Situated on The Street, the 140-cover casual dining restaurant will be the first business to open under Neville and Giggs’ newly-formed hospitality company, GG Hospitality. Hints of the great game will run throughout Café Football’s menu and the décor.
“The food at Café Football will be a unique take on all of the traditional matchday favourites,” said current United star Giggs. “We want it to be the place where guests can enjoy themselves while eating classic football dishes, created with a modern twist.
“There is a real sense of community within football fans and we want that fun atmosphere to spread to Café Football – it will be a place that reflects the spirit of fans coming together after a match.”
United defender-turned TV commentator Neville added: “Opening a restaurant is a huge step away from our lives on the football pitch, but we are going to apply the same levels of enthusiasm and passion to try and make Café Football a success.
“We have a team of industry experts working with us, whose knowledge and skill-set will make sure every element of Café Football is a fun experience.”
On the menu
Wignall, who heads up the two-starred Latymer restaurant at Pennyhill Park, is GG Hospitality’s creative director, while Brendan Fyldes comes in from The Stafford London as Café Football’s executive chef.
With an average spend of £16 a head for two courses, signature dishes include the Café Football Burger, a twist on the traditional ‘Pot Noodle’, fish pie and a lamb kebab. The Corner Shop will then serve up a menu of desserts, including the Half-Time Orange, Pistachio Turf and a Melting Chocolate Football.
Café Football’s drinks menu features more than 20 wines from 10 countries, together with a range of hand-selected international craft beers. Signature cocktails are inspired by football and include the Red Devil – a nod to Neville and Giggs’ football careers.
The restaurant’s interior has been designed to create a ‘relaxed yet fun’ atmosphere, with multiple TV screens displaying moments of how football brings people together from around the world. Outside seating allows for al fresco dining, with blankets and outdoor heaters available for customers.
Earlier this year, GG Hospitality’s managing director Stuart Procter (who also comes in from The Stafford Hotel) told BigHospitality that Giggs and Neville had been heavily involved in the development of the company.
“The inception of the idea did come from Gary,” said Procter. “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.”
GG Hospitality will be following up Café Football with the 139-bedroom Hotel Football – a new-build situated a stone’s throw from Manchester United home ground, Old Trafford.
The mid-market property, which Neville confirmed details of at the recent Annual Hotel Conference, will feature a football pitch on the roof with subtle references to the game inside.