El Gato Negro's Simon Shaw to open third Manchester restaurant

31 March 2021 by
El Gato Negro's Simon Shaw to open third Manchester restaurant

Simon Shaw, chef patron and creative director of El Gato Negro and Canto, has revealed plans for his third Manchester restaurant, Habas.

The modern Middle Eastern restaurant and bar at 43a Brown Street is set to open this spring and is located on the lower ground floor of the Grade II-listed building owned by property company Bruntwood.

The kitchen will be headed by Shaw, supported by senior sous chef Craig Rutherford, and will offer Shaw's modern interpretation of Middle Eastern dishes. The venue is also hoped to host regular live music events.

Habas will join Shaw's El Gato Negro tapas restaurants in Manchester, Liverpool and Leeds, and sister restaurant Canto in Ancoats, Manchester.

Shaw said the venue had been a long time in the making, having acquired it and commenced construction work years ago, but development was delayed due to the obstacles of renovating a heritage building, as well as the coronavirus pandemic.

He added that his interest in Middle Eastern food was sparked by his time living in London: "We'd go to these incredible places on Edgeware Road or in Bayswater after work, or even after we'd been out – it was quite a social thing. I remember thinking, wow, what a great style of food this is; it's amazing, so fresh and vibrant.

"I knew then that I wanted to open a modern Middle Eastern restaurant… it's really exciting to focus on this diverse region's many cuisines with Habas."

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