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Scranchester: The Edge Street Edition

Written by
Kate Feld

This week, the food and drink news is all happening on the Edgiest Street in town…

Common, people like you
Common’s midlife crisis – ahem, refurb – is the talk of the Northern Quarter. Of course it is. If the hood’s hirsuite army of creative industries freelancers were considered as a single workforce, our day-to-night mainstay on Edge Street would be the company canteen. But hold the phone: Table service? Scandi-chic? Edamame? I went to check it out. It’s pretty. The menu has taken a sharp exit off comfort food highway, heading for fennel city; there are still burgers and fried chicken, but it’s Korean Fried Chicken with shit-hot Gochujang sauce. The verdict: I miss the old Common. But I like the new Common. Hope that clarifies things.

Handy men
If you really miss pre-makeover Common, take a sentimental journey to Piccadilly Approach and visit its old tables. They’ve been installed at Idle Hands, a new pop-up coffee venture from North Tea Power veterans Dave Wolinski and Tom Cowcher, who also advise on Common’s java offering. Right next to Piccadilly Tap, it’s got a couple of sunny tables outside and flat whites likely to make coffee heads come over all emotional. We say it’s a welcome shot of indy flavour in an area greatly lacking it, even if it’s only for six months. And it opens early at 7 in the a.m. Clued-up commuters, take note.

Hen do
Is 2015 going to be the year of fried chicken in Manchester? Edge Street (yes, Scranchester isn’t budging this week) is getting a 120-seat poultry palace called Yard & Coop in July. Owner Laura Morris, formerly of Terrace, spotted the fact that the city didn’t have a hipster fried chicken joint and was on that catering trend a like a duck on a junebug. Foodies, start the clock! By autumn we’ll all be talking batter seasoning and fryer temperatures, by winter we’ll be threatening to garrotte the next person who shows us a drumstick.

French invasion
Parisian favourite 63 Degrees on Church Street is a great restaurant with a crappy location. The Market, post-original owners selling up, was a (polite cough) restaurant with a great location. So the news that the Moreau family are upping sticks to the former Market unit at the intersection of Edge and High in June, just as Manchester's all-too-brief al fresco season is hitting its stride, is tres magnifique! Save us a seat outside and keep the champagne chilled, ma chére.

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