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Launched In Lockdown: Manchester Startups You Need To Check Out

Launched In Lockdown: Manchester Startups You Need To Check Out

In the headlines, we’re used to hearing about struggle, anxiety and tough decisions. Which is fair enough – we need to hear it. Yet there’s another story in our city. Because as much as businesses have been suffering, a few have managed to launch in lockdown. And that’s worth standing back to marvel at . . .

Never mind the costs, the nail-biting, the hygiene challenges. These brands have set up something new while so much of the rest of the world’s in retreat.

They deserve some love. So let’s cruise through the Manchester startups that’ve bucked trends and made their mark. They’re more fresh faces for our residents to savour down the road.


Dunkin’ Burgers

Burgers and gravy. Yes. We don’t have to say much else. Just dip stacked patties, covered in cheese and dreams, into a pot of roasting hot Englishness. The owners of Viet Shack have pivoted to this artery-busting concept, a masterclass in simplicity. With vegan and breakfast options, there are plenty of combos to try. Dunkin’ Burgers have set up in the Arndale Market, but for now you’ll find them on Deliveroo.


Feel Good Club

You may’ve seen these gals on social. Kiera and Aimie, a prodigious power couple, wanted to create a space for chilling out and kicking back in the NQ. But it’s more than that. Feel Good Club – the venue, and the brand overall – is about mental detox, untangling your fears with a strong, locally-sourced cuppa and staff trained in mental health support. Most food and drinks are unavailable right now. However, you can order clothes, merch and coffee beans on their website.


Hip Flask

Craft beer is a great way to do a whistle-stop tour of Greater Manchester in your own home. It gets better with every sip . . . For that, you have Sam and Phil to thank – two furloughed pals who wanted to crack the cap on the most delicious ales in the region. Last April, they launched Hip Flash from a spare bedroom, which has grown into a beers-in-the-box nirvana. The Manchester Box alone features 12 brews from city breweries.


Be Diddy

Get ‘em while they’re young works for fashion too. Since August, Be Diddy has been a rare local player in independent kids clothing. Browse their mini hats, dungarees, tees, socks, jeans and sunglasses for ages one to six. There’s a buy-back scheme when your child has moved onto a bigger wardrobe, as well as hand-picked dolls, toys and crayons to keep the budding catwalk star entertained. Find the latest store additions here.


202 Kitchen

Careful restaurant dates last summer led to a ton of influencer pics from 202 Kitchen. No wonder. Their first venue was a pink paradise, with blue window inserts like the set of a Guys & Dolls production. As the guys behind 202 find a new spot for their hashtag-worthy aesthetic, take heart in their delivery options – including the Trap Box with prawns, lobster, salmon and corn on the cob.



We were sorry to see The Quick Brown Fox vacate its place at the top of Oldham Street. Yet the brains behind Clockwork (formerly Ziferblat) stepped in create their own cocktail bar. Mecanica launched quietly in late August, promising a “gimmick-free” drinks experience. Again, it’s all about local supplies, not just for glass-bound ingredients but also their cheese and deli platters. Scout their menu for click-and-collect takeaway.

Doubtless there’ll be more startup stars emerging in 2021. It’s just the kind of news we love to see!

There’s local invention elsewhere too. Our city-centre apartments have been filling up nicely over the last year. We’re proud to give a home to young couples, professionals and ingenious minds just like the those behind everything we’ve listed above. Manchester’s our home as well.

Call or message the team for upcoming availability. It could be the move you need to start anew, or take your talent further with a community for backup.

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