Neil Burke assumes full control of Salford’s The Black Friar

By Joe Lutrario

- Last updated on GMT

Neil Burke assumes full control of Salford’s The Black Friar pub

Related tags Salford Pubs Chefs Neil Burke The Black Friar

Neil Burke has assumed full control of The Black Friar having overseen the historic Salford pub and restaurant as managing director for the past two years.

Salboy and DOMIS, the teams which originally redeveloped the site, say the pub has gone ‘from strength to strength’ under the direction of Burke and head chef Ben Chaplin. 

Burke plans to expand the brand with the ambition of redeveloping and bringing other iconic and landmark pubs back to life around the north through sister company Bigger Boat Hospitality.  

Closed for two decades, The Black Friar reopened in 2021 following a £1.4m restoration as part of the Local Blackfriars development in Salford.

Developer Salboy and the construction company DOMIS renovated the Grade II listed building as part of the residential development, bringing in Burke as an experienced hospitality operator to advise on the pub fit-out, and operate the business once open.

As part of the build, The Black Friar was extended to create a modern glass restaurant with open kitchen, private dining room and a dining courtyard, as well as a traditional pub area.

The pub now employs 45 local staff and has doubled its weekly covers from 700 to 1500 a week since the pandemic. 

On the corner of Blackfriars Road and Trinity Way, the project was originally linked with high-profile North West-based chef Aiden Byrne​ but he stepped away from the project before it launched. 

“It’s a dream to take over the ownership of the Black Friar and take the pub to the next level,” Burke says. “Without the support of DOMIS and Salboy in seeing us through the notoriously difficult first 12 months of business, we would not be here standing proud. I can not thank them enough for all they have done. 

“When the team asked me to work with them to open the pub it was my ambition to create an inclusive space which became known as one of the best pubs in Manchester, now it’s about the future, growing on what we have already created, not sitting still and continuing to love our guests.”

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