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Out of the frying Pan into the Fire

Panacea destroyed in blaze: Bernard Carroll, the designer, talks to Confidential

Published on September 17th 2008.

Out of the frying Pan into the Fire

Panacea, the restaurant opened only five days ago in Alderley Edge, sister to Panacea, the bar in Manchester, has been devastated by a fire overnight. Reportedly having had over £3m pounds lavished on the old site of Brasingamens, the restaurant opened last week with three consecutive party nights.

Commentators were looking to the new Panacea to resurrect some glamour in the Wag-ish suburb town.

The first floor was destroyed. The damage then spread down through the rest of the building. It's effectively all gone.” Bernard Carroll, Panacea designer

The blaze started at five o’clock in the morning. At the time of writing, over thirty fire fighters were still at the scene. Alderley Edge high street was closed causing huge disruption to the morning school run.

Confidential spoke to Bernard Carroll, the designer of the new bar, along with the original Panacea on John Dalton Street, as well as Walrus on High Street in the city, and many other north western venues. Previously Carroll had described Panacea, Alderley Edge, as his 'most exciting project to date'.

He said, “There was a big fire on the first floor, which was totally destroyed. The damage obviously then spread down through the rest of the building. It's effectively all gone.”

“Panacea, Alderley, had started off really well. We'd had an excellent opening few days and a really busy weekend and everything seemed positive. I was there yesterday talking about how good the opening had been. This is a bad blow, it's hard to find the right words to say, I'm so shocked. But we have to move on, I suppose.”

How the fire started remains, at this stage, a mystery.

Thanks to Kate Goodwin for supplying the professional looking pictures here - www.thewideangle.co.uk

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

JennSeptember 17th 2008.

Could I just point out that electrical faults are to blame for many fires. I don't think the faults keep to a 9-5! Still whatever the cause I do feel sotty for the staff at the venue as well as people who live in the surrounding area-it certainly needs a boost. I live in city centre and work in Alderley and don't even 'pop for one after work' in the village, rather I wait to get back to Manchester.

simonSeptember 17th 2008.

you forgot to say 'lets settle it with a fight....and film it on the panacea CCTV'

joSeptember 17th 2008.

I'm surprised the company has anything to do with Joe Akka, if he owns half of the company then maybe he should have become a silent partner.

joSeptember 17th 2008.

Lovelylaila (not), what's up, no where to try and pick up a footballer now panacea has gone..what a shame. You don't sound very 'lovely' to me!

Toni BSeptember 17th 2008.

I don’t get why so many people are slagging the place off?Are they angry at Joe?At Panacea?The clientele?Or Alderley Edge as a whole? I lived in Alderley for 5 years and absolutely love the place. I miss living there loads and i've only moved down the road to Bramhall. The only people who were jumped up, were the people pretending that they had the cash to flaunt around. They'd go into nice bars on payday, spend their entire months wages on a night that they can't afford, lord it above people in a jumped up manner, then spend the rest of the month eating rice-krispies as they can't afford anything else. -THEY were the idiots, not the usual Alderley residents. Alderley, as a whole, is full of very pleasant people who have made their way in the world, and that annoys people. As for Joe Akka. He's done his time, can't we all just get over it?? It was a punch that went badly wrong. Who here doesn't know someone who's been in a fight before? Just because the outcome isn't as bad in every single fight that ever kicks off, doesn't make this one any more malicious than all the rest. This guy just landed badly therefore the scenario was more extreme. Joe was looking after his club after some guy got out of control from too much booze. Yeah, he may have taken it one step too far, but as I said previously, he's done his time. Is everyone angry that the fight happened? Or that at the end of the day he's still managed to keep his business afloat that he's worked damn hard for and he can still afford an affluent lifestyle? –Or should he have been stripped from all his worldly goods as well as being sent down?

SteveSeptember 17th 2008.

Gary, big words there!! I bought a nice house there in a nice spot. It doesn't bother us to travel to decent places to eat and drink either. By the way back in the old days (late 80's early 90's Alderley used to be a great night out...the restuarants were still crap though!!) I'd be really interested to know what you find so stimulating about he Bubble Room, London Road and the Bar & grill though!!

mark mSeptember 17th 2008.

i shudder to think just how tastless the fusion of Arnie and Akka would be.

WARDSeptember 17th 2008.


K_FINSeptember 17th 2008.

Bet the place will be dessert-ed from now on.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

2 years hard work and 75 people out of a job overnight and you guys are making fun or stating insurance job!!! This place was a guaranteed success. The only people a bad market doesn't hit is the super rich and that place is right in the middle of them

alSeptember 17th 2008.

Jesus, are we gonna have the Joe Akka debate again?! Right, half of us love him, half of us hate him, now let's all go and have a drink in an establishment that we like and that fits our social and financial parameters and forget about it.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

For such an unpopular man, with such a despised bar, you are all devoting an incredible amount of time to 'commenting' on this story!

Charles ZobackSeptember 17th 2008.

Genuine shame that people may lose job opportunities in what is already a financially weak market place, where cost cutting is at the top of everyone's agendas!!!! I am led to believe that Panacea Manchester is already struggling with the likes of Circle and Ithaca who have both stepped up their game in the recent weeks, thus having a knock on effect with trade. Perhaps Steven Walker, majority shareholder of Play Works and IRC needs to re-shuffle his management once and for all, or simply let the Panacea brand rightfully rest in peace. Regarding Joe Akka, I feel he is unlucky in every sense and think he should take a break from the bar game for a while until his reputation is restored or until he is forgotten as his current association with the Pan brand is destructive and negative. Panacea needs a Mo(Circle) or an Arni (Ithaca) or a Danny Fox (Living Room) fronting the brand not Joe at this time.

occasional alderley visitorSeptember 17th 2008.

Look what a google found - check this out by Panacea - Burning Like Firehttp://www.youtube.com/watch?v=31Jxkfnko8Us

share le notSeptember 17th 2008.

mybe the backing is drying up IRC Shares have been falling big time a company worth 46 million a few months ago now worth 10 mill, sounds like a fire sale!

liam8282September 17th 2008.

So who is the clever person that has been watching a little too much coronation street then?

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Steve - You don't go out in Alderley Edge remember?? People always whinge. Its the British way. I'm talking about personal experience, not 3rd party hearsay.

helloSeptember 17th 2008.

Firstly, I would like to say that I do know Joe and to be honest he is just a normal bloke. I'm not saying he is kind hearted etc but he is not the devil in disguise. Yes he is quite a hyper guy but let's all face it- Panacea burning down should really not be about HIM. Dalai lama is absolute right with his objective view,consider all the people who were the ones that lost out. Panacea is a place where it's not for everyone but YOU have the choice to decide whether you step into it. Noone likes same things in life- if we did then we may aswell stop going out.

SteveSeptember 17th 2008.

It might be in a wealthy area but how many locals are stupid enough to pay £8 for a glass of wine?

johnthebriefSeptember 17th 2008.

Coco, I agree with most of your post except the first sentence which is self evidently incorrect, and the second which is either offensively blase or touchingly naive

Hugh JarssSeptember 17th 2008.

What's Ithaca or Circle got to do with Panacea burning down? But since you mentioned it, I agree with Charles, Ithica has without doubt notched up a level in recent times. As for circle, it's an institution, and the only real club in Manchester. With regards to riding the tough times, I understand both establishments have wealthy backers who support both businesses. Back to the issue now! Insinuations and accusations set aside, I would love to see the insurance policy for this site in Alderley Edge. Im not an underwriter or insurance broker, but wander if the policy warrants prospective loss of business, or business interruption? If so how much would Panacea receive in compensation and potential losses? I wouldnt like to own Panacea if these contingencies are not in place, their financial accounts are already weak and show heavy losses. Feel sorry for the investors and Gresham VC (if they are still involved) that have injected cash into this business, especially if they are not covered. Excuse the pun but it really could turn out to be a flaming nuisance for them once and for all. I guess the appropriate headline might read PANNED AND SEE YA!!!!!

notanotherAnonSeptember 17th 2008.

Wait a minute, to the guy who said that the only people affected in a bad market are the super rich? Are you for real?Many of the 'super rich' nowadays are also super highly geared and therefore come down to earth will a super bang during poor market conditions - more so than the rest of us mere mortals. 2 years ago they'd have been planning on even more people moving into the 'super rich' category, and have opened at a time when this has become a dwindling market. Look at it this way, their overheads will have shot up compared to what they had forcast two years ago, they will have less people coming in due to the smoking ban, and even if the average customer who walks through the door spends just 10% less expected then these factors combined probably mean that their margin is gone!

AshSeptember 17th 2008.

Its such a shame. I visited on sunday night and had a beautiful meal. The staff were attentive but relaxed. The menu was impressive and the food tasted amazing. Anyone who has been involved in a pre opening of a restaurant will appreciate the sheer graft that is essential prior - opening. Good luck to the team. Never, ever, ever give up.

Big RobSeptember 17th 2008.

Hopefully not insured with AIG.....d'oh !!

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Steve, by ignorantly employing presumption, conjecture and stereotyping, you are even worse than the people you complain about. It does beg the question that if you don’t like the people (that ‘fill’ Alderley Edge) and believe there is no-where ‘decent’ in Alderley Edge……why do you live there?

jimSeptember 17th 2008.

Nice little insurance payout for a struggling market ey?

N/ASeptember 17th 2008.

I wonder how many of u idiots actually know joe akka? Thought so!!! He’s a hard working guy who has put nothing less than 110% into his new business venture, it is a great shame that this has happened, I can tell u that nobody will be more upset than joe about this so lets just hope he can go on build a bigger better panacea and keep all u scum out, don’t forget it’s not panaceas fault that ur 2 poor to drink there so don’t be bitter!!P.S Karma? That guy deserved all he got, if I was there I would of finished him off myself!!

Theopinion to hearSeptember 17th 2008.

what a load of bollocks

KNOWITALLSeptember 17th 2008.

I mentioned nothing of the ins and outs and am not going to speculate on the points you have just made, i do know however that the lad wasn't removed for the reason Katie had suggested.

BoredSeptember 17th 2008.


AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Some confusion somewhere !The man who was removed from Panacea Manchester and had his head kicked by Akka, almost died and is to the best of my limited knowledge still suffering the after effects of Akka's violence was in no way disabled at the time he was attacked. His only disablity must be not knowing why Akka would commit a low life act on a man he has rendered unconsious and unable to defend himself. If KNOWITALL knows why Akka did the cowardly deed he spent such a short time in prison for, maybe he would like to let his victim and family know. Maybe there is Karma ! if there is it surely hasn't yet been fully served.

AdiSeptember 17th 2008.

Like I've said many times, bring back the old Braz, as it was before the first refit and I'm sure it would succeed again.The market in Alderley Edge is fickle and is certainly not full of free-spending new money. To sustain business in the long term you must look after your local custom and satisfy their requirements. Personally I do not believe that another expensive restaurant is required, more suitable was the almost cheesy nightclub from 5+ years ago.I don't know enough to question the Panacea strategy and it may have worked, but my own personal feeling is that sustainability lies in satisfying your core market. What I do know is that the Braz used to be rammed full of happy people and there was never any trouble. I guess I'm just a dreamer though, things change and you must move on.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

hehe that link is not only funny but smart. your way too good for this site.

ADSeptember 17th 2008.

It makes me sad that there are people out there who condone violence, particulaly in such an extream form. The mad pleaded guilty and was convicted, its a matter of public record. There should be no debate. What happened was wrong and indefensable.

IheartMUFCSeptember 17th 2008.

lol at Sam... defo a Johnthebrief jobby!!

Joe AkkaSeptember 17th 2008.

Sorry i meant onions.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

What goes around comes around! Maybe next time treat people how you wish to be treated, take out the greed and realise that some people have ethics and morals and a conscience, £2,500 on a bottle of spirits?! There are a lot more worthwhile causes than self indulgence, greed and obscene amounts of money!

cashsnatchSeptember 17th 2008.

hmmm rather interesting.Im sure the fire investigation will bring out the truth!!!!!!!!!!1

cheshire ladySeptember 17th 2008.

so sorry to hear this sad news , i was at the venue on saturday and it was a fantastic night - just like the Braz days , full of lovely freindly people( including well mannered/freindly door staff) . Looks like i will have to go to manchester this weekend surrounded by wannabees/trouble makers im afraid... Goodluck Panacea Alderley - you will come back stronger and better! x

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

i was just about to comment....but then realised i didnt care.

Joe AkkaSeptember 17th 2008.

Lets settle it with a fight you poverity stricken minnions.

RickSeptember 17th 2008.

Why don't they do up Yesterdays?

Posh Boy!September 17th 2008.

How 'orful!

for dean moullSeptember 17th 2008.

how does the fact that innocent people are out work somehow mean it couldn't possibly be an insurance job? Or are the people responsible for Mr Akka just got a heightened sense of social responsibility??????? It's an ill wind that blows no good.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

**** happens. This is not some major global disaster. If they are insured - sorted. As for the staff; they'll be given employment elsewhere within the IR group I would have thought. That's assuming that the fire was accidental of course

baxterSeptember 17th 2008.

I'm all ears, not heard a single utterance, still regretting the day i got to know of him, i'm still listening....?

HELEN AND MARGARETSeptember 17th 2008.


SteveSeptember 17th 2008.

Gary, I don't know of any decent restaurants, bars or pubs in Alderley and I've tried them all!! I bet you are one of the many that sit on London Road breathing in car fumes and watching the traffic eh?

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Whilst we are all facing economic uncertainty, some of the comments would have you think that we are in an early-90s rivalling recession. Take a look around Cheshire, and in particular the lesuire sector therein - there is no sign of spending curtailling. The Super-rich are not immune from recession, but they have the 'fat' to be able to survive a slightly less bouyant consumer market. My spending pattern hasn't changed, nor has anyone's that I know. Yes my car costs £5/week more in fuel and my food bill has gone up by a similar amount. I am far from 'super-rich' and with probably less net-worth than the average Alderley resident, but it really isn't having an effect on me and the amount of times I go out for food/drink in my locality. Panacea would have been, and will be again a huge success in Alderley Edge.

KatieSeptember 17th 2008.

N/A - No one knows the true story - so what is it then? I doubt even the police know it at this stage, and as for Joe, I don't care how hard he works, or how successful he is. You don't physically remove people from your bar for having a disability (because they are lowering the tone I think I was told). And if everyone is feasting on the story - what are you doing!?

No more speculationSeptember 17th 2008.

What a hateful bunch some of the posters on here are. Ill-informed, biased or over opinionated. Shame you didn't live in Salem you'd have had a hoot. If you actually know something relevant tell the police, if you don't (which generally includes anyone that includes "I've heard" or "apparently" in their posts) keep your suppositions to yourself. The facts are that people have lost jobs because of this and particularly at times like these no decent human being should wish that on anyone.

DebbieSeptember 17th 2008.

Helen and Margaret - I like your style !!!

KatieSeptember 17th 2008.

Its sad for all those employed and those foolish enough to waste their hard earned cash on drinking in there, yet one word for Joe Akka - KARMA!!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

How can you get a place 'running as well as it did' when it only actually opened to the paying public days ago?

Richard JohnstoneSeptember 17th 2008.

after a great weekend out, getting piss we through in manchester city centre, i was just wandering if anyone could shed light on the rumours circulating Panacea and Ithaca. Is Panacea re-opining it's Alderley Edge site with an Ithaca restaurant? Or is this just cobswollock!! It was an exciting concept im sure would clean up. Best bar and best restaurant in manchester under one roof!! If anyone knows could you divulge further...

garySeptember 17th 2008.

I'm sure many of the narrow-minded will feel vindicated - but this is a great shame and undoubtably, criminal.

Mike MorrisSeptember 17th 2008.

Thats hot news!

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Steve.....Helen & Margaret would seem to prove the point....!!

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

N/A - you don't help Joe's cause. You appear to have lost your inner monologue, cool and ability to spell.

JoSeptember 17th 2008.

Scouser, yeah you're probably right, see you down there!

Lovely LailaSeptember 17th 2008.

Am sorry to hear that. Bernard's creations are really superb. Was proably some jealous pretender or thug who could'nt get his fat neck through the door.xx

Dean MoullSeptember 17th 2008.

Pains me as this does I feel I must respond to anonymous(maybe). I assume you felt particularly good about yourself as you 'penned' the comments above? I wonder if you also felt that you had added something to the discussion or if, as one would suspect, you merely thought you were being rather witty? Perhaps, given the effort you have already expended, you might provide me with some examples of my 'UNgrammatical nonsensical [or just stupid] sentences' if only to prevent me from making such rudimentary mistakes in future? In return I will happily provide you with an explanation for my liberal use of brackets which has clearly displeased you.

BeckiSeptember 17th 2008.

Is this true???!!!!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

I am one of the restaurant staff at Panacea in Alderley and I must say it's very sad - particularly for the managers, full time staff and those members who actually moved to be nearer the place and are now left a little high and dry. It is, however, a good company and people will meanwhile be given jobs in their associate bars and restaurants, and perhaps those who don't know Joe should stop blindly criticising and leave the past alone. We all worked very hard to get that place open and running as well as it did, and if despite our efforts you don't like it or the people who visit then all you need to do is steer clear, just as you would anywhere else.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Jo, I bet half of these blaming you will still try to get in when your back or will they practise what they preach and not want to line the pockets of such a bad guy! We will see...Its hard to be perfect like some out there who have never done a thing. Move on the fire is terrible for all concerned... business in the area,jobs of the staff, the owners of the business etc. hope you recover

JamesSeptember 17th 2008.

I just think it is very funny how all the people who are using this message board as a way to discuss how pompous and up there ar*e people from Alderley or Cheshire are, enjoy your own lives and don't worry about ours!!!

VictimSeptember 17th 2008.

Love to be able to get over what Akka has done to me! Tony B, but it aint easy! So I cannot agree with Coco, I'm certain there a lots of others who can say the same, including some Doorstaff.

LouSeptember 17th 2008.

No matter who is/ isn't a thug, there are still going to be people who are out of work because of the fire, so they at least have my sympathy.

mark mSeptember 17th 2008.

wow, the knives are out in force

HELEN AND MARGARETSeptember 17th 2008.


GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Steve - I refer you to my earlier comments. I've mentioned nothing about restaurants. As you are clearly so bothered about my culinary habits, I have never eaten in either of the three places you have mentioned and wasn't even aware that one could eat in the Bubble Room. I still fail to see why you live in a place where the people and everything around is held in such distain? PS - I trust you don't drink and drive....!

N/ASeptember 17th 2008.

maybe so, but i am right!! i bet there are very few people on here who actually know the full story, they should get off the bandwagon and keep there noses out of stuff they don't understand

RickSeptember 17th 2008.

I've met Joe Akka many a time and he's a thug. He's got a lot of enemys and one of them's burnt his bar down - Thats life. It's a shame so much money can just go up in smoke like that and some great wines.

JoSeptember 17th 2008.

KNOWITALL - and? Did he deserve to be kicked in the head AFTER he was punched to the ground and hitting his head on a car door?

a nights takings in Panacea would support these kids for 2 months!!!September 17th 2008.

Just come back from an orphanage in Hoi An-Vietnam where a 15 month old child is terminally ill with Hydrocephalus and others there are still suffering the effects of agent orange sprayed by the Americans...for those who can spare a few quid or at least a few minutes please visit this website.. thanxwww.kianh.org.uk

HunnySeptember 17th 2008.

I am one of the restaurant staff at Panacea in Alderley and I must say it's very sad - particularly for the managers, full time staff and those members who actually moved to be nearer the place and are now left a little high and dry. It is, however, a good company and people will meanwhile be given jobs in their associate bars and restaurants, and perhaps those who don't know Joe should stop blindly criticising and leave the past alone. We all worked very hard to get that place open and running as well as it did, and if despite our efforts you don't like it or the people then all you need to do is steer clear, just as you would anywhere else.

hypocritesSeptember 17th 2008.

.....and the air-fare that kids going travelling to be able to spend a week *helping* in an orphanage would pay for even-more.

SamSeptember 17th 2008.

Johnthebrief didn't start this did he?

Rusti LeeSeptember 17th 2008.

Who flaming did it?

ClareSeptember 17th 2008.

Gary / Steve - grow up mates! Sooooo tedious hearing your little ongoing argument - no one cares about what either of you think about Alderley Edge. The palce is like every other village - there are some prats and some really decent folk, some rich, some trying to hang on to the rich...but really, you are detracting from the topic! Zzzzzz

EmmySeptember 17th 2008.

What a smoking story!

Night GardenerSeptember 17th 2008.

Makka Pakka

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Surely the school run wouldn't be disrupted too much. I'm sure the 4x4s would have little trouble manouvering over the rubble.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

I am not actually ranting, I just want to say does it really matter who did what to who, everybody here just seems to be pointing fingers. I feel it is so pathetic that for some reason this listed building, part of old Alderley Edge (albeit having been changed but quite in keeping)is now no longer and no doubt will obviously be replaced over the next months with something without any history. Sad I might be but I lived in Alderley Edge for a time and loved every bit of its lovely heritage. I don't care why it happened, I just wonder how anyone could do this.

Spell CheckerSeptember 17th 2008.

undoubtably?! That spelling is criminal.

AdiSeptember 17th 2008.

Amusing comments, I do feel proud to live in Alderley because so many of you love spending time writing about it!Although I agree with Claire about people growing up, it does give me a good chuckle reading some of the bitchy comments! Alderley this, posh people that. Ha haaa. Love it.The Brasingamens building was a carefully refurbished part of local history. It is a shame to see anything damaged like that. There's a lot of very good memories from the Braz days, for many many people. Hopefully it will be back as a bar some day soon and if you don't like the bar or the area then don't bother darkening our streets with your presence! Or alternatively, come down and have a whinge! If you're bored!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Many people dont know that the man who has financed Joe Akka at Panacea is Ste Walker who is currently the chairman of the IRC group which includes restaurant bar & grill & piccolino's etc within its restaurant stable. With the IRC group just posted a loss for the last 6 months maybe he should be concentrating his efforts on providing a ROI for his shareholders at IRC rather than Panacea. Surely this must be conflicting interests as they both operate in Alderley Edge??

anonSeptember 17th 2008.

I've been to Panacea various times with my "posh" friends and believe me it’s full of ageing women wearing clothes that are too young for them trying to pick up full of themselves guys! Everyone likes going somewhere that’s a bit classy and most people are willing to pay slightly more for that environment but the panacea in town definitely does not attract classy people! I think "new money" sums people up there - not use to having cash and desperate to flash it! As for Joe, whether you know him or not – anyone that gets messed up in anything as violent as he did is not a nice person at heart no matter how hard working he is!

DTSeptember 17th 2008.

Joe Akka has put nothing but his heart and soul into the Alderley branch of Panacea. The last thing Joe or anyone else who has an interest in the place would want was this after all the hard work and money that has gone into the place.For the people who are still going on about Panacea being overpriced or not being allowed in, Panacea is aimed to fit a niche market and not everyone can afford the prices but no one is forcing you to go there either.People who go to Panacea and pay the price they pay are there to receive the high quality service, high quality products and a warm, comfortable environment to have an entertaining, fun afternoon or evening, which people who go there and return have come to expect.Panacea is a company, not Joe, but Joe makes it a big part of what it is and people who know Joe know that he is hard working, honest and genuine.As for what people are saying about what happened with Wayne Docksey, Joe has done his time and that's that. For people to go on about what they don't know the full facts to is just pointless and useless rumour.As for Joe and others who have an interest in Panacea, it is a terrible shame what has happened and I look forward to seeing the Alderley branch up and running again soon, hopefully before new year.

Toni BSeptember 17th 2008.

I agree fully with Coco.People need to get over it!

Zeus!September 17th 2008.

Maybe Hephaestus was getting annoyed by Panacea getting all the namechecks?Seriously though, hard luck chaps - here's hoping you can pick yourselves up and start over with as much success as you looked to have achieved last week.

baxterSeptember 17th 2008.

Trust me, wouldn't dream of trying to get anywhere near the place previously or in the future, as for forgetting it and moving on, been trying to do that for the last 2 years but unfortunately this sentence isnt over. Have to say that the only thing missing from the event is that Joe wasn't escorted up the stairs by the previous doormen as seen on cctv and left defenseless to burn and die slowly, in addition the aforementioned doormen and mr anonymous who would have"finished him off" could have been left on top. There, apologies- not nice thoughts but perhaps therapy for me-yes, one of the previous victims loved ones. Perhaps an apology or a sign of remorse would make others feel better or understand Joe but then u dont actually give a damn and thats why people are glad for your misfortune and u clearly are not a "popular guy"- give it some thought. Still, glad no-one was actually injured and genuinely sorry for those who may have lost employment as a result hope u get sorted. Please, dont others recommend people move on when u have absolutely no idea or detail of the outcome and you dont live with the result. Appreciation to all who have not condoned the previous violent act and Mr Anoynmous, who would have finished him off-lets meet for coffee.

HELEN AND MARGARETSeptember 17th 2008.


mark mSeptember 17th 2008.

Can't quite see your point when all three venues pitch for a different type of customer. RBG is above Panacea in manchester, seems to do no harm, with piccs just down the road?? Also, maybe you will find the loss is down to rapid expansion costs...

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Steve - likewise, I disagree - Alderley Edge is NOT full of posing prats, you spend anytime in any of the centre hotsports and it is no worse than ANYWHERE in the area, and certainly not as bad as Manchester. The only a*seholes are the ones than come to the area expecting something that isn't there and by default creating a more unpleasant atmosphere, but instances are a lot less common than they were 5 and 10 years ago. Panacea would have pulled all the idiots out of Manchester for a few weeks, then it would have been left to us to enjoy it as we did the Braz, and as we do everywhere else in the area.

KNOWITALLSeptember 17th 2008.

The man from Panacea wasn't removed for having a disability, he was removed for being blind drunk.

Dalai LamaSeptember 17th 2008.

My first thought upon reading this article was “serves the violent pig right”. Then I felt a bit ashamed of myself, because surely, my thinking such a negative bitchy thing says more about me than him? The only people who should be allowed the kind of thoughts I originally expressed are Wayne Docksey and his loved ones. Their lives were changed beyond recognition by Joe Akka, so it would be churlish not to allow them at least one indulgent moment, of feeling that karma has been meted out. As for the rest of us, we should just stop being spectres at the feast and try not to delight too much in his misfortune. It doesn’t matter what our opinions are of this man. We aren’t judge and jury and I think that people sometimes use the notion of karma as a cover for expressing their own negative and jealous thoughts. I feel sorry for Bernard Carroll, because he is a fantastic designer, so to see his hard work and creativity go up in smoke must be heartbreaking. And I also feel sorry for the staff that are now out of work in a rubbish economic climate. Also if I dig really, really deeply into the recesses of my conscience I feel a bit sorry for Joe, because whatever my opinion is of him, he is widely recognised to be a workaholic and his feelings of despair must be acute too. And hopefully, now I’ve expressed some more measured, forgiving and kind thoughts I won’t come back as a cockroach in my next life.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

This article has been in the last 3 Man Con e-letters. I am not interested in a poncey bar for wannabees based in Cheshire ie NOT MANCHESTER!!!

Bleugh!September 17th 2008.

This is so so sad that people are using this news to either slain each other or slain those involved with Panacea. Gary & Steve you two could be a comedy duo the way you go on. The twurp who thinks Joe Acker is a god...fight your own corner cos he probably wouldnt fight yours for you! And Dalai Lama I like your thinking. Deepest sympathies to the staff and owners. Getting past all the labels that are associated with Alderley Edge or Panacea for that matter, the venue was perfectly in tune with its customers and surroundings and its a real shame whats happened...had it been any of you who had piled £3 million into it I'm sure you would look at it from a different point of view! Some people are seriously sad vulchers who pray on others misfortunes! From what I know Joe Acker isnt the owner anyway he just manages it...maybe his misfortunate past has had something to do with it but some of you might as well be working for the Sun or Mirror the way you judge!P.S. I acknowledge what Joe did to that guy in Manchester Panacea was unforgivable so maybe in some strange spirtual way this is karma/own back or however you prefer to describe it! Really sorry for all of you involved!

KBSeptember 17th 2008.

This is awful, I was looking forward to a visit. Am very interested to know how it started...

cocoSeptember 17th 2008.

Oh for God's sake, Joe Akka is NOT a thug. Yes he attacked someone, like lots of guys do, he got annoyed, it went horribly wrong. But for those of you saying you are "glad" Panacea has been destroyed, i'd like to see if you were saying the same thing if it was one of your friends or relatives who had lost their jobs due to this. Just remember Joe is not the only one losing out here. A good number of my friends are now unemployed. Are you still pleased this has happened???Joe is obviously not everyone's favourite person, and I can understand why. But take it from someone who knows him personally, you have no idea how much hard work and care and dedication went into that place. How anyone can say this is a good thing is beyond me.

My WordSeptember 17th 2008.

Panacea have deffo been stiched up...there was an incident of arson when it was being renovated, now this..?Such a shame

ScouserSeptember 17th 2008.

I reckon you all just get over it and head over to Liverpool - now THAT is a good place to go out...decent funny folk up for a laugh, no pretension, not the same caliber of WAG wannabes - our WAGs at least have a sense of humour! Panacea lovers - try a real night out at Newz and Alma De Cuba! Manchester is OLD hat.

Woof !September 17th 2008.

Naughty people get there fingers burnt.

Real pubSeptember 17th 2008.

I always said they'd come a cropper charging those prices...

justiceleagueSeptember 17th 2008.

just had a quick read up on mr joe akka and his unprovoked attack. as far as i`m concerned its scum like him that are giving the pub/club game a bad name. he should have had his license revoked and panacea shut down at the time. in a time when 5 pubs/ bars are shutting down a day we really don`t need the likes of him tarnishing the trade so the fire at new panacea is justice served in my eyes.

Payne'eSeptember 17th 2008.

Went the other night it was crap so good riddance

JennSeptember 17th 2008.

Sotty=Sorry, oops!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Or what??? U gonna do us in too??

Miss HayesSeptember 17th 2008.

What a bunch of horrible people. Someone has lost their business and all you can do is mock them and make snide, nasty remarks? Jealousy springs to mind. You should be ashamed of yourselves.

JedsterSeptember 17th 2008.

soulless alderley edge lost one of its soulless venues...who cares? besides, why does this article even appear in a Manchester webzine?

BocaSeptember 17th 2008.

Yes Bernard Carroll has been involved in some great places - Reform (went out of business), the restaurant in town next to Frank Rostron on Princess Street (went out of business) and now Panacea (burnt down).That's some midas touch.The places that make money and have and will be around for years is boozers and mid range bars and restaurants. If you refit a restuarant at £3m and pay high city centre renst how will you make it back on main courses at £15 and selling drinks to those who don't drink much.One bar used to give away champagne to footballer, let very few people in and went out of busness after two years. It was the in place but as a business was a complete failure. Meanwhile the boozer accross the road is making a fortune.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

I used to work around there, it wouldn't have been the thugs, the 'rich and famous' are a million times worse, just coz your've got money doesn't mean your not a tramp! It was propably one of them missin their crack pipe (it funny what you find in 'exclusive' bar toilets and shoved down chairs)

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

a nice insurence job and a few pretentious posh gits with one less place to drink... who cares? (apart from the up their arse cheshire set of course)

booSeptember 17th 2008.

work started 2 yaers ago before anyone could have fore seen the current ecconomic slump. Panacea manchester was at its height of sucess. It would have seemed a good investment at the time. Yes the super rich are effected by a downturn in the ecconomy especially now due the popularity of property investment over the last decade. There are a lot less super rich out there now. Also Panaceas image underwent a battering over the last two years and is considered by many as chav and sleezy. Anyone can have a good opening night would it have been a long term success??? Yes i feel sorry for those who lost their jobs but could it be the owners of the panacea had more pressing concerns????

SteveSeptember 17th 2008.

Gary, I've lived in Alderley for years and rarely go out there as the place is full of posing prats...a lot of wealthy prats I agree but still prats.

Bob The GuilderSeptember 17th 2008.

Are Helen and Margaret those two tarts who were snogging each other in the corner? The redhead was such hot stuff its no wonder the place went up in flames!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Does Joe Akka own it?? maybe it was the guy who he nearly killed the other year - seeking revenge!!

baxterSeptember 17th 2008.

You would have finished him off yourself eh? Shame u didnt have the wisdom to stand up in court beside Joe and explain the reason behind such a coward nearly killing someone without explanationa and i am sure even Joe appreciates it was inappropriate now-one would hope so, not that such behaviour is explicable but as long as u can afford to drink away from the poor your life is pretty much sorted- have u ever been beyond the city walls??. Try nursing patients with head injuries and living with the after affects 2 years on or perhaps visit a developing country. Thankfully some people, congrats to dalai lama are educated enough to be objective and thoughtful enough to consider all involved. ps mr anonymous, u didnt light the match for Joe did u, see seem to be a little precious about him?

GrahamSeptember 17th 2008.

I'm sure it'll be fine. It'll have that stark, dark minimalist feel to it now.

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Cashsnatch - I'm sure many interested parties are already looking at how a fire can 'accidentally' start at 4-5am. Maybe the vitriol displayed here will give them a strong starting point.... and where is Johnthebrief?? Has he been caught already??

anonymous (maybe)September 17th 2008.

If I might (though I am, so there!) take issue slightly (or some may disagree) with Dean, it is that ( in my opinion) he talks to much (or maybe all of the time) in UNgrammatical nonsensical ( or just stupid) sentences, mostly in brackets ( though for no real reason I think ).()

MolokoSeptember 17th 2008.

Well I am shocked and saddened by this news as I was really looking forward to visiting this weekend. I hope panacea gets up and running again soon.

scoteeeSeptember 17th 2008.


KNOWITALLSeptember 17th 2008.

I thought personally the comment made about the man being thrown out due to a disability as quite significant as it was incorrect. I have no idea why Joe did what he did nor do i condone what he did, i made an objective statement not based from anger.

cocoSeptember 17th 2008.

sorry, what was that charles, panacea needs an ARNIE fronting it?? oh the same arnie that had numerous members of his workforce leave ithaca within the first month because he didn't pay them?? yeah, great frontman!!

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Are still people going on about the fight.... this is about a fire and its bigger than Jo personally. He wasnt the only owner so do you want to blame them as well... it seems we are doing the classic british thing ,to always blame somebody instead of the people that have caused this fire either accidentally or whatever. I wonder if all these people actually know Jo well? Maybe he is sorry for previous actions but who seems to be listenin g?

ADSeptember 17th 2008.

*mad* should read *Man*freudian slip I guess

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Karma, that's hwat you get for beating up innocent people outside clubs! Insurance job defo

BrasingamensSeptember 17th 2008.

Has no one thought about how i feel in all of this?

GarySeptember 17th 2008.

Wonderful words of ignorance about places that have never been visited. Jump on the stereotyping bandwagon with the rest of the ignorant green-eyes

BrilliantSeptember 17th 2008.

Great idea! Ithaca and Panacea in one place! All those gangsters, WAGs, wanabes and perma-tanned z-list celebrities can eat and drink and be merry in each other's company. That leaves the rest of us to enjoy the restaurants and bars of Manchester without danger of bumping into any of them

Dear DeanSeptember 17th 2008.

I'm to cowardly to leave my name because i am weary of violent criminals who's convictions are unspent. By unspent i do not mean time served i mean the state guidelines regarding the amount of time lapsed between the conviction and the present as a means of determining if the criminal is rehabilitated. Is that cowardice or common sense? However u make a good point when u encouraged people to make their objections to panacea management formal. If anyone would like to create a petition I will certainly put my name address and contact details on it.

AdiSeptember 17th 2008.

Sack off Panacea, bring back the Braz as it used to be!It was miles better before the original re-fit.

Woof !September 17th 2008.

This stinks of crime......

secret squirrelSeptember 17th 2008.

Some of the comments on here really depress me. Can we not accept the fact that different people like different things in life without frothing at the mouth with hate? This thread makes the Sun or Daily Mail look like well researched, balanced newspapers ;-) FWIW I have frequented Panacea regularly since it opened. I sometimes have good laugh at the amount of silicon on show or the Cristal brigade blinging it to the the max, then I carry on having a good time chatting to some of the regulars that make it a great night out. The place still looks immaculate after three years, the drinks are still great, the staff friendly. As as been mentioned above, most of the slagging is coming from people who have never set foot in the place or bothered to talk to Joe Akka to find out what he is like. (I'm not defending what he did, he pleaded guilty and did his time, life moves on) I feel sorry for the staff that have lost their jobs in AE, many of whom were at Mcr. from day one.

charlie jonesSeptember 17th 2008.

there is a god ...

BabySeptember 17th 2008.

Charles, good comments. However, I don't believe Ithaca opening has affected trade at Panacea - the market for such establishments is, in general, slowing down. There are none so affected by an economic downturn as those with the most cash to flash. IRC is big enough to ride the storm, I'll hazzard a guess that it will be Ithaca that finds the going tough over the coming months

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Definitely accidental, he real one was planned for next week!!!!!!!!

Yeah, right!September 17th 2008.

Ding Dong! Insurance job calling...

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Liverpool, Capital of Cunture erm Culture.Yet another bitter, jealous scouce who wishes he had been born in manchester.

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Toni B you haven't got a clue what point your trying to make. Joe Akka is a violent egotistical bully who should not be allowed to operate licensed premises. Is it any condolence to the victim or his families that he has done his time. Have you ever even met Joe to be able to form an opinion and sickingly condone his behaviour. A succesfull operator will have competent door men to handle these situations who are trained and accreditied to the job they do and would never have to involve himself in a doormans job. Joe has made his money from selling booze, why does that then give him a right to be violent with them for being drunk because he hasn't sold alcohol in a responsible manner

Dean MoullSeptember 17th 2008.

The vast majority of posters [unsurprisingly identified either as 'anonymous' or by some other puerile moniker] here should be ashamed of themselves. Irrespective of incidents [unsavoury and unfortunate as they are] from the recent past concerning Mr Akka something that could [but god willing won't] happen to anyone of us occurred which has destroyed a building and affected the livelihoods of [probably]dozens of hard working individuals. Owning a bar/club/restaurant places incredible strain on the operator and is subject to more variables than possibly any other business. It's hard work and more often than not involves repairing the damage/graffiti caused/written by the ignorant guests on whom such businesses rely on to survive [and probably represented by the anonymous cowards posting comments here]. I have never met the much maligned Mr Akka but am aware of his actions [some time ago] which cannot be condoned. That said, the aforementioned anonymous cowards should consider the well known phrases such as 'people in glasshouses...' and 'let he who is without sin cast...' before offering their puerile and banal opinions [be them about Mr Akka, his businesses or even the innocent residents of Alderley Edge]. Under licensing law members of the public are entitled to submit applications to the courts requesting that persons considered unfit to manage/operate licensed premises should not be allowed to do so. If you are all so disgusted by Mr Akka or any other owner of a licensed premises perhaps you might consider exercising your limited intellect through conveying your [obvious[ well informed opinions and concerns to the relevant authorities. Be warned though, the courts won't permit the cowardice displayed here [and on other similar forum]. They expect a basic level of courtesy and disclosure which, one suspects, the vast majority of those contributing here either sadly lack or don't have the sufficient courage of the convictions to provide. I apologise for using the odd 'long word' or by applying grammatically correct sentences. If any of the aforementioned ignorant individuals need any help to understand any of the points made above please leave a reply and I promise to respond and, where possible, use single syllable words.

Hmmmmm...September 17th 2008.

Sounds a bit fishy to me...

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

get a life

ForwhatitsworthSeptember 17th 2008.

I know someone who worked vey closely with Joe Akka for many years.... he is nothing but a egotistic bully...... You reap what you sow.

simonSeptember 17th 2008.

should that be 'minions'?

ReportermanSeptember 17th 2008.

Joe Akka may have done his time, but for Wayne Docksey - the man Akka so bravely kicked in the head as he lay, felled by a single punch - the sentence is life. A lifetime of brain damage, the loss of a successful career, good friends he no longer remembers or can relate to and a loving family shattered but fighting to cope. Akka has never apologised for his actions, attempted to buy his way out of trouble, only pleaded guilty when there was no other option and is now reaping his just rewards. Perhaps he made promises to people in HMP Manchester who watched his back that he just forgot to keep.

ArseneSeptember 17th 2008.

Probably some vacant blonde sparking up in a perfume cloud!

KatieSeptember 17th 2008.

I would like to correct my statement about Joe throwing someone out for being disabled, it was not the man he was convicted of beating up. This was a seperate occasion where a disabled friend of mine got put on the street (and not for being too drunk). Sorry for the confusion.

TimSeptember 17th 2008.

What's the saying? "What goes around, comes around." Still, very sad for all involved.

GrahamSeptember 17th 2008.

Yes Becki, it's true... unless they're just filming an episode of London's Burning...

cosmeticly - enhancedSeptember 17th 2008.

to that nice man who bought me bollinger on friday night .... thanks babe :)

SteveSeptember 17th 2008.

Gary, what planet are you on? I know numerous restauranteurs and publicans in South Manchester/Cheshire and they are all saying the same thing....business has decreased consireadbly in the past 12 months. The smokking ban and the credit cruch are the two main reasons for this. I don't know what you class as super rich pal, but I know a few wealthy folks who are just as worried as your man in the street....They all have money invested, banks and creditors to please etc. All this talk of living off the fat shows how naive you are pal........do you really thinks that all those mansions and cars are all bought and paid for??

AnonymousSeptember 17th 2008.

Get your facts right Tony B, Akka's victim was in no way out of control or had he had too much booze, as was proved in the Crown Court, nor was Akka looking after his club, when it happened Akka's victim was outside the bar and causing no consern to anyone as was seen on the CCTV. He very nearly died and spent weeks in a critical condition because of Akka's unprovoked actions. One or more kicks to his victims head too far is a better description of Akka's actions. Read the court papers or speak to the police before making your silly asumptions / statements and trying to defending him.

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