It’s a meeting point for the community.
Local businesses such as ourselves employ locally, have a smaller environmental impact and tend to invest in the community much more than big chains. Local independent shops need to be supported, especially in times like these.
From the feedback we’ve received so far, customer confidence in the COVID precautions we’ve implemented is high, which we believe is reflected in how busy we are now, despite everything.
Justin Parkinson, founder of Folk
After remaining closed during lockdown, we successfully reopened for takeaway in June, and it was so nice to see all the locals come and support us. When we were able to fully reopen in July, it was great, lots of people were ready to come out and celebrate with friends and family. We are following the guidelines and now only offering a seated service but still offering the same friendly service as before lockdown.
The Eat Out to Help Out was a huge success for us and gave people the confidence to return to bars and restaurants. It’s important to shop locally because it reduces your carbon footprint, makes your local area thrive and creates job opportunities.
It’s been so heart-warming to see the community pull together and support local businesses. Footfall is up and customer confidence is high in Prestwich as people can see all the bars and restaurants following guidelines and providing a safe environment. Here at Folk, we are very lucky to have such a large outdoor seating space.
It’s hard to say how the future of the area’s hospitality sector will look going forward, but with the backing of local council, hopefully we can weather the storm.
In spite of challenging conditions, new bars and restaurants have opened their doors across Manchester over the past months – here are some of the new local faces…
Paloma Bar & Kitchen
Following summers spent hosting private dinner parties in the hills of Mallorca, local lad Andy Pope has returned to his old stomping ground to open a buzzing new restaurant and bar at the Longfield Centre. Offering tapas small plates alongside an enviable list of cocktails, wine and beer, Paloma is the hip new spot for an authentic Mediterranean experience right here in Prestwich village.
Sourced from artisanal Spanish producers, the menu refuses to skimp on quality, even the homemade sourdough is topped with Arequipa olive oil and Pedro Ximenez vinegar. Carnivores are treated to onglet steak cooked to pink perfection and topped with punchy salsa verde, while the Spanish tapas bar favourite, patatas bravas, is served slick with spicy tomato sauce and garlic aioli.
“Paloma was supposed to be launched in Mallorca this year, but COVID scuppered the plan.” said Andy. “So I thought why not bring the Mediterranean to Manchester, instead?” And the resident JLife foodies are grateful he did – ándale!
25-27 Longfield Centre
The Goods In
Richard Kendrick, the brainchild behind local favourite All The Shapes, has transformed a derelict warehouse a stone’s throw from Heaton Park into a slick new 100-cover bar and restaurant. The Goods In (the name derived from its past life as a pyrotechnics warehouse) has been given a contemporary facelift with floor-to-ceiling windows and pop-colour seating.
Its menu features trendy brunch dishes like brioche French toast with charred pineapple and mango puree, while doughnuts and sweet treats straight from local Italian patisserie Lupo Caffe are served throughout the day. An exotic evening offering ranges from Lebanese flatbreads topped with slow braised lamb shoulder to the vegan delights of roasted globe aubergines with hummus, sumac chickpeas, tabbouleh and pomegranate yogurt.
You can enjoy an impressive range of craft beers and cocktails beside the wood burner on chilly evenings or hunker down in the socially-distanced outdoor seating area full of industrial charm. Plus, the new joint comes complete with DJ booth, ready to bring back the fireworks once the party restarts.
Stella House, Unit 2a Infant St, Heaton Park
Two Birds & One Stone
Headed up by Sarah Lynam, Two Birds & One Stone is just one of the fledgling eateries looking to help the Prestwich dining scene spread its wings once more. The family-owned breakfast and brunch spot offers a bright and airy space to relax with food while enjoying a coffee or cocktails (don’t make us choose!).
The folks here are passionate about quality, sourcing local, organic produce and taking an admirably eco-approach to business. The menu is split into breakfast bowls, all-day brunches and sharing boards with build-your-own wood-fired pizzas in the afternoon and a substantial kids’ menu for your little chicks.
A vibrant café to fire off some emails by day, and laid-back wine bar to relax by night, you can quite literally kill two birds with one stone.
14 Radcliffe New Rd, Whitefield
OSMA Kitchen & Bar
Having worked in some of the top kitchens in the UK and abroad, chef Danielle Heron is home having launched new restaurant and bar OSMA, at the old Diane Berry site in Prestwich.
The 28-year-old, who grew up in Whitefield and studied professional cookery at Manchester College, finessed her skills at the double Michelin-starred L’Enclume in the Lake District, before moving to highly-respected Oslo restaurant Maaemo, holder of three Michelin stars.
“Our goal is to provide healthy, creative, tasty food with influences from around the world, building on the experiences we have gained over the years working and travelling. It’s great to be back home and see the buzz about the neighbourhood, which features plenty of independent restaurants. We are excited about getting going and serving the community some great food in a friendly, relaxed environment.”
You can dine at a window table, in booth seating or sit at the bar to watch the chefs working, there is even a large communal table with power points, perfect for a quick working lunch, a social meeting for cocktails or for small groups to celebrate.
132 Bury New Rd, Prestwich