Salford’s historic Black Friar pub reopens – what’s it like?

Head chef Ben Chaplin, who was previously at 20 Stories, has created two menus for customers to choose from
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Salford’s historic Black Friar pub is finally ready to reopen this week after an extensive £1.4m refurbishment.

The pub, which was built in 1886, has been resurrected, bigger and better than its previous incarnation, following a 15-year hiatus, when it lay derelict due to fire damage.

They’ve taken care with the renovation, remaining sensitive to the building’s original features, while adding a slick modern finish throughout.

The building has been 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.

What’s on The Black Friar menu?

Head chef Ben Chaplin, who was previously at 20 Stories, has created two menus for customers to choose from, with the pub and courtyard offering a more relaxed, informal small plates to share and classic pub dishes.

Dishes on this menu, which launches next week, include a daily pie, Boddingtons battered fish and chips, and a local cheeseboard, paying homage to the pub’s local roots. Prices range from around £7 to £16 for larger dishes.

The restaurant, meanwhile, has a more elevated menu, with a twist on British classics and a focus on locally sourced food.

A starter of free-range Creedy Carver duck breast is juniper cured, pink and tender, served with sweet roast cherries and a pickled kohlrabi salad.

Vegan friendly and vivid green watercress and nettle veloute comes with aromatic sweet pea and truffle tortellini.

Other starters include Cornish crab boudin, and charred Shetland mackerel.

Onto mains, and the perfectly pink roast Cumbrian lamb rack is served with glazed baby aubergines, kalamata olives and confit tomato jus, while a Lake District 10oz ribeye steak has been Himalayan salt aged, served with caramelised baby shallots and a punchy peppercorn sauce.

A rich chocolate fondant oozes warm, gooey 72% Valrhona chocolate and comes with homemade peanut butter ice cream.

Starters range from £9 to £12, with mains coming in at £19 to £32 and desserts at around £8 – £9 – not cheap, then, but this is certainly a step up from your average pub grub if you’re after a treat.

Best beer garden in Salford?

There is also a breakfast menu available at weekends from 9am-11.30am, and a Sunday feasting menu.

On the second floor there is additional room for a further 40 covers, with the third floor offering a private dining room, which will be open later in the year and can be used for special events, celebrations and corporate get togethers.

Meanwhile, when the sun shines, customers can head out to the attractive and comfortable courtyard and beer garden, which enjoys the sun all day.

It’s a great relaxed, sunny spot, whether for just a drink or a bite to eat.

The Black Friar opens from Tuesday 27th July 2021. Find out more at theblackfriarsalford.co.uk.

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