“I’M finally dipping a toe into food scene,” says Parklife boss and Warehouse Project founder, Sacha Lord-Marchionne.
We’ve currently got our eyes on an empty site in Northern Quarter
“PORKLIFE! It’s got to be Porklife. Oh please let it be Porklife…” says Confidential.
“Er, no, though it does involve meat… a lot of meat,” replies Lord, a recently lapsed vegetarian.
He explains that his move into Manchester’s booming food and booze scene began following last year’s sell-out Parklife festival in Heaton Park. “It was the first time I’d heard so much about one food trader,” says Lord. “None of the girls in my hairdressers were talking about how great The Chemical Brothers or Major Laser had been… they were all talking about how many salt beef bagels they’d munched through.”
Lord followed the bagel trail back to street food newbies, Eat New York, who’d only hit the road in their NY taxi-themed van in Summer 2016.
“We booked them again for the Elrow gig at Warehouse Project in October… it was the only time we’d seen a queue for food from opening ‘til close.”
Lord (alongside business partner Sam Kandel) sensed a winner and set up a meeting. “We were impressed with their product, ambition and business plan, so were delighted to strike a deal… though I’m not sure my icon Morrissey would be too impressed."
Parklife boss Sacha Lord-Marchionne is helping the street foodsters expand
The Lord-ly investment has allowed the bagel boys – Jonathan Leathley, Sean Maxwell, Callum Murphy and Oliver Rushton – to focus on securing their first standalone bricks and mortar venue.
“We’ve currently got our eyes on an empty site in Northern Quarter,” says Leathley, “which will allow us to expand our menu and showcase our food within a space we’ve created ourselves, and maybe introduce a bar element too.
“We have been approached by other investors, but we knew that Sacha’s experience and business initiative would set him apart from the others,” he continued. “Plus, Parklife festival was our first major event and really helped launch us onto a bigger stage.”
So does this spell the end for the big yellow bagel bus?
“We have big plans for the future,” says Leathley, “but we’ll always keep the food truck rolling… we’ve enjoyed the street food life too much to give up now.”
The team expect a decision on the Northern Quarter site in a matter of weeks. In the meantime, you can find Eat New York in residence at Junkyard Golf Club in Piccadilly Place, just around the corner from Warehouse Project’s base on Store Street.
Lord and Kandel, meanwhile, have a little thing to get knocked together by June.
Eat New York's big yellow bagel bus