Market plans in for Mackie Mayor

Jessica Middleton-Pugh

The historic Mackie Mayor building in Manchester’s Northern Quarter is set to become the second venue for Market Operations, the company behind Altrincham Market and Market House, bringing nine independent food operators into the city centre.

Under a planning application submitted by Muse Developments, the 12,500 sq ft grade two-listed building would be converted into kitchens and dining space on the ground floor, with additional dining on the upper mezzanine.

The warehouse on Swan Street is the only remaining fully intact building from the former Smithfield market. Opened in 1858, it was originally used as a fresh produce market, but had lain empty since the early 1990s. Under Muse’s wider regeneration of the Smithfield area, restoration works on Mackie Mayor were completed earlier this year to bring the building back into use.

According to documents submitted with the planning application by heritage architect Buttress, Market Operations has been in talks with Muse since summer 2015. The company is led by Nick Johnson, former director of Urban Splash, and previously chairman of Marketing Manchester.

The report said: “The proposal is to take the essence of Market House in Altrincham – nine independent kitchens and bars joined by a communal eating space – and apply this to Mackie Mayor.

“The nine existing independent operators will be expanding their existing businesses into Mackie Mayor, including Honest Crust Pizza (one of the country’s leading pizza makers); Tender Cow (serving steak and Chips) together with Fin an expansion of their operation into fresh cooked fish; Bao House (serving Asian inspired dishes); Katie’s Cakes (Rose Bakery Paris trained Katie Mack’s cakes and coffee); Reserve Wines (BBC’s Food and Drink programme wine critic Kate Goodman’s wine shop); Black Jack Brewery (serving British craft beer and their beer brewed in the Green Quarter) plus new operators Nationale 7 serving roast chicken dishes and Atkinsons of Lancaster serving speciality coffee and tea blends.

“There will be strong philosophical proposition behind the food and its sourcing; it will, as with Altrincham, be a celebration of the culture of England’s North West, sourcing, wherever possible suppliers from the region and, importantly all the business are independent businesses based in the North West.”

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This is a great development in one of the best cities in Greater Manchester

By zebith

Great news. That’s a strong line up, and the Altrincham model should work well here.

By Gene Walker

As a resident of High Street in the NQ, I can’t wait for this to happen!

By Martin

I am sure it won’t (have seen it before elsewhere) but let’s hope that the operators don’t take their eye off the ball and we see Altrincham suffer

By Alty Resident

This is lovely news as the Altrincham one is very pleasant and the Pizzas are fab! And fits very well with the vibe of the Northern Quarter – and as they say the vibe brings the tribe and all that!
Is it not just in Manchester or am I missing something? Does NQ class itself as a city/destination?

By Mary Smiley

Good, as a shlep to Alty is a bit too far for some….

By Schwyz

Yay! Been to the awesome Alty market house, loads over the last few months and just moved to NQ. I know where I will be eating most evenings! Great for the area.

By Ben Singleton

This will be brilliant for residents of Altrincham as it will mean the oiks from the other side of town will stick to the NQ version! They don’t travel well! ;)

By Alty Resident too

Pedants corner – Zebith there are only two cities in Greater Manchester: Manchester and Salford. ‘One of the best cities’ is hardly an accolade!

By Bilbo