Stockport sets December target for Pilling restaurants

Images of hospitality operator Steve Pilling’s venture at Stockport’s Produce Hall, one of two developments Pilling is progressing in Market Place, have been released ahead of a planned opening before Christmas this year.

Pilling beat two other bidders to land the Produce Hall and Blackshaws sites in November 2017, a decision for which Stockport Council was criticised by the operators of the monthly Foodie Friday events, which had proposed a casual dining, community and events space.

However, the council chose Pilling, well known in the region’s hospitality industry through his previous associations with operations including Sam’s Chop House, Damson, Roost and La Cantina.

Paul Butler Associates is working with Pilling, advising on planning and heritage matters. Taylor Design is engaged as architect, and Cheadle Hulme-based Smart Jones as project manager.

The grade two-listed Produce Hall is to house a food hall housing up to eight independent kitchens and bars, with seating for 150 people. There will be a rotating selection of guest pop-ups and street food traders, with live entertainment.

At the 1860s-built Blackshaws Café site, Pilling will operate a ‘deli-style’ café bar as the council seeks to add momentum to a thriving food and drink scene in the immediate area, as restaurant Where The Light Gets In continues to find success, encouraging new openings such as the recently-launched  Project 53.

Cllr Kate Butler, Stockport Council’s cabinet member for economy and regeneration, said: “It has taken a little time to deal with the complexities involved in converting historically significant buildings into restaurants Stockport residents can be proud of, but we believe we have achieved this.

“At the same time, we have also successfully relocated the businesses who used to be based in the Produce Hall into new homes from where they are now trading.

“These openings will cement Stockport Market Place’s position as a thriving, exciting food destination for visitors both locally and from further afield. We’ve been working hard to ensure the Market Place is a key feature of our plans for town centre regeneration and that the full potential of the whole area is unlocked.”

Stockport is currently investing £7m in the market area and Underbanks as it seeks to build a lifestyle offer alongside its push to develop brownfield sites for town centre living. In August, it confirmed Market Place Management as the new operator of its historic market hall, across the square from Pilling’s operations.

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