Is Nando’s the mystery chain set to move into the former McDonald’s restaurant site in Altrincham town centre?
That’s the rumour that won’t go away – and a newly released CGI image visualising the site, complete with very Nando’s-esque branding, has only fanned those particular flames.
There’s no official confirmation: the Stamford Quarter has offered only a “no comment” in relation to the identity of a new tenant for the 2,315 sq ft site, while Nando’s itself is yet to respond to a request for a comment.
But it is known that the site has been the subject of considerable interest and that negotiations are very well advanced with one high street brand in particular.
It’s unlikely we’ll have a definitive confirmation on the matter until all contracts have been signed off.
But it would be no surprise at all if Nando’s were looking at opening in Altrincham.
The chain, which originated in South Africa and is known for its reasonably-priced chicken dishes, already operates more than 1,000 restaurants across the globe, with almost 300 in the UK and Ireland.
But while it has 13 restaurants in the Greater Manchester area, it is yet to make much of a move into Cheshire, with its Trafford Centre restaurant currently the closest to Altrincham.
So it could well consider that the site on the corner of Cross Street and Stamford New Road – which was the home to McDonald’s for 23 years before its closure in 2007 – is too good an opportunity to turn down in a town that is clearly undergoing a rapid regeneration.
Lunar, the site’s owners, have also made a significant investment in its refurbishment, with a 20-week programme of improvements set to be completed by February.
We’ll have to wait for official confirmation – but all the signs are that the long-awaited Altrincham Nando’s could be about to become a reality.