Michelin-star chef and Great British menu winner Tom Barnes to open first restaurant in Manchester

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Skof is set to open in Manchester city centre in spring 2024.

A top chef and Great British Menu winner with a wealth of experience in Michelin-starred restaurants has announced plans to open a new restaurant in Manchester. 

The new restaurant, called Skof, will be located in the Hanover Building in the NOMA neighbourhood of Manchester city centre. Set to open in spring 2024, Skof will offer an intimate dining experience with just 36 covers. 

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It will also be the first solo venture from Cumbrian-born chef Tom Barnes, who will own and run Skof, and it will be part of the UMBEL Restaurants group, helmed by chef Simon Rogan, for whom Tom has worked for the last 12 years. Manchester currently only has one Michelin-starred restaurant and this long-rumoured new opening signals a positive step forward for the city’s fine dining scene. 

Skof will work closely with Rogan's regenerative farm Our Farm in the Lake District. The interiors are being designed by the London-based Blacksheep, and will reflect the building's industrial and Edwardian heritage.

Chef Tom Barnes will be opening his first solo restaurant Skof in Manchester in spring 2024.Chef Tom Barnes will be opening his first solo restaurant Skof in Manchester in spring 2024.
Chef Tom Barnes will be opening his first solo restaurant Skof in Manchester in spring 2024. | Skof/UMBEL Restaurant Group

Who is Tom Barnes?

Tom Barnes started his career as an apprentice under Duncan Collinge at the Lakeside Hotel. Staying in his native Lake District, he then went on to work with Simon Rogan at L’Enclume in 2011, where he worked his way to head chef in 2013, the year the restaurant earned its first Michelin star. 

Aged 25 in 2014, he was awarded the Roux Scholarship, which won him a placement at Hof Van Cleve in Kruishoutem, Belgium, which he followed with a stint at the three-Michelin-starred Restaurant Geranium in Copenhagen under chef Rasmus Kofoed.

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He returned to work with Simon Rogan in 2018 as head chef of Rogan & Co, winning a Michelin star in less than six months. He became executive chef of Rogan’s UMBEL Restaurant Group, overseeing three Michelin-starred L'Enclume, one Michelin-starred Rogan & Co, Henrock and Home by Simon Rogan. 

In 2020, he won the main course in the BBC2’s Great British Menu. 

What do the owners says?

Tom said; “I am so excited to be opening my first restaurant in Manchester. It feels like the right place for me. The food scene is changing so frequently, and everyone I’ve met has been incredibly welcoming. Growing up in Barrow-in-Furness, I knew I wouldn’t want to be too far from my childhood home and my family, so it’s the perfect place. 

"I am so grateful for Simon’s support, and I plan on utilising all the skills that he has taught me over the many years that we have worked together. I’m so happy with what we have achieved and look forward to this new chapter.” 

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Simon Rogan commented:  “It’s moments like these that make me so happy, and it’s so special to be able to help a chef who has worked with me for so long go on to realise his dreams. I’m so proud of Tom and everything he has accomplished. We’ve been working towards this moment for a while now, and I can’t wait for him to be able to show the world what he can do. He is a seriously talented chef, so I know Skof is going to be amazing!”

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