Stoke-on-Trent city centre is holding Friday night socials throughout the summer – and the first will be held this week.
Organised by Stoke-on-Trent City Centre Business Improvement District, the events will include alfresco dining and drinking in the Piccadilly area with music courtesy of local DJs performing in the street.
BID Manager Richard Buxton believes the Friday night socials will benefit the city centre’s economy and that it is a step in the right direction to becoming an attractive and engaging destination.
He says: “This is the kind of thing we as a city need to be doing to put us on the same stage as our neighbouring cities.
“We have some incredible independent eateries and an amazing entertainment offering in the Piccadilly area and so there is no reason why we cannot aspire to an ambiance similar to Liverpool’s Concert Square.
“With the summer season approaching and the nights getting lighter, many patrons will be keen to make use of outdoor areas for eating and drinking.
“We hope to welcome city centre employees for post-work drinks and those seeking to socialise on a Friday evening – particular as the lifting of restrictions finally allows us to meet with friends and loved ones.”
Between 5pm to 9pm, anyone wishing to kick-start their weekend, whether they’re a city centre worker finishing for the day or someone heading into town for the evening, are encouraged to take to Piccadilly and sample the food and beverages on offer at any of the numerous independent establishments that adorn the street – all while enjoying the smooth grooves provided by DJs.
The aim is to emulate the successful socialising and nightlife aspects of cities such as Manchester and Birmingham. With a myriad of vibrant independent businesses along Piccadilly, it is one of the BID’s priorities to showcase the unique and enticing offering whilst increasing footfall through various events and initiatives.
Venues where you can dine, drink, enjoy the music and soak up the atmosphere include: The Slamwich Club, The Orchard Bar & Bistro, NORTH Kitchen + Bar, Klay Pizzeria, Bottlecraft, The Gin Rummy, Peter’s Tavern, La Bella Napoli, Bloom, The Corner, The Unicorn Inn and The Quarter.
Chris Wilson, owner of Bottlecraft, says: “We’re a huge advocate of anything that showcases the wealth of culture present in Stoke-on-Trent. Initiatives like these go a long way in challenging negative perceptions about the place but in truth, new independent businesses and exciting events are popping up that are bringing about real, positive change to the city and this is just the thing to celebrate that, alongside all our wonderful customers.
“Friday night socials provide a great platform to promote Piccadilly’s local, community feel, by drinking and eating in our delightful independent bars, cafes and restaurants and listening to our talented local musicians.”
Jody Rushton from The Orchard Bar and Bistro adds: “As a relatively new business to the street and after an incredibly challenging first year, we are really looking forward to welcoming people back to the city centre in style – it’s so exciting to see some normality returning and a good evening out with food, drinks and music is what we all need right now!”
People are encouraged to visit Stoke-on-Trent City Centre BID’s Facebook page (/stokeontrentcitycentrebid) and www.stokeontrentcitycentre.co.uk for updates relating to Friday Night Socials and other initiatives.