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Food and Drink Round-up 06/01/11

EGO closes, five new bars, one new pub, Rabbie Addy Burns and astonishing Philadelphia facts

Published on January 6th 2011.

Food and Drink Round-up 06/01/11

EGO collapses
Manchester’s ego has suffered a blow. The food industry’s ego has hit rock bottom. We’ve not got the egos we used to have...er...and so on. It seems the ‘Mediterranean’ chain of food restaurants called Ego has lost confidence. They’ve closed, certainly the one in Albert Square and also the one in Prestwich. In the latter location Ego has been taken over by Panama Hattys, the Cheshire-based mini-chain, with an outpost on Brown Street in the city centre.

Formerly Ego
Philadelphia cheese goes to the Ed
TV chef Ed Baines is on the hunt for cooking enthusiasts to become a ‘Local Philly Hero’. People have to submit ‘a quick and easy recipe’, featuring Philadelphia as a main ingredient. Winners become one of Ten Local Heroes, and might be ‘featured in a TV ad, online, on the packs and even get £1000’. Ed says “Philadelphia is so versatile, it can transform everyday ingredients into mouth-watering dishes the whole family will love.” He probably got paid a lot of money to say that. To enter jump on www.philadelphia.co.uk/localphillyheroes for more information – the closing date for applications is 24 January 2011.

Sleuth’s quick and easy Philadelphia recipeSleuth, Confidential’s jester and man about town (click here), has his own special recipe which he’ll be sending to Mr Baines hoping to win that £1000. “Take a large scoop of Philadelphia,” says Sleuth, “and mix it with Ryvita crumbs, then apply to any cracks around the house for solid, yet tasty DIY solutions. I call it Polyphiladelphia. Can I have my £1000 please?”

Facts no-one knows about Philadelphia
Meanwhile the editor, Schofield, went on holiday to Philadelphia back in 2005. He searched long and hard for the famous cream cheese factory. But he had no luck. So he ate the Liberty Bell instead.

Rabbie Addy Burns Night To celebrate the 252nd anniversary of The Scottish Bard’s birthday, The Mark Addy are hosting a Rabbie Burns Night on Tuesday 25 January at 7.30pm. The dinner begins with a brief commentary on Rabbie’s life, followed by the declaration of The Selkirk Grace. This year, we are very pleased to have as crier Alexander ‘Sandy’ Harrison from London, to do the toasting. Price for the evening, to include our piper, is £25, and the menu is as always: Uisge Beatha, Mark Addy Home Smoked Cullen Skink, Traditional Haggis Neeps and Tatties, Cranachan. Contact 0161 832 4080 for booking.

Wetherspoons boosts Trafford Centre food and drink
Back with the serious stories J D Wetherspoons is set to open a pub in The Trafford Centre. The all-conquering pub company will take the former Dexter’s unit in The Orient and it should be open by the end of next month. The name is yet to be declared although given Wetherspoons commitment to local referencing in their pub monikers, what about The John Whittaker - after the boss of Peel Group? Or The Dumplington after the original name for this part of Trafford Park?

HMV putting on the Ritz
Confidential was first with the news that HMV Group had picked up The Ritz on Whitworth Street West, as part of its live division. Plans have now been submitted to refurbish the venue, famous for its bouncy dance floor. You can have a nosey here. Diagrams are in the Associated Documents bit of the link.

Four new bars in the Northern Quarter
After our article over planning problems for new bars in the Northern Quarter (click here) ....there are suddenly plans for lots of new bars in the Northern Quarter. Sole is set to open in the Margolis Building on Turner Street, while the gang behind Lamars will be opening a restaurant in the ground floor of the nearby Hilton House.

Hatters Hostel on Newton Street is the subject of a planning application for a ‘licensed cafe bar with ancillary performance space’. The application, submitted by Karl Kinsella, also involves a refurbishment. And the unit left empty by vintage clothes shop Rags to Bitches, could also be brought back to life as a bar. Susan Taylor has submitted a planning application for 60 Tib Street. A decision should be made by the end of the month.

Nicaraguan politics in Manchester
And finally outside the Northern Quarter, Leeds-based cocktail and tapas bar Sandinista, is planning to open in the city. It’s bunged in a licensing application for 2 Old Bank Street in the city centre, a classic old club and night spot formerly The Conservatory.

Living Ventures good news – sort of
Newly-filed accounts for Living Ventures Restaurant Group Ltd show the firm recorded turnover of £24.1m for the year to 31 March 2010, up 7.5 per cent on the previous year. The Knutsford-based company, which recently picked up a portfolio of restaurants from Paul Heathcote, recorded losses of £859,000 for the year, which was an improvement on the £996,000 deficit in 2009.

The firm, led by directors Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts, did manage to reduce its debt by £816,000 to £17.2m. The Group owns Grill on the Alley, The Alchemist, Gusto restaurants and is planning to open a flagship restaurant this year called Australasia in Spinningfields. Whether they’ll be selling food in little urns seems unlikely given England’s cricket performances.

The Alchemist

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20 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2011.

That Ed Baines annoys the life out of me, another fat tongued irritant chef, his tongue is fatter than Jamie Oliver's!!

Makes me life Philadelphia a lot less now.

Caroline FaulknerJanuary 6th 2011.

My recipe:
1) Get Philadelphia
2) Put in bin
3) Go to fridge
4) Get Brie.

Anon GooJanuary 6th 2011.

Philadelphia soup with croutons of disappointment

I like to dip my willy in philiJanuary 6th 2011.

See above

TJCLJanuary 6th 2011.

Re living Ventures article - I'm surprised you didn't show a picture of Little Ern

Andy ManJanuary 6th 2011.

For real stick-ability and flavour mix some mayonnaise in with your polyphiladelphia and apply that to any broken surface. Works a treat on most interiors.

GadgeJanuary 6th 2011.

Maybe the JDW will The Marshall Stevens, after one of the Ship Canal instigators

Mandy FlipJanuary 6th 2011.

Or maybe the Wetherspoons could be called The Tasteless Consumer?

M30January 6th 2011.

Or maybe the Wetherspoons could be called "The Long Awaited".
The Trafford Centre needs a "pub", it will lend the place a bit of atmosphere.
Somewhere to have an inexpensive drink there will go down well. The Wetherspoons at the ChillFactore is probably the best in the UK.

susietJanuary 6th 2011.

Re the above article regarding new bars in the Northern Quarter. The application that I have made for 60 Tib Street is not for a bar it is for a Vintage Tea Room without a licence. We hope you will all come along and join us for Afternoon Tea. Thank you Sue Taylor

AnonymousJanuary 6th 2011.

Mandy had found some new UN-people to ad to the bourgeoisie's final solution list: Th tasteless consumers

Jonathan Schofield - editorJanuary 6th 2011.

SusieT what a great idea. Will it be a bit like Betty's with waitresses and waiters in livery? Cakes and sandwiches? Nice.

John WojowskiJanuary 6th 2011.

Re NQT bars

Thank got not another bar, thanks for confirming Sue, I hope to find out more soon, not sure that Patsy will be too keen though, a bit too close for comfort. Are you going to use the basement or interested in a sub let?

John WojowskiJanuary 6th 2011.

Re NQT bars

My above "Thank God not another bar" post was referring to no. 60 Tib Street,.

SusieTJanuary 7th 2011.

Hi, Jonathan and Reded, thanks for your postive comments. Betty's is certainly an influence on what we are about but we are looking offer a more laid back feel still with the emphasis on vintage china, cake stands and of course Tea and Cake. We are not looking to stand on anyones toes and I am sure that we can all sit along side each other offering different things. Yes Reded we are looking to use the basement, sorry. We are looking forward to our new venture and can't wait to meet some new friends through it so please all pop in for a slice of cake and a cup of Tea

gary teacupJanuary 7th 2011.

Hi Susie. Looking forward to your Teashop opening, the more quality operators in the N4 the better for us all. Q. why are you applying for planning changes if you're only to be a tea salon without alcohol? Most cafe's, and coffee shops including the big brands, operate under A1 retail.

SusieTJanuary 7th 2011.

Hi Gary, Wow I did not know that, I was under the impression that I needed to aaply for change of use irrespective of whether we were to serve alcohol or not. Thank you so so much for letting me know.

AnonymousJanuary 8th 2011.

Sole is to be a seafood restaurant - not a bar. Looks like Nigel Haworth might be putting his weight behind it as the executive chef.

Andrew StevensonJanuary 11th 2011.

Any news yet on who's replacing Ian Matfin at Abode?

RJTJanuary 11th 2011.

I didn't realise Ian Matfin had/was leaving/left Abode, but that may explain why Mr Caines was there when friends of ours had lunch at the Abode on Saurday......

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