THE Mackie Mayor building re-opened its doors to Manchester this past week as a European food hall, after lying derelict for over a decade. 

Based in the Northern Quarter since 1857, the former meat market was one of the last standing buildings from the old Smithfield Market – which closed in 1972.

The old Smithfield Market, 2012.

Nick Johnson, alongside business partner Jenny Thompson were the team who originally renovated Altrincham Market – and used their expertise to give Mackie Mayor a much needed facelift.

Nick, who worked with Urban Splash to help renovate the Northern Quarter area, first came into contact with the Mackie Mayor building back in 2000 whilst running an organisation called Independence, a July 4 Independence Day show. The building stayed important to him ever since.

“My roots are deeply bound into the Northern Quarter. I have a long standing relationship with this area and with this building, so it was a natural progression.”

The new food hall is home to a selection of upmarket food stalls such as Tender Cow and Blackjack Brewery’s Jack in The Box – one of Manchester’s smallest microbreweries.

“One of mine and Jenny’s main jobs is to spot and find talent, and all the people we invited into Altrincham (Market) took a risk to believe in the vision that we had for the market, and they put their trust in us.” said Nick.

“There’s a lot of good, young people coming through, and in time we want to find other opportunities to nurture enterprise.”

In return – Nick and Jenny offered the chance for them to grow their own businesses at Altrincham Market. With experience under their belt, this has enabled them to expand and take their businesses to even bigger heights in the Northern Quarter.

“Food is one of the few social experiences nowadays you can’t get online – and it happens in real time. The aspect here is about being social, about being informal and getting good quality food.

Mackie Mayor food market is open Tuesday to Friday 8am-10pm, Saturday, 9am-10pm, Sunday 9am-6pm – and is closed on Monday’s.

Find them on Facebook at Mackie Mayor.


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