Escape to Freight Island, it must be said, is a VERY impressive space, and they’ve managed to cement their legacy on the city over the last couple of years with an unmatched programme of live music, festivals and club nights, alongside some fantastic food and drink vendors.
Well, they’ve re-invented themselves for Spring – meaning there’s a range of exciting new traders, a brand-new roller skating rink and even more music and events planned five days of the week.
The visionary food market will see a new selection of traders – with all set to be in place by May 2022, featuring local favourites and national food heroes.
First up is Carnival, a new collaboration concept with Richard Turner, co-founder of some of the best grill restaurants in the country including Hawksmoor, Pitt Cue Co, Blacklock and Meatopia Festival. Turner and the team will be taking over the grill of what previously was Baratxuri.
Using the best meat from a single producer farm, Carnival menu highlights will include fine cuts of Premium Rib, Porterhouse and T-Bone steak, as well as Pork Chop with apple tamarind ketchup, Lobster with wild garlic, Smoked Beef short ribs, Crispy Fried Scampi, and Potato Gratin with anchovy and parmesan.
Even more special, for those who like to see the action, a limited Front Row Seat Tasting Menu from Richard Turner will also be available as part of an exclusive offering.
Another exciting food concept comes from the team behind Belzan who will refresh their current counter with a brand-new deep fried and charcoal grilled chicken offering, Lucky Foot. Serving first class birds, it will showcase modern cooking using the best chicken – made from scratch in Manchester.
Manchester’s very own phenomenal online-and-delivery-only burger joint, Burgerism, will be joining Escape to Freight Island. This will be a much-anticipated arrival as burger fans will now be able to dine in for the best burger in town.
Their premium smashed burger and fries will be a welcoming addition as it replaces Patty Queen. Menu highlights include the famous ‘Cheesed’ with two smashed patties, cheese, lettuce, tomato, pickle, onion and Burgerism sauce in a brioche bun.
For those with sweet tooth, local’s favourite Batard will pitch up outside the Plant Room with their brand-new Diner – the bakehouse will be offering sweet American pies and ice cream. Notably, Batard will be working in partnership with Wildfarmed, a community-led farming system on a mission to fix soil through regenerative farming, co-founded by Andy Cato of Groove Armada.
Further to the sweet offering, an exclusive collaboration will also come from Gooey with specials Hot Cookie Doughs and Ice Cream which will only be available at Escape to Freight Island. These new desserts offerings will replace Choo Choo and Soft Boi.
Over at the mezzanine level inside the venue, Good Life Skates will take over the space and present the city’s brand-new 8,000-square-foot roller-skating rink opening this Spring. The new roller-skating rink and brand will also present special merchandise, from hoodies, t-shirts and bucket hats.
The Good Life Skates mezzanine will have its own playful food and drinks offerings for guests to enjoy alongside their skating experience.
With warmer days approaching this Spring, Escape to Freight Island has announced a brand-new non-stop Sunday and all free festival series, Better Days, launching from Sunday 17th April and will run until Sunday 28th August. The all-day session will also cater for family-focused happenings during the daytime with silent disco for kids and other children-friendly activities.
Kicking off the Sunday sessions on 17th April, the big launch party will see disco legends Greg Wilson alongside Graeme Park, Sally Rodgers (A Man Called Adam), Don Letts and Jenna G.
The series will then see a collection of renowned DJs, local legends, plus a host of collectives and festivals taking over the outside space – with the likes of Erol Alkan, DJ Paulette, Danielle Moore (Crazy P), Mike Don and more.
Sundays are also accompanied by the venue’s signature Sunday Social Club featuring its delicious specials – a 55-day aged Hanger Steak with Béarnaise sauce and a Lobster Roll with mouth-watering butter sauce, both served with fries – with sides options of Mac n Cheese or chopped salad.
A new addition to the menu will also include Sunday Roasts from the new concept over at Carnival.
Escape to Freight Island is open five days a week from Wednesday to Sunday featuring highlighted programme each day with a variety of ticketed and free events.
– Wednesdays will see live performances at the remarkable stage inside.
– Thursdays will see a takeover from The Comedy Store, followed by The Curious Cabaret – a new immersive spectacle featuring cultivated performers and show-makers.
– Fridays will present a series of local residencies with Manchester’s favourite selectors.
Through to the weekend, Saturdays are all about having the finest DJs to keep the groove going and for guests to start the party. Followed by Better Days on Sunday for a more wholesome experience with families and friends.
Escape to Freight Island’s opening hours are Wednesday and Thursday (from 4pm to 11pm), Friday (from 4pm to 1am), Saturday (from 12pm to 1am) and Sunday (from 12pm to 10pm).