Further to the news in July that Ryan Giggs and Gary Neville have replaced controversial Middlesbrough "Hair Metal" Michelin Star chef Michael O'Hare, with the 3 Michelin Star celebrity chef and Manchester United fanatic, Tom Kerridge - at their brand new Stock Exchange hotel - they have now revealed more details about their plans for the restaurant.
At a lavish party underneath the stunning dome ceiling of the stunning Grade II-listed Edwardian Baroque-style former Manchester Stock Exchange building, attended by grandees from Relais & Chateaux - who, in an incredibly rare move, have accredited the property before its doors have even opened - the Gloucestershire chef has revealed that the elegant, but casual, restaurant and bar will be called "The Bull & Bear".
Situated in the old trading room of the Manchester Stock Exchange, the "pub name" is not just a nod to the stocktraders, who once graced the floor, but also a reflection of the approachable but upmarket British pub food menu, which Tom has become renowned for at his Michelin Star gastropub, The Coach, in Marlow (which complements The Hand and Flowers, the first pub in the country to achieve 2 Michelin stars).
Blurring the lines between grandeur and informality, it will other a menu similar to The Coach, but within an environment more akin to his new brasserie, Kerridge's Bar & Grill at the five-star Corinthia Hotel London; where, incidentally, Gary Neville was the first ever diner.
The refined British comfort food dishes on the The Bull & Bear's menu, served as small plates with 4-5 recommended per person, over three courses, include his signature Crispy Pig’s Head with Celeriac Rémoulade and spiced date sauce (approx. £8.50), Chicken Kiev with maple glazed butternut squash (£14.50), Banana Custard with dates, honeycomb and pistachios (£9.50) and Bibendum-inspired Mushroom Risotto Claude Bosi with crispy hens egg (£14.50).
As well as The Bull & Bear, Tom will also oversee the food and beverage operation at the hotel's hidden lower floor private dining space, The Bank - which can accommodate 14 diners - and the adjacent 120 capacity multipurpose event space, The Vault - a room very few people in history have had access to, until now.
Tom told us that he had no intention of opening any other restaurants outside of Marlow, following Kerridge's in London (an hour away), however a conversation with Gary Neville convinced him otherwise.
Explaining that, as he comes to Manchester on a frequent basis to visit Old Trafford and bring the kids to see their grandparents - his wife's family are from here, he instantly decided "I wanted to be a part of it. I needed to be a part of it", the moment he walked into the beautiful space vacated by the old Stock Italian restaurant, and "was blown away".
Many of the kitchen and front of house team will relocate from his Michelin star establishments in Marlow to run The Bull & Bear- for some, it means returning to their home city - and the kitchen will be overseen by his Executive Chef, Scott Dan.
Along with the 41-bedroom boutique Stock Exchange MCR - the second hotel from the former Manchester United legend's GG Hospitality group, alongside Hotel Football at Old Trafford - the restaurant opens on the 15th November 2019, with bookings being taken here.
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It is not the first time the Boothstown current Wales boss and Bury-born Sky Sports pundit have partnered with a Michelin Star chef; as 2 Michelin-star chef Michael Wignall acted as original Creative Director for Cafe Football, whilst "Hair Metal" celebrity chef, Michael O'Hare, from the Michelin Starred Man Behind The Curtain, in Leeds, failed to deliver at the short lived Rabbit In The Moon.
Following the closure of the Urbis restaurant, it was a case of O'Hare today, gone tomorrow as the United legends turned to the likeable Buckinghamshire based chef, instead of following through with plans for the controversial Yorkshireman's The Man Who Fell To Earth, and Are Friends Electric? concepts at the Stock Exchange.
This time around, we can quite confidently predict, all the stars (quite literally) have aligned - from the concept and price point, to the venue itself, choice of chef and the excellent team they've recruited. The Bull & Bearwill undoubtedly be every much a winner as its legendary owners.