Owned by the duo behind Deansgate’s The Liquor Store, Prestwich Social has had a triumphant few months in the neighbourhood after opening its doors back in December last year.
From quizzes to live music and banging Sunday roasts, the wonderfully laid-back vibe is an ode to its creators and, recently, Prestwich Social welcomed former Beastro owner, James Taylor as its brand-new head chef.
James Taylor will be a well-known name in the world of Manchester foodies, as his career began with pop-up restaurants at one of the city’s OG street food halls, Guerrilla Eats.
He then took the concept across the North under ‘Bangers and Bacon’, which was a street food pop-up serving delicious steak based dishes and home made porky plates, alongside loaded sandwiches, philly cheesesteaks and much more.
With the success of Bangers and Bacon, James, alongside his wife Heather and good friend Richard Brown, went on to open Beastro in Spinningfields, which soon became one of the city’s most well-established independent eateries.
Its menus had a focus on refined street food with both meat and vegetarian options available. Using local produce, James and the team created customisable lunch options, alongside unique takes on pub classics such as bangers and mash, fish and chips and steak and eggs.
Unfortunately, Beastro took the difficult decision to close its doors for good in 2019. Taking to Facebook, the business said: “Unfortunately even with all our best efforts, it has proven to be unsustainable to continue trading. We began Beastro with an ambition to grow and a passion for hospitality, a dedication to incredible ingredients and a love for honest cooking. We are hugely disappointed to be leaving in this way.”
During a time that was difficult for everyone in the business, James then began working on location TV catering for productions such as BBC’s Dodger, Sports Personality of the Year, and guests at an intimate Gary Barlow gig before reaching out to his good pals at Prestwich Social.
James has known the restaurant’s owners Doug and Brett for years, and as the duo began to form the basis of their new menu, James became an important part of the restaurant’s development.
“I was very excited to be approached by the team at Prestwich social. I’ve known the guys for a while now and it was exactly the new challenge I was waiting for. The new menu contains some of the favourites from the previous menu, alongside some new dishes I’ve helped to develop,” he said.
Making up the new menu is a combination of pub classics, unique street food flavours and sociable sharing platters. In James’ own words, the new menu “strives to use the freshest local ingredients to hand-make your favourite dishes to a beautiful quality in a friendly casual environment.”
The small plates menu consists of dishes including a Bury Black Pudding Scotch Egg, gluten-free Cod Croquettes and King Prawn Brioche Toast, which form the basis of a great menu to graze on alongside a few pints on a warm evening.
Delving into the larger plates, James has brought all of his Beastro expertise to Prestwich Social, focusing on locally sourced ingredients and a seasonal approach to cooking.
The restaurant’s bread is sourced from Thatcher’s in Stockport, sausages from Grandad’s Sausages and its vegetables are delivered from Strawberry Catering based at the fruit and veg market in Manchester.
Its meat is sourced from Jack Wood based in Failsworth and fresh fish from Sailbrand based in Huddersfield. The local ingredients are then expertly crafted into dishes with a friendly and casual dining vibe.
Some of our favourites from the new menu’s larger plates are the Thai Style Coconut Salmon (£13.95) – a fillet of salmon cooked inside a banana leaf served with a mango salsa and rice – and the Sweet potato and Cauliflower Curry (£12.95), which is a homemade aromatic curry finished with coconut milk and served with basmati rice and toasted flatbread.
The Mediterranean Sharing Board (£19.95) was also incredible, and it’s a new concept from the team at Prestwich Social in order to create a sociable, sharing experience for group dining. The boards are perfect for delving into whilst having a drink on the terrace in summer with a group of friends, and come with Pub, Wing and ‘Dirty’ options, too.
James’ influence on Prestwich Social’s new menu is clear to see, with him elevating once uninspiring pub grub to new heights using seasonal twists and flavours. Prestwich Social also hosts weekly quizzes, live entertainment and very impressive cocktail trees – which make the space a welcoming destination to wind down at any point in the week.
Prestwich Social is open Monday – Thursday 10am – 12am and Friday – Saturday 10am – 1am. Book your table now via the link below.