Neil Burke, former regional manager for Jamie Oliver Restaurant Group, will manage a 200-cover restaurant in the grade two-listed Salford building, refurbished and extended as part of Salboy’s Local Blackfriars development.
Salboy had signed up celebrity chef Aiden Byrne to open a restaurant within the Black Friar building but he pulled out of the venture last year.
Now, a company called Blackfriars MCR, has been set up to run the restaurant, with Salboy’s Simon Ismail named as a director alongside Lee McCarren, managing director of Domis Construction.
Burke was introduced to McCarren and Ismail by Thom Hetherington, chief executive of hospitality events business Holden Media, which runs the Northern Restaurant and Bar exhibition.
Burke is in the process of putting together a team to run the restaurant as well as overseeing its fit-out ahead of opening this summer.
McCarren said: “The Black Friar is an important part of the area’s history and it is massively important to us to see the building open and operating and being used by the community.
“We are really pleased to have Neil at the helm. He knows how to run a successful restaurant and is currently assembling his team.”
Burke has spent the last five years as group operations manager at Grounds of Alexandria, a restaurant in Sydney, Australia.
He said: “It has been an ambition to be able to open a pub restaurant and incorporate all the ideas I have had and honed over the years.
“To have the financial support to be able to do that in a building as significant as this and hopefully create something very special is an incredible opportunity.”