You've probably heard a fair few rumblings about Sale over the last few months or so, rumblings centring around some rather impressive new food and drink additions to the South Manchester suburb.
Recent announcements include the arrival of Neapolitan pizza experts Rudy's into the area, as well as the impending arrival of Sugo Pasta Kitchen, Altrincham brunch specialists Blanchflower, and some exciting news to follow in the next few weeks from the team at Groceries + Beer.
This is tremendously exciting for residents of the area, and huge draws for bringing people into Sale, and it's a journey that started all the way back in 2019, those hazy pre-COVID days, with the introduction of a regeneration scheme in the heart of the town's shopping district.
A clear nod to the area's heritage and past, the old shopping precinct has been re-named, repurposed and transformed through a collaborative effort from owners Altered Space, Studio DBD, Simpson Haugh Architects and letting agents Sixteen and LTL.
Along with input from local historians, they've created STANLEY SQUARE; a design-led concept that aimed to do justice to not just the existing buildings, but also the area as a whole.
The idea was to give a whole new identity to this long-forgotten end of Sale, and a big part of the process was not just the re-design, but also getting in the independent businesses to draw in the crowds.
One of the major features of the re-design is a move away from the traditional ‘Shopping Centre’ badge, with a host of food and drink independents acting as an anchor for more businesses (and customers) to move in.
Kicking things off with a monthly Makers Market and a series of exciting new food and drink pop-ups, the profile of Sale town centre has been on the rise ever since, bucking the recent pandemic-related difficulties experienced on high streets throughout the UK, and enough to bring in some of Manchester's biggest and best operators.
Set to transform the new Stanley Square into 2021's hottest food and drink destination, the imminent arrival of the likes of Sugo and Blanchflower, plus new independent additions such as Bean & Brush Family Art Café – a mainstay in Sale Town Centre for the past 10 years, and Mr Beardmore paving the way for further expansion and openings into 2022 and beyond.
This year has also seen the recent arrival of craft beer specialists 'This is Draft' and Chorlton's excellent Indian Street Food offering – Roti are set to arrive on the 17th May.
In addition, non-food and drink operators have arrived, with fashion from Style Agent and Wardrobe 65, homeware and design from Together and even a proper decent bike shop in the shape of female-fronted Folk Like You.
With the whole re-design of the area, opening it all up, providing lighter and brighter outdoor space, as well as the arrival of some truly show-stopping big names - the next 12 months certainly looks exciting for Sale - which is something that I never thought I'd be writing a few years ago.
It's also great news for the surrounding areas of South Manchester, as the re-development and improvements continue, spreading out from the wildly successful Altrincham project and expanding further into neighbouring areas like Stretford, Urmston and even so far as Stockport.
A revolution is seemingly happening down there, so you've just got to ask yourself; do you want to be part of it?