Despite Manchester being blessed with some fantastic new openings in 2023, it has unfortunately been a year for a lot of closures too. 2023 has seen a number of establishments in and around Manchester that have had to shut up shop due to reasons such as the cost of living crisis, trying to recover from the effects of the Covid-19 pandemic and more. As an ode to the businesses that have had to close their doors, we’ve rounded up the closures of bars, cafes and restaurants in Manchester that we have loved and lost in 2023 for you all to remember and reminisce about.
Having been “under massive financial strain”, Northern Quarter bar and restaurant Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun (CBRB) announced its closure in February 2023. Known for specialising in comforting, umami-packed bowls of ramen and fluffy, flavoursome bao buns alongside creative, mouthwatering cocktails and refreshing beer, the venue on Manchester’s Oldham Street had been serving customers since November 2018 and is now home to Kong’s. Cocktail Beer Ramen + Bun explained that the factors such as cost of goods sky rocketing and energy bills more than doubling made it extremely difficult for the bar and restaurant to continue to do what they love.
The Italian restaurant co-owned by former Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand, Rosso, announced a shock closure after a final service took place on September 17, 2023. The restaurant located at 42 Spring Gardens, at the top of King Street, had been open for almost 14 years (making it one of the longest-running Manchester bars and restaurants in this closures list) but decided to close its doors with immediate effect. When announcing its closure the restaurant said it felt “like the right time to go out at the height of our popularity and look ahead to new horizons”.
Much-loved Manchester pasta restaurant SUD announced that it will officially close at the end of 2023, with the final service to be held on December 31 at all four of its locations. The first restaurant initially opened in Altrincham in 2015 under the name of Sugo Pasta Kitchen, and there are now four branches in Greater Manchester. However, all is not lost as the team behind the Manchester-born pasta kitchen have already confirmed a new restaurant is in the works, known as Rigatoni’s, which is set to launch in the new year.
4. North Tea Power
Situated on Tib Street, right by Northern Soul Grilled Cheese, North Tea Power sadly closed its doors in June 2023. The breakfast and brunch restaurant was a cosy spot for a brew (tea, coffee or kombucha) or bite to eat whilst taking a break from roaming the Northern Quarter. North Tea Power, an OG in the NQ, had been open for over 13 years but the owners said “after some tough decisions and some careful considerations, it seems that the right thing to do is to end our journey here.”
5. Stock Market Grill
Less than five months after opening, Stock Market Grill, the restaurant at the Stock Exchange Hotel, run by the trio behind Manchester venues Schofield’s Bar, Atomeca and Sterling closed its doors in July 2023. After Tom Kerridge announced in 2022 that he would be stepping away from The Bull & Bear at the Stock Exchange Hotel, sibling team Joe and Daniel Schofield and wine expert James Brandwood launched their first restaurant venture in March 2023.
Opening back in December 2017, the much-loved street food destination and shipping container village located underneath the Mancunian Way, has been home to many independent traders. Bruntwood, the property company behind Hatch, plans to redevelop the site with many of Hatch’s food, drink, retail plus hair and beauty businesses having to close at the end of September and relocate elsewhere. However, the courtyard area remained open until the end of the year, with six traders taking residency, alongside ÖL‘s microbrewery bar which will stay throughout the redevelopment.
7. Sale Foodhall
One of the first independent businesses to open in the redeveloped Stanley Square, Sale Foodhall, announced a shock closure in spring 2023. Sale Foodhall has been home to food traders such as Hanoi 75, What’s Your Beef, Waffle Kart and Oh My Cheesecake, to name a few, however the venue closed it doors in April. Part of the Store Group, Foodhalls said in a statement that the Sale venue had faced “unprecedented cost increases over the last 12 months” and that they were unable to “keep the business moving forward sustainably”.
8. The Font
Less than a week into January 2023, The Font shockingly announced it would be closing its doors. What has been considered a must-visit to kickstart a night out as well as being home to the ‘Unicorn Juice Cocktail’, The Font right near Manchester Oxford Road station called last orders for the final time on January 7. The bar, which opened in 2000, is particularly popular with students thanks to its bargain cocktails sold for as little as £3, stated the reason for the closure was due to the rising cost of living as well as the ongoing impact of the pandemic.
Popular Middle Eastern influenced restaurant Habas in Manchester, is closing at the end of 2023 and will be going out in style. The restaurant, which shares the same owner as Manchester spots Canto and El Gato Negro, is welcoming guests on New Year’s Eve with a huge closing discount of 25% off across all food and drink. The team will be bidding a fond farewell to Habas (for now) whilst raising a glass to new beginnings, as preparations for the launch of an exciting new concept are well underway.
10. The Liars Club
One of Manchester’s much-loved tiki bars The Liars Club announced that it will close for good at the end of December 2023. The late-night venue situated on Back Bridge Street, below pizza hotspot, Crazy Pedro’s, has been one of the saddest closures of Manchester bars and restaurants in 2023, having been open for over 12 years. The underground drinking den became known for its tropical-inspired cocktails served in everything from pineapples to novelty props like barrels, coconut shells and volcanoes as well as their signature (and flaming) zombie cocktail.
11. The Chocolate Cafe
The renowned Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom announced that it would be closing its doors in April. The news of the much-loved cafe’s closure came as a shock to both residents and visitors with it having been the epicentre of the town home to the annual chocolate festival for 15 years. The Chocolate Cafe in Ramsbottom saw goods and energy increase by 40% and “in some cases doubled”, leading the business to make a sad decision regarding its future. However, the site is now home to Cocoa Tree and maintaining the building’s reputation as a one-stop shop for chocolate in the area.
12. Ate Days A Week
January 2023 kicked off rather poorly with closures happening left, right and centre including bars, restaurants and shops in Manchester such as The Font, Atkinsons Cafe in Mackie Mayor, Oklahoma, Flourish and award-winning pie shop, Ate Days A Week. Opening in the Manchester city centre in spring 2022, Ate Days A Week brought with it the classic Wigan kebab which consists of a pie of your choice sandwiched in a barm and topped with minted mushy peas and gravy. However, the business announced that the pie makers will continue to maintain their relationships with other hospitality venues such as Blinker Bar, Stockport County and Lapwing Deli in Didsbury, as well as deliver their pies around Stockport and surrounding areas.