Smokehouse and BBQ chain Hickory’s is planning to open a restaurant in Hale.
The American-style, family-friendly chain has submitted an application to create a 2,800 sq ft restaurant and bar on the site of the former Hogan’s of Hale restaurant in Crown Passages.
Founded by Neil McDonnell, the first Hickory’s opened in Chester in 2010 and now has additional sites in West Kirby, Rhos-on-Sea, West Midlands, Birmingham and Southport.
In a letter sent to neighbours adjoining the site, it says it will make a “major investment” in the project that will “completely transform” the venue.
The letter reads: “We are planning to completely transform the site into a welcoming family restaurant and neighbourhood bar and having recently submitted plans to Trafford Borough Council we are keen to start work as soon as possible.
“The site will remain closed whilst it undergoes a complete and thorough refurbishment, both inside and out. This exciting move into Hale Village represents a major investment for our company and every aspect of the venue will be re-designed and transformed.
“This will include a completely new, open kitchen and chef’s bar, with custom built extraction system, whilst also creating new bar areas and other exciting visual features. The stage will be removed as Hickory’s prefers good old-fashioned hospitality rather than loud music.
“The area to the front of the building will undergo a compete make-over, including a sheltered veranda, along with an all-new planting scheme.
“Our ambition is to create something truly special in Hale Village, and we are looking forward to becoming part of the Hale community.”
The news is a shot in the arm for the restaurant scene in Hale village, where a number of restaurants – including Côte and Stockyard – have closed their doors in recent weeks.
Hickory’s, which says it has a “strong focus on food quality and authenticity” is intending to open seven days a week, from 7am to 00.30am.
It serves authentic southern American food, including smokehouse, barbeque, cajun, creole and soul food dishes.
It also stocks a wide range of US craft beers and has an extensive bourbon and rye whisky collection, as well as American-style sodas and shakes. Children, meanwhile, get free popcorn on arrival and other Hickory’s also have cinema rooms.
The chain recently reported sales of £16.6m for the year ending 30th April 2017, up 15% year on year.
Hogan’s of Hale closed late last year, a year after owner Barry Hogan had acquired Simon Rimmer’s former restaurant on Cecil Road, Earle.