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Scranchester: The Edge Street Edition

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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