Mowgli and Friska expand in Manchester with new restaurants at University Green

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Indian street food restaurant Mowgli and ethical restaurant Friska are the latest names to join the ever-growing line up at University Green, the new retail and leisure development by leading regional property company Bruntwood and the University of Manchester.

The development located alongside Alliance Manchester Business School, forms part of the University’s campus masterplan and now has nine of its 12 units pre-let ahead of its opening later this year.

Fast-growing Indian street food kitchen, Mowgli was founded in 2014 by barrister, food writer and Indian cookery teacher, Nisha Katona. Mowgli already operates one extremely popular restaurant in the Corn Exchange in Manchester and has been actively seeking another site in the city as part of its ongoing expansion plans.

The 100 seater restaurant is set to open its doors in October. Founder Nisha Katona, who was recently named one of the inspirational entrepreneurs on The Times Maserati 100, said: “Mowgli is all about the smash and grab of fresh, light zingy Indian food. This makes it a perfect fit for the pace and exacting appetites of the university students and staff. I’m designing this Mowgli to feel light, airy, twinkling and organic. In my mind I see Apple shop meets Indian Courtyard...quite an exciting challenge. I spent my student years in Manchester as an Afflecks girl. It makes me incredibly proud to be able to feed the city that was so formative in my youth, a city I love."

Joining Mowgli is award-winning independent restaurant Friska, offering healthy ‘grab and go’ hot boxes of ‘feel good food’, including bao buns, pho noodle pots, burritos and wraps.

This will be Friska’s third restaurant in the city having opened its first in Manchester in the  Bright Building at Manchester Science Park in 2017 and a second on St Peter’s Square last month. The University Green restaurant, which is set to open in September, will accommodate up to 70 customers across a range of comfortable banquette seats, breakfast bar seating and long communal tables. It will also feature a ‘study space of the future’, including desk lights, power sockets and free wifi.

Co-founder of Friska, Ed Brown said: “We are delighted to be opening up in University Green because it’s a site we looked at a long time ago when it was still in the early planning stages with Bruntwood, so it’s amazing to have seen it through the construction process to completion. This will be our third site in Manchester and hopefully one of many more in this great city.

“This last year has been amazing for us following the opening of our first restaurant in Manchester in the Bright Building. Its huge success has fuelled our expansion plans here and we can’t wait now to bring our great food, hospitality and ethical outlook to the students, academics and residents of the Oxford Road Corridor.”

Mowgli and Friska join a previously announced line up comprising of academic and general bookshop, Blackwell’s; design retailer Utility; artisan coffee house, Takk; restaurant and bar, Loungers; authentic American burger brand, Five Guys; Co-op Food; and international sandwich shop chain, Pret A Manger.

Andrea George, Head of Retail and Leisure Leasing at Bruntwood, said: “Mowgli and Friska are a perfect fit for what we are creating at University Green. They are both relatively new to Manchester, but what they offer has been so well received that I’m in no doubt that they will replicate their success in this vibrant part of the city.

“With University Green now 75% pre-let, we have an eclectic mix of operators not only in food and drink, but also with the award-winning retailer Utility and specialist bookstore Blackwell’s. We’re really excited about the line up so far and more customer announcements will follow soon that will further boost its appeal to the local community.”

Situated in a key growth area within the Oxford Road Corridor area of Manchester, University Green is near to major institutions, research facilities and technological and cultural assets including Manchester Science Park, Manchester Museum, Manchester Academy, the Whitworth Art Gallery, Contact Theatre and the Deaf Institute.

Bruntwood and The University of Manchester’s £50 million Oxford Road regeneration project also includes public realm improvements alongside the newly enhanced and extended 350,000 sq ft Alliance Manchester Business School.

Diana Hampson, Director of Estates at The University of Manchester, said: “We are excited to see two more brands signed up to the University Green development which will provide fantastic new dining options on campus for visitors, staff and students. This is a central part of the University’s Campus Masterplan vision, creating new facilities for everyone to enjoy.”

Complementing the redevelopment of University Green is a 210-bed Crowne Plaza Hotel and 116-room Staybridge Suites, both opening soon. More than 60,000 people are currently employed in the area and this number is expected to grow to more than 75,000 by 2020.

Metis Real Estate Advisors represented Bruntwood.

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