Mackie Mayor, 1 Eagle Street, Manchester, M4 5BU
The Grade II listed Mackie Mayor has long been one of Manchester‘s most beautiful but neglected buildings. Not anymore – this grand space has reopened after a huge refurbishment and is set to become a key fixture in the ever-growing Northern Quarter food and drink scene.
An ornate, voluminous, early-Victorian, Grade II-listed, purpose-built meat market
Previously owned by Manchester City Council, in the last few decades this ornate, voluminous, early-Victorian, Grade II-listed, purpose-built meat market (opened by Mayor Mackie in 1858 as part of Europe’s biggest fresh produce market) has variously acted as a training centre for unemployed youngsters, a shopmobility centre and even a skateboard park. At one point there were plans to turn it into a £12m archives centre, but this idea fell through a few years back, leading to it falling into disrepair, rife with pigeons and mold.
And so it lay empty for years. Vacant but never forgotten, with constant chatter about when and if it would be brought back to former glories. Thankfully, the team behind Altrincham Market swept in to deliver a total facelift, turning it into a glass-roofed marketplace, packed with the city’s finest food and drink merchants, with room enough for hundreds of diners and drinkers.
Those with half an eye on Manchester’s history will be delighted at the rebirth of this symbol of the city’s illustrious past. And for those who couldn’t care less about architecture and simply fancy a bite to eat, the range of vendors on offer will be a big enough draw to return again and again. Expect Taiwanese steamed buns from the wonderfully-named Bao House, high-end coffee from J Atkinson & Co, charcoal-cooked fish from FIN and a whole host of others.
On this showing, it’s clear that Mackie Mayor won’t be leaving again anytime soon.