Team takes full control of historic pub

By Amelie Maurice-Jones

- Last updated on GMT

(Credit: Getty/blackred)
(Credit: Getty/blackred)

Related tags Manchester

Full control of a historic pub in Salford will be handed over to the team who have operated it for the past two years, making it one of the only independently owned pubs in Manchester.

Salboy and DOMIS, the teams which originally redeveloped the iconic pub, have now handed over full ownership of the Black Friar to previous managing director Neil Burke.

After two years of Burke’s leadership, the pub now employs 45 local staff and has doubled its weekly covers from 700 to 1,500 a week since the pandemic.

Under the new ownership, Burke plans to expand the brand with the goal of redeveloping and bringing other landmarks pubs back to life around the north through sister company ‘Bigger Boat Hospitality’.

Burke said: “It’s a dream to take over the ownership of the Black Friar and take the pub to the next level. Without the support of DOMIS and Salboy in seeing us through the notoriously difficult first 12 months of business, we would not be here standing proud. I cannot thank them enough for all they have done. 

When the team asked me to work with them to open the pub it was my ambition to create an inclusive space which became known as one of the best pubs in Manchester, now it’s about the future, growing on what we have already created, not sitting still and continuing to love our guests.”

In 2021, the pub reopened after two decades and a £1.4m restoration as part of the Local Blackfriars development in Salford.

Developer Salboy and the construction company DOMIS renovated the Grade II listed building as part of the residential development.

Burke was brought in as an experienced hospitality operator to advise on the pub fit-out and operate the business once open.

As part of the build, the Black Friar was extended to create a modern glass restaurant with an open kitchen, private dining room and a dining courtyard, as well as a traditional pub area.

Chef Ben Chaplin headed up the kitchen from day one, curating bespoke seasonal menus which rotate throughout the year.

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