Located on Baring Street, amid the regeneration of Depot Mayfield, Escape to Freight Island has become one of the UK’s most talked-about culinary destinations.
Opening five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday, the food market will soon see a new selection of traders this spring, featuring local favourites as well as national food heroes – with all set to be in place by May 2022.
First up is Carnival, a new collaboration concept with Richard Turner, co-founder of some of the best grill restaurants in the country including Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue Co, Blacklock and Meatopia Festival.
Richard and the team will be taking over the grill of what previously was Baratxuri.
Using the best meat from a single producer farm, Carnival menu highlights will include fine cuts of premium rib, porterhouse and T-bone steak, as well as pork chop with apple tamarind ketchup, lobster with wild garlic, smoked beef short ribs, crispy fried scampi, and potato gratin with anchovy and Parmesan.
For those who like to see the action, a limited ‘Front Row Seat’ tasting menu from Richard Turner will also be available as part of an exclusive offering.
Another exciting food concept comes from the team behind Belzan, who will refresh their current counter with a brand-new deep fried and charcoal grilled chicken offering, called Lucky Foot.
They say it will showcase modern cooking using the best chicken – made from scratch in Manchester.
Manchester’s own online-and-delivery-only burger joint, Burgerism, will also be joining Escape to Freight Island.
This will be a much-anticipated arrival as burger fans will now be able to dine in for the best burger in town.
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Their premium smashed burger and fries will replace Patty Queen, and menu highlights include ‘Cheesed’ with two smashed patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and Burgerism sauce in a brioche bun.
For those with sweet tooth, local favourite Batard will pitch up outside the Plant Room with their brand-new diner offering sweet American pies and ice cream.
Batard will be working in partnership with Wildfarmed, a community-led farming system on a mission to fix soil through regenerative farming, co-founded by Andy Cato of Groove Armada.
Further to the sweet offering, an exclusive collaboration will also come from Gooey with special hot cookie doughs and ice cream which will only be available at Escape to Freight Island. These new desserts offerings will replace Choo Choo and Soft Boi.
Over at the mezzanine level inside the venue, Good Life Skates will take over the space with a brand-new 8,000-square-foot roller-skating rink opening this spring.
The new roller-skating rink and brand will also sell merchandise, from hoodies, t-shirts and bucket hats, and the Good Life Skates mezzanine will have its own food and drinks offerings for guests to enjoy alongside their skating experience.
With warmer days approaching, Escape to Freight Island has also announced a brand-new Sunday free festival series, called Better Days, launching from Sunday 17th April and running until Sunday 28th August.
The all-day sessions will cater for family-focused happenings during the daytime with a silent disco for kids and other child-friendly activities.
Kicking off the Sunday sessions on 17th April, the big launch party will see disco legends Greg Wilson alongside Graeme Park, Sally Rodgers (A Man Called Adam), Don Letts and Jenna G.
The series will then see a collection of renowned DJs, local legends, plus a host of collectives and festivals taking over the outside space – with the likes of Erol Alkan, DJ Paulette, Danielle Moore (Crazy P), Mike Don and more.
Sundays are also accompanied by the venue’s Sunday Social Club, featuring delicious specials – a 55-day aged hanger steak with béarnaise sauce and a lobster roll with mouth-watering butter sauce, both served with fries – with sides options of mac n cheese or chopped salad.
A new addition to the menu will also include Sunday roasts from the new concept over at Carnival.
There will be a variety of ticketed and free events from Wednesday to Sunday, too.
Wednesdays will see live performances at the stage inside, while Thursdays will see a takeover from The Comedy Store, followed by The Curious Cabaret – a new immersive spectacle.
Fridays will present a series of local residencies with Manchester’s favourite selectors.
Through to the weekend, Saturdays are all about having the finest DJs to keep the groove going and for guests to start the party, followed by Better Days on Sunday for a more wholesome experience with families and friends.
Escape to Freight Island’s opening hours are Wednesday and Thursday (from 4pm to 11pm), Friday (from 4pm to 1am), Saturday (from 12pm to 1am) and Sunday (from 12pm to 10pm). You can find out more and book tickets here.