Feast at The Mills – street food and music at historic Wigan mill

Street food isn’t exactly an unfamiliar concept to most of us at this point – but there’s a new(ish) market taking place every weekend that’s putting Wigan firmly on the map.

Feast at The Mills is a brand new destination for the borough, taking place just across the water from the iconic Wigan Pier.

A courtyard surrounded by industrial heritage, from the ‘boiler house’ to the towering brick chimneys, is now stuffed with street food vendors, shipping container bars, and live music.

It’s the first of its kind for Wigan, and it’s hoped it will act as an incubator for the permanent food
hall, currently under development in the neighbouring Mill One building.

Feast at the Mills has brought together a cluster of different traders for its kitchens – there’s Hastie’s Crispy Chicken, Christakis, Dough So Good, and Block Streak Shop operating in the main courtyard, then Velvets and Coffee Lounge positioned in other parts of the development.

A ‘Casino Shed’ stage area, surrounded by colourful streamers, hosts live music every weekend, from local bands and artists to DJs playing a range of Northern Soul, jazz, acoustic and even house music.

There are several (heated) outdoor seating areas, including a secondary courtyard with mismatched chintzy lampshades hanging from the ceiling.

The main indoor space, known as The Ritz, has LED lights draped from its beams, colourful windows, a bar wedged in the corner, a big screen for sport events, and a mix of furniture that includes old theatre seats.

And a smaller indoor snug space comes with a roaring fire and comfortable sofas to have a brew on.

Basically – it’s a pretty cool space, which was supposed to close at the end of last year but has stormed back for 2024.

Feast at the Mills has called on independent businesses from across the north west while the wider 17-acre Eckersley Mill complex is redeveloped (it will eventually become a mixture of housing and offices with a rooftop restaurant and a food hall in the plans).

Hastie’s Fried Chicken are famed for their 24-hour brined chicken, which they’re serving as pieces, wings and burgers, like the salt and pepper brioche burger slathered in katsu curry sauce, along with loaded fries.

There’s delicious Greek street food from Christakis, who have a menu of gyros, mezze plates, and halloumi fries, and Neapolitan pizzas from Dough So Good.

Then there’s Block Steak Shop – the steak joint that’s found itself homeless twice in the last year (once because of Hatch’s sudden closure, once because of Canvas shutting down).

Block Steak Shop’s menu is filled with meat (unsurprisingly) like Philly cheese steak hoagies, bavette and chips, and burgers, plus deep-fried dauphinoise and loaded chorizo fries.

Speaking back at the time of Feast at The Mills’ launch last autumn, Owen James, of Hastie’s, said: “Being Wigan born and bred, Feast at The Mills is a brilliant opportunity to get on board with an exciting development on the local food scene, and when I heard about it, I knew Hastie’s had to be part of it.”

When it opened, Feast at The Mills set out to be ‘Wigan’s Weekend Destination’, and it’s nailing its own brief.

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Featured image: The Manc Group

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