Manchester's much-loved Earth Cafe site snapped up by new vegan pizza concept

A new vegan pizza restaurant is almost ready to open its doors in the Northern Quarter after snapping up the old Earth Cafe site. Four Side pizza – named because of the Detroit-style square pizzas it will serve – has moved into the basement unit left vacant by the decades-old cafe. The new concept comes from Dan Hope, formerly of Firebird Hope and also the man behind vegan doughnut truck Krum.

The restaurant should be ready to open from January 4, and will offer takeaway services if tier restrictions don’t allow it to welcome diners inside.

Inside Four Side – formerly Earth Cafe

When restrictions lift, there’ll be space for around 30 customers to eat in. Dan says he’s thrilled to be taking over the Earth Cafe site, which closed in August after more than two decades on Turner Street.

Manchester's much-loved Earth Cafe site snapped up by new vegan pizza conceptFounder Dan Hope is also behind Krum dougnuts, which will be sold on site

He says: “It’s a place of heritage – it was one of the first places you could eat in the Northern Quarter, alongside the rice and three places. “I used to love it there.

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“There are these amazing framed windows at street level – we’ve barely changed a thing, just given it a lick of paint.

“We love the space, the space feels great, we just want people to come and see it.” Four Side, which will open on a two month pop-up basis initially, will have around nine pizzas on its menu, each baked in a square pan in a similar style to the pizzas commonly slung in Detroit.

Manchester's much-loved Earth Cafe site snapped up by new vegan pizza conceptThere’ll be around nine pizzas on the menu

Dan says he’s aiming to have three ‘fun’ pizzas, three classics, and three using more premium ingredients at any one time. The pizza dough is allowed to prove for 72 hours, giving it a light and airy texture similar to focaccia.

He’ll also move the production of his Krum doughnuts to the Northern Quarter so that he can offer click and collect on the popular sweet treats.

Manchester's much-loved Earth Cafe site snapped up by new vegan pizza conceptAnother Krum doughnut

Krum has built up a loyal following from its time at Escape to Freight Island at Depot Mayfield. Four Side will also be alcohol-free – part of the conditions of opening a food and drink offering within the Buddhist Centre. Of the entirely vegan menu, Dan says: “I try not to be too evangelical about veganism, but I went vegan about 18 months ago and it has done me the world of good.”

Four Side was initially planned as a delivery-only restaurant, with Dan taking up a lease at a dark kitchen unit in Ardwick.

But when he read the news of Earth Cafe’s closure, he reached out to the Buddhist Centre to see if he could take up the space. “We just thought it would be so much nice to be able to meet customers,” he says. “It’s really hard to predict and really hard to manage money at the minute.

“We’re waiting to see if we come out of Tier 3 or not, but if we open in Tier 2 then have to go back into Tier 3 it will be really hard.

“Initial reaction just from a few Facebook and Instagram posts is good, people seem genuinely happy that someone is taking over the space.”

Four Side will open at the Manchester Buddhist Centre on Turner Street from January 4.

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