Restored Grade II-listed Salford pub prepares to reopen

Neil Burke

Up to 50 jobs will be created with the reopening of an historic Salford pub later this summer.

Developer Salboy and construction partner Domis have formed a partnership with experienced hospitality operations manager Neil Burke to create the new Black Friar venture at the historic landmark.

Michelin-starred chef Aiden Byrne announced in January 2020 that he would work with Salboy on reopening the site, but six months later pulled out to concentrate on the family business he has owned for the past 12 years, The Church Green pub in Lymm.

Neil is currently putting together a team of professionals and overseeing a fit-out with a view to opening late this summer.

The building was restored as part of the Local Blackfriars development and extended to create a modern glass restaurant with open kitchen, private dining room and a dining courtyard, as well as a traditional pub area.

Domis managing director Lee McCarren said: “The Black Friar is an important part of the area’s history and it is massively important to us to see the building open and operating and being used by the community.

“We were introduced to Neil by the restaurant consultant Thom Hetherington and it was a great opportunity to create a new hospitality company for the pub.

“We are really pleased to have Neil at the helm – he knows how to run a successful restaurant and is currently assembling his team.”

It is a return to Manchester for Neil who worked for many years for the Jamie Oliver restaurant group and has more recently been based in Australia running the iconic Grounds of Alexandria in Sydney.

Neil said: “It has been an ambition to be able to open a pub restaurant and incorporate all the ideas I have had and honed over the years.

“And to have the financial support to be able to do that in a building as significant as this and hopefully create something very special is an incredible opportunity. It enables the focus at The Black Friar to be firmly on the customer experience.”

He added: “We are looking to create an all-inclusive environment, one where everyone is welcome and feels at home. Whether that be a place to enjoy a beer and some nibbles or celebrate a special occasion in the restaurant with a three-course meal. We are aiming to appeal to everyone’s tastes, like a good pub should.”

Lee added: “Our ambition for the Black Friar is the same as Neil’s – we want it to be the best pub in Manchester, serving not just all the residents around here, but being a destination in itself.”

The Black Friar will be opening towards the tail end of this summer, with more than 200 covers.