We’re giddy with excitement (alongside a dose of nervous pre-exam apprehension) that we’re opening Blacklock in Manchester this Autumn in a Grade II Listed warehouse. Do sign up to our newsletter to keep up with every step of the journey and to ensure you’re first in line for Soft Launch bookings!


We work from a simple philosophy that everyone who walks through our doors, leaves happy. That goes for our guests but most importantly, the team of people that come to work every day. As a much-loved team member reaches his fifth year at Blacklock, we caught up with Sam Dagger to discuss his plans for his well-deserved time away.

Sometimes a week or two’s holiday just doesn’t quite cut the mustard, wouldn’t you agree?

You’re finally beginning to relax after working hard, getting comfortable and feeling settled in your new surroundings before all of a sudden, your vacay has come to an end and it’s time to head home. It’s almost as though you’re already repacking just as you were beginning to unwind.

That’s why we’ve created our brand new, fully-paid Sabbatical Scheme for longstanding Blacklockers who have been with us for five years. A gesture of thanks for all their hard work, this four-week break is in addition to annual leave to ensure they’re really able to press reset and unwind, embark on a once-in-a-lifetime adventure, or just get a different perspective in a different location.

So what is a Sabbatical? Think of it more like a career break or mini gap year; a chance to travel the world, spend time with family or learn something new, all safe in the knowledge that when you get back from your wonderful trip away, your job is safe and we will be ready and waiting to welcome you back with open arms.


We’re very proud to have a few team members approaching this all-important milestone. Head of projects, Sam Dagger joined us in 2017 as Group Bar Manager back when Blacklock in Soho was the only Blacklock. Sam went on to play a fundamental role in opening both City and Shoreditch. When lockdown hit, he quickly helped pivot the bustling restaurants into fully-functioning delivery and At Home offerings. Having displayed some incredible project management and R&D skills over that difficult period, post-lockdown Sam became head of projects and managed the site build of Covent Garden, turning a shell of a building into the characterful, busy restaurant you see today. Having studied graphic design at uni, Sam also leads all our design and branding efforts across the group, from our menus and signage to our sparkling new website, which launched this year.

So, we hope you all agree that Sam is due a bit of a break! With family and friends based in New Zealand and Tasmania, he’s using his time to head to the other side of the world to spend quality time with loved ones. He’s timed the trip to perfection with his best mate set to get married while he’s there, so he can properly partake in the celebrations without having to jet home straight after.

So while Sam will be sorely missed during his four weeks sabbatical, we hope he has an incredible time away. We can’t wait to catch up with him and hear all about his travels on his return and to encouraging many more of our Blacklockers to make the most of what could be, a once in a life-time adventure!