Filling up! Customers in tears as Chapel Market pie and mash shop is closed
Emotional farewell as Manze’s serves up last orders after 108 years in business
03 May, 2019 — By Calum Fraser
Staff members Jay, Liz and Maxine at work on the last day of Manze’s holding the last pies to be made in the shop
HUNDREDS of punters flocked to Manze’s as the iconic pie and mash shop served its last orders this week.
Some had come from Australia to get their hands on one of the last pies served in M.Manze, in Chapel Market, Angel, as the restaurant closed on Tuesday after 108 years of business.
The Tribune snapped a picture of the last pies made in the shop as teary employees placed them in the takeaway boxes.
Liz, who has worked at the shop for almost a decade, said: “It’s sad. It’s so sad. One woman came in and cried. She’s 89 years old, she lives on Essex Road and she has been coming here every day for her lunch forever.
“Another lady, who had moved to Australia, was home for holidays. She said she remembered coming here as a baby.
“It’s terribly emotional because it was part of their upbringing.”
The pies sold out by around 1pm on Monday and Tuesday as word got around that the shop was closing. Some customers asked if they could take a plate home as a memento.
Maxine, who helps out part-time at the shop, said: “We couldn’t say no. One man, I think he’s about 97, comes in here in his suit. He said he wanted to take me out for dinner. He was so lovely.”
Danny Burns, who went to school in Islington Green, rushed down to Chapel Market on Tuesday when he heard Manze’s was closing. He has a tattoo on his arm of his grandparents, Melita and Michael, sitting together in Manze’s.
Danny Burns with the tattoo of his grandparents in the Chapel Market Manze’s
Mr Burns said: “I remember going with my grandad when I was a little boy. He lifted me up to look at the eels and I screamed!
“There is so much tradition in these places. It’s always a nice atmosphere, no one is rude, it feels like going back in time. I showed the woman serving me the tattoo and she started welling up.”
David Twydell, chairman of Chapel Market Traders’ Association, who has run a fruit stall in the market for 50 years, said: “It seems like all the nice little shops are going and all it is being replaced with is these expensive coffee shops or bakeries where a loaf of bread is £8.
“People used to come up to have the pie and mash on weekends and then wander up the market. That’s not going to happen anymore. It’s another nail in the coffin for the community.”
Shop owner Tim Nicholls refused to comment on who might be taking over the space.
The restaurant, with its white tiles, marble counters, old mirrors, vintage lamps and wooden booths, has listed status, so any new owners will find it difficult to make any major changes to the interior.