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Manchester Evening News
Manchester Evening News
Jenna Campbell

All the restaurants, bars and shops which have closed down in Greater Manchester this year

January is always a difficult month for restaurants and bars, but this year the challenges are particularly acute. Traditionally, many people use the first month of a new year to cut back on trips to the pub and meals out, but in 2023 people are tightening the purse strings for other reasons too.

Just as consumers are dealing with the rising cost of living, so too are hospitality businesses, who are grappling with soaring winter bills and rising prices for ingredients and supplies. On top of this, the sector is still dealing with the aftermath of the pandemic, alongside transport strikes and ongoing recruitment issues.

It’s far from easy for Manchester businesses right now, and while many new concepts are slated to open this year, unfortunately, we’ve had to say goodbye to several much-loved businesses in the first few weeks of 2023. Below, we’ve taken a look at some of the Manchester restaurants, bars and shops which have shuttered for good this month.

Read more: Tiny Manchester restaurant in an old railway arch named in Michelin Guide

The Font

(Manchester Evening News)

Manchester institution Font, home of cheap and colourful cocktails, announced its shock closure after 22 years at the start of January. The New Wakefield Street bar, which was a particular hit with students for selling cocktails for as little as £3, said that the rising cost of living, and the impact of the pandemic had taken an 'insurmountable toll' on the business.

While the firm’s Fallowfield outpost closed in 2018, it was confirmed that its other venue, on Manchester Road in Chorlton, would remain open. In a statement on Facebook, The Font wrote: “Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou to all our staff, customers and friends past and present, your support has meant the world. So friends, feel free to head over tomorrow night, share your memories and raise a cocktail for dear Fonty. From all of us at Team Font, we love and adore you.”

Byron Burger

Byron Burger, Piccadilly Gardens (Manchester Evening News)

In mid-January, the owner of Byron Burgers confirmed it would be shutting nine restaurants across the UK after falling into administration, including its site at Piccadilly Gardens, Manchester. Famously Proper, which owns Byron, said it would be cutting 218 jobs as a result of the closures.

Byron's Piccadilly restaurant opened in March 2015 in the former Kro Bar site - it’s second site in the city after opening one on Deansgate. It expanded to the Corn Exchange not long after but that branch closed in 2017, while the Deansgate spot closed in 2018.


Roti on Barlow Moor Road is closing its Chorlton site (Manchester Evening News)

The owners of Roti - Manchester’s first - and as far as we know only - Scottish-Indian fusion restaurant, announced it would be closing its flagship site in Chorlton earlier this month. Making a name for itself with haggis pakoras, masala fish and roti chip butty, Roti became so popular that it opened a second spot on Sale’s foodie neighbourhood Stanley Square.

While its Sale outpost will remain open, owners said that they would not renew the lease on the original home of cheese and onion bhajis, mince and tatties and Indian-spiced scotch eggs. Posting on social media at the time, the restaurant owners thanked customers for their support and hinted they could be back in the future.


Cafe Metro on High Street (Supplied)

Just before the new year, it was confirmed that city centre favourite Cafe Metro has closed down. Owner George Stavrinou, who ran the café on High Street with his son Michael, shut the doors for the last time on Christmas Eve after coming to the end of their lease. A post shared on Facebook also explained that the landlords of the building planned to redevelop, meaning that the café couldn’t stay.

The Facebook post read: “ With Christmas Eve being our last day, George, Michael and the family would like to thank all our customers for their valued custom and support over the last 25 years, we’ve enjoyed serving you and will miss our chats about life in general, families, cars, F1, football, you name it we’ve probably talked about it.” Customers flooded the post with support and well wishes, with one person writing: “Gutted, my first job after leaving school was at Café Metro. Loved my job. Town won't be the same.”


Levanter in Ramsbottom (Manchester Evening News)

While Ramsbottom restaurant Levanter has been forced to close its bar and dining room, its main restaurant premises will remain open, but owners have confirmed they are also planning to downsize their operation until the summer. In a tweet to followers, the owners said: “We've tried everything possible to avoid this scenario - but you know the script, I'm sure the overall Cost Of Living & Cost of Doing Business situation, both (understandably) have seriously reduced demand & simultaneously led to huge rises in our costs from every angle - but undoubtedly & most seriously the UNTENABLE hike in energy prices.”

The post went on to say it was “impossible” to keep all of its doors open in the current climate, but that they are “determined to keep on going”. Joe and Fiona Botham opened up the additional bar and dining room on Smithy Street a few years ago, adjacent to the main restaurant space on Square Street. The main restaurant remains open from 5pm on Wednesdays and Thursdays, and from 12pm on Friday and over the weekends.

One Central

One Central, a popular outdoor street food and drink hub located in Altrincham town centre, on Central Way, has announced its closure. It opened in November 2020 as a ‘lockdown alternative’ for the local community to come together and socialise.

Despite hosting a number of local food and drink stalls including Mexican street food vendor Choza and coffee stall Tatton Perk, organisers have confirmed the popular venue will close down in March due to rising rent and electricity bills, which have had a ‘huge impact’ on the business. On social media, the organisers said the increases had “turned our small business upside down”, but that they had an “absolute blast”, and that the venture was never set out to last for too long.

M&S, Bolton


There was devastation in Bolton last week following the announcement that another one of the town's flagship stores would be closing its doors. While Stockport and the Trafford Centre are set to welcome new stores, Bolton’s much-loved M&S is set to close, adding to growing concern from local residents for the future of the town centre, after national brands like Debenhams and BHS went.

One person, who spoke to the Manchester Evening News said: “It's yet another death blow to the town centre. I'm born and bred in Bolton, it used to be a thriving town. You look at Bury and it's thriving. This is like a tomb.” Another person added: "It's gone downhill. After Debenhams went people said, if M&S goes, that will be it. We've got nothing to come into Bolton for."


Oklahoma's shop has been based in the Northern Quarter for 25 years (Facebook)

It’s been a firm fixture of the Northern Quarter for 25 years, but sadly, the owners of Oklahoma announced they would be shutting the physical store for good on 31 January. The shop first opened in 1997, selling handmade jewellery, home and kitchenware items as well as retro toys, stationery, books, wrap and cards.

Sharing the news on social media, co-owners Yaw Djang and Nicola revealed they would continue to run Oklahoma as an online-only shop. The post described the three years as ones of “upheaval and change”, and said Covid brought “problems and opportunities” - giving the team time to expand its online offer and “new creative focus and ideas”. Nicola added: "I can't wait to bottle all the best colourful bits of Oklahoma and continue to showcase with all the great finds on"


Flourish, located on Tib Street in the city centre (Google Maps)

Just down the road, legendary florist Flourish announced its permanent closure as redevelopment gets underway on the former Debenhams store. The shop, which has been located on Tib Street for eight years, made the sad announcement on Instagram, explaining that they were close to moving into a new shop nearby but the deal fell through and they had to ‘reluctantly’ close ‘for good’.

The flower and plant store said it is planning a move to Deansgate Square, and is looking into a ‘new online concept’. However, their departure saw hundreds of people commenting on the loss of the independent business, with one person commenting: “So sad seeing so many great local independent businesses closing. Glad your Deansgate shop is staying! Sending love to you all.”


Atkinson's (Google Maps)

On the same day as the closure of Flourish and Oklahoma, Atkinsons Coffee announced it would be closing its cafe at Mackie Mayor. The Lancaster-based business had been part of the popular food and drink hall since it opened in 2017.

The specialist coffee trader said it would continue trading in its home city, but that its customers and baristas had “done us proud” in what was the business' first venture outside Lancaster in 180 years. In a post on Instagram confirming the news, a spokesperson for Atkinson’s said: “We’ve been lucky to be a part of the Manchester coffee community, hosting Aeropress Championship, Machines launches and latte art throw downs. Now, turning our attention to our Lancaster locations, this will be our last week trading at the Mackie.”

No 1 Canal Street and The Bridge Pub

Number One Canal Street (Manchester Evening News)

The owners of the Canal Street restaurant once named ‘Manchester’s best’ and a pub in Sale announced the closures of both venues earlier this month. Lisa Kettle and Danielle Condron have run The Bridge Pub and Dining in Sale since 2016, while No 1 Canal Street opened in 2017.

In a statement posted on The Bridge’s social media page on January 10, the couple said: “It is with great sadness we have have had to close both The Bridge & No 1 today. We would like to thank you all for your amazing support over the last 6 years. This has been a very hard decision during these difficult times. We’d like to express our heartfelt thanks to our amazing customers, and the team that has made everything possible.” A similar statement was posted on the Canal Street restaurant’s Facebook page, with customers sharing their sadness and surprise at the news.

Ate Days A Week

Ate Days a Week pie restaurant on Cooper Street, Manchester (Manchester Evening News)

Just last week, the award-winning pie restaurant announced it was closing its Manchester site just eight months after launching in the city centre. The venue, which started life near Stockport’s Market Hall, was known for its music-themed menu and delicious pies, and moved to Manchester in May last year, featuring a downstairs takeaway and full-seated restaurant upstairs.

Chef and owner Andy James announced the “difficult decision” to close its doors with immediate effect on social media and told followers it “breaks my heart”, but felt there was no other way for the venue. Andy wrote: “Food & drink costs are rising rapidly, utilities are absolutely out of control and the landscape of our economy is so obscured it’s frightening."

Fortunately, his plans to launch a pizza shop in Stockport, at the refurbished Notion, are going ahead and his pies will be available at stockists across the region, with future plans to introduce deliveries.

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