Oldham Council closing in on major restaurant deals at Old Town Hall

OLDHAM COUNCIL is closing in on major deals with two leading casual dining restaurant brands to open in its flagship Old Town Hall development.

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Works underway on the front elevation of the Old Town Hall

The local authority and its agents have been talking to a range of potential operators about becoming tenants at the family friendly venue when it opens later this year.

The ground breaking scheme – which is transforming the Grade II listed building into a multiplex ODEON cinema with 800 seats and seven screens – will include seven restaurants.

The council can confirm it has now agreed ‘heads of terms’ deals that would see Nando’s and Gourmet Burger Kitchen joining Costa as the first tenants, subject to completion of legal agreements.

Nando’s is a hugely-popular international chain best known as the home of legendary flame-grilled PERi-PERi chicken, with more than 350 restaurants.

Gourmet Burger Kitchen (GBK), established in 2001, has more than 70 restaurants across the UK, and specialises in “gourmet burgers” of 100 per cent prime beef.

Jean Stretton, Oldham Council Leader, said: “We’ve been having talks with potential restaurant operators for several months and these are exciting times for this development.

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Clegg Street elevation showing the modern glazed ‘light box’ under construction

“This is a development that will make a big statement about the new Oldham. It is our flagship regeneration scheme and that’s why we only want great quality, popular, trusted and sought-after brands.

“Bringing exciting new dining options to the town centre like this will complement the cinema development, our Independent Quarter and our retail and leisure offer. Above all it will make for a great family experience and choice.

“Interest remains extremely strong in the other units and talks are ongoing with potential tenants with more announcements set to come in the summer.”

A Nando’s spokesperson said: “We are really looking forward to bringing a taste of PERi-PERi to Oldham residents and visitors alike.”

Keith Bird, Chief Operating Officer at Gourmet Burger Kitchen, said: “We were thrilled to be approached by Oldham Council at such an early stage in the planning of this re-development, and are pleased to confirm that we will be opening later this year.

“We will be joining a great line-up of restaurants and shops in the town centre.”

Main contractor, Morgan Sindall, has been on-site working on the restoration of the Old Town Hall since October 2013, with work set to be completed later this year.

Painstaking efforts are being taken to preserve as much of the venue’s heritage as possible to deliver a unique historic setting that will put it in a different class from other sites.

The Old Town Hall has restaurant units to let ranging in size from 2,500 sq ft to 6,000 sq ft. It will house an 800-seat, seven screen ODEON cinema and retail, and is a premium location.

For letting information contact Dan Davies, Director at Metis Retail Estate Advisors, on 0161 359 4306.

 

3 Replies to “Oldham Council closing in on major restaurant deals at Old Town Hall”

  1. Yet more purveyors of flesh to add to the glut of similar eateries in Oldham. How about a dedicated vegetarian/vegan establishment?

  2. One of the suppliers of chickens to Nando’s, ‘Faccenda’, has an appalling catalogue of animal cruelty allegations levelled against it. Paul Saddler, a former ‘chicken catcher’ at Faccenda, is quoted as saying: “Each night we were expected to catch 5,000 chickens or more. The sheds were so crowded you could hear the birds popping beneath the wheels of the forklift trucks as they ran over them. Chickens would often poke their heads out of the cages and be decapitated when they were slid in or out of the vehicles. Most had painful hock burns from ammonia in their litter. The stress of being caught caused many to drop dead from heart attacks”.

    To quote animal rights group, Viva!: “Chickens are thinking feeling animals who, like most birds, love and care for their young and enjoy dust-bathing, nest-building and roosting in trees. They also form friendships and a complex pecking order. Yet, every day in the UK 2.5 million chickens are cruelly slaughtered for meat – that’s 30 deaths every second – each one an individual, each one a life lost”

    As with Nando’s, Gourmet Burger Kitchen is a business founded on cruelty, as are all such establishments. Be it a conventional ‘beef burger’ or their more exotic fare (wild boar, buffalo and venison), the process from living, sentient creature to what the customer see on the their plate is truly horrific. It’s easy to get caught-up in the economic argument for wanting these restaurant chains to be part of this new development. But what of the arguments centred on compassion and welfare? Who speaks for the voiceless? Or is all this just immaterial in the pursuit of that all-important pound?

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