Manchester restaurant abandons plans for stingray tank after online backlash

By Sophie Witts contact

- Last updated on GMT

1761 Manchester restaurant stingray tank

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An upcoming £1m Manchester restaurant has abandoned plans to house live stingrays in its tank following an online backlash.

1761 and Lily’s Bar announced last week that it would open in the city centre with a £1m refit including the installation of a huge 18,000 litre fish tank.

The restaurant, which is named for the date signifying the start of the Industrial Revolution in Manchester, originally claimed the tank would be filled with ‘the odd stingray’.

Twitter users were quick to criticise the plans as ‘cruel’ and ‘pointless’.

Manchester Animal Action had also begun planning a demonstration on the restaurant's opening day, according to the Manchester Evening News​.

1761 has since backtracked on the plans, saying it didn’t wish to upset anyone.

“Listening to Manchester’s comments across social media we have decided not to have stingrays in our fish tank,” 1761 owner Phil Healey said in a statement.

“Even though the tank will be huge and we are confident that it would provide the right amount of space for the rays to thrive - it will have 118,000 litres of water - we don’t wish to upset or offend anyone and can see that there are people who would object. So this was the right choice for us.”

The 130-cover restaurant and bar is still on track to open on 13 November with Oliver Walker, who won Scottish Young Chef of the Year as an apprentice, heading up the kitchen.

The menu will range from open sandwiches piled high with salt beef and gherkins; to popcorn cockles and oysters.

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