Top Manchester restaurant closes its doors for second time

Aiden Byrne
X The Business Desk

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One of Manchester’s bet known restaurants has been forced to close for a second time.

MCR, which was run by chef Aiden Byrne, has closed for a second time in two years.

The restaurant in Spinningfields was originally called Manchester House.

The restaurant was first opened by Living Ventures in partnership with Byrne – who found fame as one of the youngest chefs in the UK to win a Michelin Star.

In spring of last year the chef pulled the plug on plans to open a restaurant in his home town of Liverpool.

Aiden Byrne had taken over the Vincent Café and Cocktail Bar in Liverpool, formerly owned by footballer Steven Gerrard, with plans to relaunch it as the Metropolitan Bar and Grill Rooms.

He later pulled out of the project.

The restaurant will be Byrne’s second, joining Restaurant MCR in Manchester’s Spinningfields, which the chef returned to the helm of after leaving D&D London’s 20 Stories last year.

At the time there were high hopes that the fine dining venue could be the first venue to land a Michelin Star in Manchester for decades.

The chef parted company with Living Ventures and went onto launch Twenty Stories in Spinningfields.

MCR, along with bar and restaurant Artisan, was closed by Living Ventures in October 2018 due to rising costs and lack of trade.

Aiden Byrne, who also owns a pub in Lymm in Cheshire, returned a few months later to relaunch the restaurant.

Mr Byrne said: “We’ve known it’s been a bit precarious all along and we’ve been going with the flow.

“But it needs investment and we can’t invest in it because the notice period could be now or in two years’ time.

“We decided that we couldn’t continue and go forward and spend more money for the inevitable to happen.”

He added: “We tried our hardest to bring that phoenix from the flames but it wasn’t meant to be,” he said.

“It’s sad, but we had to cut out losses.

“I’m mortified – genuinely absolutely gutted. Doing the first service in there after going back in itself was very emotional, obviously thinking about the times I’d been in there with Tim Bacon and dreaming up the concept from the day dot, then going back in and running it.

The chef said he is already planning to open a new restaurant in Manchester.

Suppliers and staff have been paid up to date and the plan is to take the MCR team with him to the new venture.

He added: “We’re working on a new home at the moment, which we’re really excited about.

“It’s been in the pipeline for a while and they’ll come with us. I’d imagine some of them will get temporary jobs and a couple of them I’ll take over to The Church Green for a short space of time.

“But it will only be a couple of months before we’re in menu development again so it’s not as if we’re losing all the staff.”