GG Hospitality will open the 160-cover Café Football restaurant in November, which will be followed by the 139-bedroom Hotel Football, situated a stones-throw away from Old Trafford.
Neville had initially revealed plans for the hotel at last year's Annual Hotel Conference.The new-found group’s managing director Stuart Procter told BigHospitality that Giggs and Neville have since been heavily involved in the development of the company.
“The inception of the idea did come from Gary,” said Procter, who was previously the general manager of London’s Stafford Hotel. “From his initial thoughts, we worked as a team to create this exciting and innovative concept.
“Being in the industry for over 20 years, I’ve been able to lead the process. But it’s not just Gary and Ryan’s name being used – they are major shareholders in the brand and they have been involved in every detail, from picking the cutlery through to the location. It’s a team effort."
Café Football will be a casual dining affair, with an average spend of £16 a head for two courses. Brendan Fyldes is the executive chef of Café Football, while Michael Wignall - head chef of the two-Michelin-starred Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park - is GG Hospitality’s creative director.
“Football is the most talked about topic in the world,” added Procter. “It brings people together and we want the Café Football concept to do just that.
“But there’s not going to be a football shirt in sight. The restaurant will offer a twist on football – from the food and beverage through to the uniform and the design – watch this space.”
Meanwhile, Hotel Football is a mid-market new-build with Stewart Davies, currently the general manager of the DoubleTree by Hilton Manchester, to oversee the operation.
The property, which will cost around £20m to develop, will feature a football pitch on the roof but, again, only subtle references to the game inside.
Procter concluded that GG Hospitality does have one eye on national and international expansion, but focus at the moment is on its debut outlets.
“There’s every possibility that are brand can transport into key footballing cities and into the UAE and Asia,” he said. “But I must stress, we are focusing on these first two sites – they’re our ultimate goal at the moment.”
Giggs and Neville’s total investment in GG Hospitality is unknown, but they are both ‘major shareholders’. The launch of the new company is part of a busy day for Giggs as it was also just announced he would take on a player-coach role in Manchester United’s new-look backroom setup.