Speaking to Manchester Confidentials, the chef and restaurateur said the move was a “sensible business decision” and that the Coronavirus pandemic meant that he no longer wanted to make the investment in the project at the expense of his family pub.
Aiden and his wife Sarah run The Church Green pub in Lymm, Cheshire, a business which they have run for the past 12 years.
The Merseyside-born chef had teamed up with developer Salboy to take on Grade II listed Black Friar pub, which is part of the Blackfriars development, which also includes 380 apartments, townhouses and penthouses. The venue is due to have a traditional ground floor pub with 20-cover fine dining restaurant above while the newly created building will house a casual dining restaurant with an open kitchen.
Writing on his Facebook page, Byrne said: “Lock down has been interesting for me as I’m the kind of person who doesn’t like to sit still. Sarah and I have made the decision to pull away from any other business interests and focus solely on our first born, The Church Green.”
At the start of the year Byrne's Manchester restaurant Restaurant MCR closed with the chef saying the two-month rolling lease had made it too 'precarious' to invest in the Spinningfields site.
Byrne says The Church Green plans to reopen for drinks only on 4 July and will be serving food from 13 July once some renovations in the kitchen have been completed.
“Our menu will be simple to begin with but will develop and improve as we get to grips with the operation of controlling the new legislations. We also have a little surprise up our sleeves that we are working on for you, this will be announced in due course.”