Popular Manchester restaurant to open in Liverpool

Simon Shaw

Simon Shaw, chef patron and creative director of the renowned Manchester King Street restaurant, El Gato Negro, has confirmed plans to open a second branch of the popular restaurant in Liverpool’s Exchange Flags later this year.

The site is the former Vincent Café and Cocktail Bar, part-owned by former Liverpool FC footballer Steven Gerrard, which Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne tried to acquire earlier this year.

However, the El Gato Negro team confirmed that they have bought out the lease for the site in Exchange Flags.

Critically acclaimed tapas restaurant, El Gato Negro, has been a huge success in Manchester since its welcomed arrival in 2016, receiving a plethora of awards including a Michelin Bib Gourmand for three years running and an AA rosette.

The team are also behind the Portuguese restaurant Canto in the Ancoats area of Manchester.

The restaurant is renowned for its mouth-watering seasonally-influenced tapas dishes, using the highest quality of ingredients.

The new restaurant will be based in the heart of the city’s business community in the week which transforms into a cultural and gourmet dining destination in the evening.

Exchange Flags is a landmark with Neoclassical and modern features, drawing in locals for after-work drinks and dining.

Simon Shaw said: “I am really looking forward to opening a second El Gato Negro restaurant.

“Liverpool’s an incredible city and I love the community spirit and vibe there.

“The restaurant has been so popular in Manchester that it only seemed right to bring the venue to a second city in the North and Liverpool seemed like the perfect fit.”

In preparation for the opening of the restaurant, the company has been advised by the law firm Freeman Fisher.

On April 2nd Aiden Byrne announced he had acquired The Vincent Café & Cocktail Bar from owners Paul Adams and Steven Gerrard for an undisclosed sum.

But on April 20, The Vincent posted a notice on its facebook page saying the move would not now take place.

El Gato Negro Manchester

It said: “Further to the press release recently issued, and due to unforeseen circumstances, Aiden Byrne and his team will no longer be operating from The Vincent Cafe & Cocktail Bar Liverpool. We are sorry for any inconvenience this has caused.”

A statement issued by Kirkby-born Mr Byrne’s company, Medusa Hospitality, declared: “It is with regret that we confirm that we are unable to progress with the deal to acquire The Vincent Café, after undertaking due diligence.”

It would have been the second restaurant that Mr Byrne had opened, backed by a group of investors who joined forces to open restaurant MCR in Manchester’s Spinningfields in December last year.

Mr Byrne has been one of the UK’s leading chefs for more than two decades since receiving his first Michelin star aged 22.