Residents raise concerns after butcher’s shop applies for alcohol licence

  • Farm & Fish will open on Monton Road in March as collaboration between Butcher’s Quarter and Wandering Palate
  • Residents raise concerns over application for alcohol licence on premises 
  • Say high street is already ‘oversubscribed’ with restaurants and bars
  • Owners say it will 'not be a bar'

A new butcher’s shop opening in Monton next March has applied for a late-night alcohol licence triggering concern among local residents.

Farm & Fish is a collaboration between Butcher’s Quarter, a Manchester city centre butcher’s, and Monton-based wine and charcuterie store, Wandering Palate.

Farm & Fish is currently under renovations in Monton
Refurbishments at Farm & Fish are currently underway

Concerns about the licence were voiced on the Monton Chat Facebook group, with some worried the butcher’s shop would turn into ‘just another’ bar.

The Manchester suburb already has a host of restaurants and bars, with some describing the high street as ‘oversubscribed’.

Addressing concerns, BQ’s Charlotte Roberts said: “Generally it will be daytime trade.

“We’ll do off-licence for wine so you can come in and it’s a bit of a one-stop shop for everything

“So if you want a delicious meal for two, you can come in and get your steaks, get your veg, get your wine.

“You can pop in for a lunch and have a little glass of wine with that.”

Charlotte also alluded to the possibility of evening events: “That’s why we’ve applied for so late as well.

“We might have a little wine tasting on, we might do a supper club where we invite a chef.

“They get free range of the counter, they make a menu out of that and then we pair wines with it.

“It’s certainly not a restaurant and it’s certainly not a bar.”

Alcohol license application taped to the window of Farm & Fish
Concerns were raised after locals saw the alcohol license application taped to the window

Emma Evans of Wandering Palate said she and husband Will were “very conscious” of residents’ concerns.

She said: “You know, it’s our community as well. We’re going to have a lovely wine menu if you want to come in and have a wine, but it’s not a bar, it’s much more than that.

“We just want to bring some really good quality meat and fish to Monton.”

They also uploaded a video to Facebook clear up any speculations.

Councillor Mike McCusker, lead member for planning and sustainable development, said he had concerns about the suburb’s growing night-time economy.

“One of the concerns I’ve got with Monton is, I love Monton but a lot of residents living just off Monton Road are obviously concerned about the growth of the night-time economy there and growth of bars,” he said.

“Within our local plan as a council, we stated that we felt that there were enough bars and cafes on Monton Road and we started to turn down further applications.”

He said the council had previously turned down another Monton restaurant in its alcohol license application, but the decision was later successfully appealed.

“We were sort of powerless and it’s got worse now because the government’s changed the categories of where you have to apply for planning permission,” said Councillior McCusker.

“So now, any retail could effectively turn into a wine bar without even any planning permission.

“So we’ve kind of lost that power by that change that’s taken place.”

Despite the concerns of some, other residents are excited to have a new butcher’s opening up in Monton.

Comments on Wandering Palate’s video were overwhelmingly positive, with many wishing the owners good luck.

One wrote: ‘Brilliant. This will be perfect in making a lovely local high street. Best of luck’.

Another said: ‘We can’t wait for the butchers & fishmongers….with an alcohol licence!! Oh my word it’s like all my Christmas’s have come at once!!’

Farm & Fish will be open in March after a ‘couple of soft launches’.