Interview

Byrne’s night every night in Salford as ex-Michelin chef moves into the Black Friar

Aiden Byrne plans to re-invent The Black Friar pub on Trinity Way

SALFORD‘s food and drink scene is about to get a boost. The well-known chef Aiden Byrne of Restaurant MCR (previously Manchester House) and present owner of The Church Green, Lymn, is stepping up to ensure the survival of a classic Salford pub, the Black Friar, which lies just a few minutes walk from Deansgate.

This is what we’ve been told: ‘Developer Salboy has secured top chef Aiden Byrne to open a new restaurant at its Local Blackfriars development in Salford. The new venture will use all three floors of the restored Grade II listed Black Friar pub on the corner of Blackfriars Road and Trinity Way and also incorporate a new single-level glazed building to the side.’

“There’ll be a traditional pub interior with wood panelling and open fires”

A founder and director of Salboy, one of the region’s busiest developers, is Simon Ismail. He says: “We always envisioned a new and exciting use for this historic pub and getting Aiden on board demonstrates our commitment to delivering the very best – whether it’s new homes or a new restaurant. This is an area packed with much-loved venues like The Eagle Inn and Blueprint Studios and the reborn Black Friar will add to the mix for the growing number of people living here.”

He’s right about that the area. This was marked recently by a refreshing of the characterful and character-filled Holt’s pub, The Eagle, just round the corner.

The Black Friar project is all about looking back to go forward with a ‘traditional pub interior with wood panelling and open fires in the original building with casual dining and an open kitchen in the linked modern building which faces onto the development’s courtyard gardens.’ The first floor will contain a small, 20-25 cover, restaurant with a kitchen on the third floor and perhaps a chef’s table too.

Byrne is well-known for gaining a Michelin Star at Adlards in Norfolk when he was just 22. His brief stint at 20 Stories in 2019 might be seen by some as a career a low point, but The Black Friar seems of the right scale to bring out the best in him.

“I am so excited by this. Simon and Lee (of Salboy) have been great to deal with,” Bryne says. “I was introduced to them and was gobsmacked by the quality of work at Blackfriars and their passion for the area. It will bring a whole new experience to this part of the city with the ground floor providing the hustle and bustle of casual dining and the pub providing the ‘local’ for Blackfriars.”

Read more here.

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