Good news for anyone who wants to experience fresh, local, and independent food and drink retailers under one roof.

If you fancy a little gourmet fare but don’t fancy spending 47 minutes on the Met, squashed between a perpetual sniveller and someone’s sweaty armpit, you’re in luck.

Because you no longer have to jump on the tram to Altrincham Market, the award-winning, brilliantly eclectic, never empty, always appealing street vendor mecca.

The Mackie Mayor food scene – strap line ‘passionately regional, fiercely independent, not available online’ – officially opened this week slap bang in the capital of man buns, beards and retro renewal.

And whereas Market House in Altrincham seats 180 people and feeds nearly 10,000 people each week, Mackie Mayor is twice that size, seating 400 people.

Set back on Eagle Street, the Mackie Mayor building opened in 1858 and used to be the flagship meat market for Manchester.

Since then the building has been a shop mobility centre and a skateboard park in a desperate bid to get the ‘scene’ kids away from skating skid marks through Cathedral Gardens.

The brains behind the operation is Nick Johnson, a gentleman with a heroic hairdo who single-handedly turned Alty Market into a haven for great street food and gourmet drinks.

Now he’s worked his magic on Mackie Mayor.

The venue is plush and urban chic, with bare bulb light fittings and red brick walls. It looks  like a New York loft space, with a very cool fit out and jazzy music to kick back to.

It’s the sort of place you’ll find everything from trendy old timers wearing neck ties and socks with sandals to man-bun-mad hipsters discussing the social climate and Jeremy Corbyn’s jam collection. It’s a place to unwind for one and all.

“It feels like it’s always been here,” Michael Carlisle, an Alty Market regular told us, grabbing two perfectly poured out Wolfhouse coffees for himself and his partner Caroline.

“We love the open plan seating and the graffiti and the use of an old space. We’re big fans already.”

As with Market House, a strict no-bookings policy applies so just turn up when you fancy, eat what you fancy and leave before it closes.

You have utterly delightful vendors like Nationale 7, Honest Crust Pizzas, Tender Cow steaks, and Katie’s Cakes amongst others. Coffee connoisseurs can get excited as trendy Lancastrian coffee house Atkinson & Co are also adding to the mix.

It’s dog friendly too. We saw many a pooch making pals and rubbing noses under the Grade II listed glass roof.

Mackie Mayor cleans up a once abandoned and derelict part of the city centre, breathes life into a neglected building and puts Manchester seriously on the foodie map. It also serves craft beer. And treats for pooches. So, if you ask us, it’s win win.

We hope Mackie Mayor leads the way for more potential developments in the area. We’re talking about that shadowy place north of Swan Street, between Rochdale Road and Oldham Road. Lord knows it needs it.

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