Whispers of skiving off work and trips down from Scotland fill a long queue around Northern Soul at 10.30am this morning.
Laura FitzPatrick, Cameron Sinclair and Helen Parkinson find out just what is going on…
It’s not for a Harry Styles’ concert and there’s not a new iPhone out – it’s National Grilled Cheese Day and the Northern Quarter’s cheesiest food joint is giving away free toasties to celebrate their biggest day of the year.
Church Street’s one-stop-shop for all things cheesy is marking the occasion with their signature soulful beats and delicious dairy treats.
“What’s a vegan?” joked Dan Place, founder of Northern Soul.
The cult restaurant has been embraced by A-Listers like Justin Bieber in the past but today it’s their legendary sandwiches that are the star of the show.
From 10am, cheese pilgrims formed a queue around the block to get their hands on one of the freebies dished out to the first 100 through the door.
Mancunian couple Jennifer, 31, and Adam, 35, were some of the earliest in at around 10.45am.
Adam confessed that their cheese obsession has taken them to new extremes, he said: “I’ve actually called in sick so I can get here today and Jennifer’s taken a very early lunch.”
They’re serving up their staple dish, The Soul, a secret cheese blend on toasted sourdough, accompanied with a pot of their special sauce.
Its dishes like these that have led to the joint being flooded by foodies around the world; even Man vs Food’s Adam Richman hails Northern Soul as one of his favourites, having stopped by on the Meat Lust bus tour.
Dan said: “He didn’t care about the glamour – we just boiled it back to the bread and cheese and he loved it.
“Off the back his visit, Food Network are filming us next week for their first UK street food short.”
It’s no wonder then that passers-by were being drawn in.
Joe, 37, a music fanatic from Aberdeen was visiting Manchester. He said: “As a typical hipster, I randomly joined the queue. My friends think it’s hilarious because we’re all into our Northern soul music and obviously we love cheese.”
The UK’s first grilled cheese restaurant has proved so popular that they’re opening another on Piccadilly Approach at the end of April. In the words of Dan: “Grilled cheese for everyone!”