The Black Friar
A legend amongst giants
Building a brand with heritage, humour and purpose



Breathing life into a Manchester icon. 


Salford – Manchester





Bringing contemporary and traditional together in a considered fashion. Carve out a truly special place that is not just a building, it’s a feeling.



When all about you is made of steel and glass, a little red brick pub on the edge of Salford stands out for all the right reasons.


As soon as we saw the building, we knew we could come up with something really cool and amazing. There were design signposts and inspiration everywhere and we really wanted to incorporate this into their branding.






At its heart, this unique pub built in 1886, has something for all tastes and fancies. Here you can enjoy a pint and a salty snack or wander round to the dining area where things are a bit more refined. As the wise words carved above the door say, you may go further, and fare worse.


And if the sunshines (miracles do happen), there’s a courtyard and beer garden, whilst inside there are wood burning stoves and a gorgeous light dining area with an open kitchen.


The Black Friar is so much more than meets the eye and we created marks and assets which work across all areas of the business.




NS have been instrumental in helping us develop the brand, establishing who we are and what we are all about

Neil Burke, General Manager


Every good story needs its hero and Friar Benedict Farciare is ours. A character brought to life from the frieze above the entrance of the Black Friar building. To us, he embodies warmth and generosity and was the font of inspiration for us to create a brand for the business that has both heritage and significance but also feels current and cool.


Our happy little Friar features all over the menus and table talkers. We dressed him in a cassock and pair of Adidas Gazelles, a subtle but undeniable nod to the Salford postcode. We used the hessian and leather textures of his garment as well as motifs and features in the carved wooden staircase found in the original building to propel our design narrative.




We were super stoked when the team said they were so impressed that they wanted to extend the story telling yet further into the service and now serve warm bread in hessian bags, serve selected cocktails to tables in leather jacks and ‘brand’ their pies (and they ARE pies) with a bespoke pie cutter which we had made for them.


Chef Ben, and his team, have done a stunning job putting a menu together that is familiar in flavour but looks incredible. We got to try the Monkfish Osso Buco served with Bourguignon sauce which, on a grey and drizzly day, was wholesome and warming  and defo one of the perks of the job!


The Blackfriar is a bit special, even Jay Rayner gave it a glowing review in December 21 and we could not be more made up for them.


“This is an ambitious pub in a Greater Manchester which is evolving quickly.”


He even went on to mention their spectacular pies:


“Pie purists will agree that if you can’t throw it across a room with one hand, it’s not a pie. This is a pie.” Jay Rayner, Jay Rayner on restaurants, Guardian 12 Dec 2021



A real pleasure to bring this gem back to life!

Dan Burns, Director