Chef patron Simon Shaw (L) of El Gato Negro announces new Portuguese restaurant Canto in Ancoats, with Head Chef Carlos Gomes (R)

Creative director and chef patron of El Gato Negro, Simon Shaw, has confirmed his new restaurant Canto, is set to open its doors this September.

Work commenced at the Ancoats restaurant as soon as the Henry Street site was secured. Set to be Manchester’s only Portuguese restaurant, Simon Shaw can’t wait to bring a completely new concept to the city.

Speaking at the site this week, Simon commented: “We really are so excited about Canto – the venue, the location, the food, it’s all so different and will be such a unique offering for Manchester. Ancoats has such a great atmosphere and our location in Cutting Room Square is right in the thick of it.

“It’s going to be a challenge – like all new ventures are, but a fun one.”

Heading up the kitchen and menu creation is current head chef of El Gato Negro, Porto-born Carlos Gomes. Focussing on modern Portuguese dishes, Carlos wants to ensure the new venture is similar to neighbourhood restaurants in Portugal.

Carlos said: “Manchester is very vibrant and a great destination for food, yet Portuguese dining is yet to be explored, so it’s great to be part of the team bringing it to the city. I’m currently putting all of my time into the creation of dishes, to ensure we bring something really special to the table.”

Simon and Carlos are in the process of recruiting a senior management team, with El Gato Negro’s Zoe Dawkins taking on the role of Project Manager and Kelly Warner becoming Restaurant Manager.

For further information on available roles, please visit


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