London chophouse chooses Manchester for first regional site
Blacklock is planning to open a restaurant on the lower ground floor of Freetrade Exchange on Peter Street next year.
The chophouse chain has five restaurants currently, which are all in London. Planning documents submitted to Manchester City Council by the building’s owner Clearbell suggest that Blacklock is about to make Manchester the site of its first regional eatery.
A planning statement prepared by Paul Butler Associates describes Blacklock as a “high-quality restaurant group…focussed on delivering incredible experiences for great value for money”.
In addition, the group’s restaurants have been voted in the Top 100 restaurants in the UK across industry awards and guest review platforms, PBA said.
Blacklock’s five restaurants in the capital include sites in the City, Shoreditch, and Covent Garden.
The company’s Manchester restaurant forms part of Clearbell’s revitalisation of Freetrade Exchange. The investor has already refurbished the office space under plans approved last year.
Under those refurb plans, the ground floor of the six-storey, 36,000 sq ft building was originally going to be a bar.
Clearbell Strategic Trust acquired Freetrade Exchange in 2021 from CBREIM for around £10m.
Blacklock is not the only meat-centric restaurant to look North from London and pick Manchester. Earlier this year, Flat Iron announced plans to open its first restaurant outside the capital on the corner of Deansgate and Quay Street in a unit that has been occupied by Blacks since 1997.
Manchester’s central core is becoming something of a hub for London-based restaurants.
In 2015, having established itself in the capital, Hawksmoor opened on Deansgate and In 2021, Place North West reported that Mayfair–founded, high-end Asian restaurant Sexy Fish was planning to take over the former Armani unit in Spinningfields.
Chotto Matte, a Japanese-Peruvian venture, has also committed to opening its first regional site in Manchester – within the St Michael’s development, which is located next to Freetrade Exchange.
AXI and Other Side are advising Blacklock on design and Paul Butler Associates is the planning consultant. Stephen Levrant Heritage Architecture is also advising on the scheme.
To learn more, search for reference number 137820/FO/2023 on Manchester City Council’s planning portal.