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Queer Bar Closes: Is It An Opportunity For The Village?

Confusion over the reasons, but where next for the empty site?

Written by . Published on October 9th 2013.


Queer Bar Closes: Is It An Opportunity For The Village?
 

AS VILLAGE people will know Queer Bar on Canal Street has closed its doors.

Queer as a concept lives on, moving permanently to sister club Essential on Minshull Street, taking its club nights Boyz, Queer and Mornin' Glory with it.

It’s certainly been a turbulent couple of years for Martin-Smith and Queer Bar.

So far, Nigel Martin-Smith, former manager of Take That and owner of Queer and Essential, has refused to give us a direct comment, but it would appear that a spat with neighbouring venue Velvet Hotel is behind the move: “The massive success of The Velvet Hotel has been an issue because of the inevitable problems with people trying to sleep next to a busy bar, but now everyone can dance in the new venue until the early hours where no one will be disrupted," Martin-Smith said on canal-st.co.uk.

EssentialEssential

However, Essential's neighbour on Minshull Street, SACO Serviced Apartments, may very well beg to differ: “We are aware of the re-opening of the club and as a known provider of accommodation to the corporate, leisure and family sectors we are carefully monitoring the impact that the club may have”.

Nigel’s comments regarding Velvet Hotel also came as a bit of a shock to Velvet owner Mark Cain, who stated that he was “very surprised to hear these comments”, citing an "entirely amicable" meeting at Australasia in August 2013 in which Cain and Martin-Smith agreed that the former "now has no issues with the way in which the bar next door is operating."

We’ve managed to secure the minutes from the meeting:

 

Minutes QueerMinutes

 

A Canal Street bar owner, who wished to remain anonymous, suggested that the move was more likely to be down to rent increases than noise complaints, stating that the rent on Queer had recently been increased by a large amount.

Martin-Smith has previously stated his intention to off-load Queer due to the time demands of his talent agency and management company, NMS Management, with rumours pointing towards London-based buyers: “As they say all good things come to an end and with my agency and management company taking all my time it’s time to pass the venues on to new owners.”

It’s certainly been a turbulent couple of years for Martin-Smith and Queer Bar. In July 2012 Nigel had to campaign to save the bar from closure after police found a man bleeding from the head following a bottle attack in the venue.

In March 2013 Martin-Smith took the owners of a newly opened Birmingham venue, Queer Street, to the High Court for the use of the word ‘Queer’ and exploiting the reputation of his Queer Bar.

And in May 2013, Martin-Smith publically declared that he would not consider paying a late night levy on the nightspot, proposed by the Council to tackle trouble hotspots that stayed open after midnight, because he already paid £3k a month in council tax and hardly ever saw any police around the Canal Street area.

Canal StreetCanal Street

The move by the Council was a reaction to escalating crime figures in the area. In 2012, the Village had 1,316 individual police call-outs, compared with 675 at the Printworks and 527 on Deansgate Locks.

The Village remains the highest ranked out of 67 North Manchester districts  for instances of theft and assault. Twice as high as the second ranking district of Arndale and King Street.

Given the built-in attractiveness of the area - no other city centre district has that sweep of waterside terraces with a park over the road - this is troubling and hard-to-explain except with reference to the direction many of the establishments have chosen to take. What it leads to though is lack of confidence. 

A prominent city-centre bar owner who wished to remain unnamed told us they’d never consider occupying the now empty space at Queer: “Rents are too high and it’s not worth the trouble. The Village has got too many problems at the moment. It’s as simple as that.”

Yet perhaps the empty property represents an opportunity to make a start on repositioning Canal Street. A good operator with a quality offering could inject more class to the strip especially given its location close to the beacon operators of Velvet and Taurus. 

Again, another anonymous commentator (yes we wish people would stand up and be counted) told Confidential: "An operator with more of the mindset of a good Northern Quarter or Chorlton bar would work well here. Decent food, decent drinks, no 2-4-1 deals, well-run: something like an Odd Bar or Electrik. We need a bar that would appeal to a more discerning audience."

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

David Michael EvansOctober 9th 2013.

Many of the Canal Street bars have become totally naff, and nothing to choose between them with the inevitable, loud, head-banging music, even early evening, when people want it more relaxing. Drag dj's (yawn) Blackpool style, dreary hen parties welcomed. The Rembrandt is depressing and scruffy, as is The Union...minimal investment bringing it to Blackpool standards. The actual street is full of red-necks, and on a Saturday night it is just vile. I completely avoid Canal St these days..its rough as a dog. If you want decent, intelligent conversation, great friendly bar staff, good management, fine-tuned low key music, great food, head for The Molly House nearby...none of the naffs go there, and it feels like a nice neighbourhood bar....and i don't work for the outfit.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
Steeve HobbsOctober 9th 2013.

Hear, Hear David I couldn't have put it better myself. Canal Street has become 80's Blackpool - how very progressive.

rinkydinkOctober 9th 2013.

It is Nigel Martin Smith and his grotesque "vision" of what a gay venue should offer that has dragged Canal Street down into the cess pit. New balls please! Come on Luke Una! Get some mates together and offer up an alternative vision of a gay venue. Opportunity knocks!

Peter BowcockOctober 9th 2013.

Well said David...

Andrew JacksonOctober 10th 2013.

Well said!!! my friends and I a group of 10+ gays in their 30 somthings just avoid the village no there's nothing there, living ventures places, NQ independants offer do much more!!

SamOctober 11th 2013.

If I could afford the Molly House... Some of us are broke. Else I would be out now. Nothing wrong with cheap drink. Some bars do it right. And what's a 'naff'? Young people without much cash?

Elle OrganiserNovember 18th 2013.

There are some really interesting and valid opinions being shared here. We are Community Organisers in the area and are really keen to hear your views about the M1 area and start some positive changes. Please get in touch! www.facebook.com/manchestercentralcommunityorganisers…

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Good riddance. Need something new, something different. Like a Spinningfield bar OR restaurant even. Just not drunks spilling onto streets at 9am being loud and vomming

1 Response: Reply To This...
SamOctober 11th 2013.

'Good riddance'. I think most places are as bad as the Village or worse. Look at the Printworks, Piccadilly or Deansgates locks. Are gay people welcome in those bars? Not very. I see drunks on every corner of the city most days, so 9am. 11am. 2pm. 5pm. Whatever.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Wow thats, like, so homophoboist, calling it a queer bar.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jackie KennedyOctober 9th 2013.

I agree with david the village does need a revamp and its same old same old.... One new venue that has recently opened its doors is Centre Stage on bloom street and I for one will certainly be visiting there again... It boasts a great friendly relaxing atmosphere and the staff and especially the management are very friendly and most of all welcoming...

SquirrelitoOctober 9th 2013.

Huge swathes of the Village are now pretty grim. Notable exceptions include Taurus, Veltvet, Molly House, Via to a degree, and relative-newcomers Sanctuary and Backstage who at least seem to be trying to give it a go. But GAY is a squalid hole (the roof terrace, which was once a gem, is revoltingly dirty), and it's not alone. The village had the opportunity on a plate to beat the NQ hands down for a vibrant and eclectic before the NQ was even a twinkle but the opportunity went begging (another bugbear there). The time is ripe for a re-boot but, as the article says, who's brave enough to want to risk it? Shame.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Adam PrinceOctober 9th 2013.

Julia Grant is the most passionate leader I have met recently and so glad to have met her. I find it depressing and an affront to justice that someone who is so passionate about fighting for the Village can be vilified so, without having ever faced charges or arrest for the propaganda that surrounded her. I have faith in her abilities in setting up a Village Community Alliance and a community centre, to support people and find a way for the community to gain its voice back, make a charitable Pride and lobby for better investment into the Village. I hope she goes against our current failing LGBT leaders.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Good point about G-A-Y. What exactly has this place brought to the village? The way this venue is run it smacks more of exploitation rather than a genuine desire to create a great, hospitable, clean and stylish venue. As it is, it is nothing more than another grubby drinking barn with cheap drinks.

Village memoryOctober 10th 2013.

I wonder if the people and companies who were left unpaid when Julia Grant fled Manchester many years ago would agree with your assessment, Adam. Some of us also remember her efforts to divide and rule, which it would appear she is trying to do once again...

Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

All I've ever heard about this is rumour, supposition and no doubt a great heaped pile of lies. Of course, nobody can ever seem to provide any proof that Julia Grant left unpaid debts and so on. Funny, that.

SamOctober 11th 2013.

"The time is ripe for a re-boot but, as the article says, who's brave enough to want to risk it? Shame". Agree. I see no-one.

Graham MasseyOctober 9th 2013.

A view from the top of my high heels. Five years ago, a good mix of the lovely guys and girls of the gay community, a fair number of TVs and TSs who felt safe and welcome at all doors there and a goodly smattering number of generally 'mature' straight couples out for an evening in a area they felt safe in and which provided 'colour' and 'interest'. Music fairly accurately matching the wide demographic spread, generally played start to finish with a minimum of Ego trip DJ buffunery and Deck twiddling. Folk of an age to having money to spend but still needing to be in work in the morning. Today. At least 2 public bars (not private members clubs l note) which have turned me away as a TV trying to enter a 'Bootboy' bar and one because, and l quote "we only accept British born blacks here" !!!!!. Can they lawfully do that in the 21st century? Others narrowly targeting music at (and therefore only attracting) early 20 somethings. Egotist DJs who really think anyone gives a toss for their chat and comments and the foul mouthed drag queens whose banter is monotonously cock and arse centred. Deeply, deeply unfunny, even in 1980's Blackpool. This is not Rocket Science. The key lies in the Music, the door policy re dresscode, no Hens/Stags, a modest entry charge and re-focussing the demographic. All of which translates to 'Chase the Chavs', add moving on the plague of street vendors and their damned flashing bunny ears and wooden tulpips (WTF are they all about!!!) and you will have cracked it. Any fool can play to the lowest common denominator (and suffer the consequences) but it takes only a little more brains to lifts the sights slightly. Until you get it right I will feel safer in Leeds along with about 2000 other T-girls ex of Canal Street

1 Response: Reply To This...
G BergOctober 9th 2013.

Too true Graham, as a straight couple we spent many an early summer evening with a bottle of pinot outside Churchills enjoying the "colour" or to be more blunt avoiding the d***heads who drank around Deansgate. Fast forward 5/6 years and we've moved back to Manchester and what a change! Firstly no wine bottles allowed outside (it was poured into plastic pint glasses, classy or what?) Pissed hens everywhere, beggers cadging ciggies, no I don't want to buy a luminous windmill FFS and to top it all it kicked off!!! Maybe because its been a while but Spinnyfields and the Northern Quarter seem to have taken the upwardly mobiles and left The Village with the bottom of the bucket

Adam PrinceOctober 9th 2013.

Appalling neglect, lack of investment and ingenuity in the gay village with leadership that has not met the mark whatsoever. With the FACTS about Pride campaign we are seeing minimal (5%) investments back into charity. Pride clearly has failed the community and the ‘money trail’ within this corporate machine. I am glad to be volunteering with a passionate community leader Julia Grant who is advocating Village Community Alliance, not to lead but seek the inspiration and initiative that our community has lacked in terms of leadership and investment and discover who can take us forward. I am proud to have met Julia Grant who seeks to create alliances and a voice for LGBTQ beyond the current failures, by uniting businesses, funding, community movements and charities to become partners and supporters of a movement that the Gay Village desperately needs to be inclusive of all ages and those not represented by dominant organisations. I sincerely hope this appalling model will no longer be supported by Manchester City Council. The Village desperately needs a community centre, investment for an arts centre, cultural spaces, a gay museum and art gallery, to have markets to support gay business set up, have a 'community spirit again' and much more choice for people other than nihilism. The EMRO debate proved Councillor Peel was ready to put in a policy that was implicitly homophobic and penalized the Village and thankfully Sir Richard Leese stepped in. There is an In terms of cultural investment, as above, what lobbying, transparency, grants and initiatives to develop the Gay Village are being undertaken now? What financial grants and funding are being put into the cultural and architectural development of the Village as a cultural space and if not, why not? There are many empty spaces and many issues with takeaway and taxi. Undeveloped land have not been developed despite laws such as S 215 under Town & Country Planning (1990) laws. Increasingly Crystal Meth is in the Gay Scene and ignoring this will destroy our community further. The Warehouse Project showed the danger of not having a safe strategy regarding drugs and so I implore you to offer party people and club kids safety and protection, to test their drugs. The increase in homeless cannot be swept away with false figures either and these ostracised and vulnerable LGBTQ people need support. Though the fragmentation of a Gay scene may naturally occur to a degree, I fundamentally believe a failure to protect the Gay Village is endemic of a failure in policy, planning and investment. Is there a prejudice and an institutional failing to represent LGBTQ Manchester as 10% + of the demographic and the services required? I say yes. This ‘decline and fall’ did not occur in 2013. It has happened over years of inaction and I as a gay man am insulted that all I can be told I can be about is drinking and a cultural nihilism. Ultimately the Village is in a huge mess. Why? Because it was seen as a self-sustaining Disney World no worthy of investment but worthy of taking the profits off of. And certainly this did not happen overnight. This lack of investment into anything other than drinking holes has been for well over a decade.

12 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

What a load of incoherent, unreadable nonsense. Im sure there is a good point or two trying to get out.....

David Michael EvansOctober 9th 2013.

I agree totally with your overall assessment...not at all incoherent.

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Could you translate it for me then David Michael Evans? It just reads as a loose collection of unrelated, barely formed thoughts...... a classic rant if you will.

Adam PrinceOctober 9th 2013.

Anonymous... I mean LGBT Labour affiliate (a party I have always voted for but now..) let's break it down if you are that basic. & MC does not allow paragraphs. a) Pride - minimal investment into community failing model (under 5% to charity) b) LGBTQ movement seeking non-politically affiliated Village Community Alliance c) A lack of investment into the community for well over a decade d) Questions about investment bias i.e. bar culture only. e) Cllr in LGBT Lead was ONLY Advocated EMRO despite implicitly homophobic and untested legisltation f) Where are a community centre/ arts centre/ gallery / museum/ business start up centre for Gay Village? Is this intentional decline? g) 10% + of the demographic, yet need severely unrepresented. IS that simple enough for you?

GimboidOctober 9th 2013.

Adam, where are the council-run community centre/ arts centre/ gallery / museum/ business start up centres specifically provided for any specific part of the community? What makes you think the council is responsible for delivering these things specifically for the LGBT community? The Irish World Heritage Centre is independent of the council. Same for the Muslim Centre in Whalley Range. Same for the Chinese Arts Centre. And so on. Sounds like you're expecting the village to get above and beyond what the council provides to the general population. Why? Also: 10%? Nah. www.theguardian.com/…/gay-britain-what-do-statistics-say…

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

Gimboid. The Pride Model has failed. Look at the recent articles in Mancunian Matters. The lack of investment and money ciphered off of the community is where investment could begin for a start. When there are units in the Village for 500k that remain empty, instead of an Alicia Keys concert, perhaps an at risk community deserves some investment? Look at the psychological trajectories of LGBTQ and say if the increased vulnerability is not reason for investment beyond bars. I have asked time and time again from LGBT Labour if they have raised grants and bids for lottery, Heritage and arts funding and have no reply. Then I can only assume no. How many years have there no been efforts made? Similarly there are models for self-sustaining and fairer investment based community models that the Village needs. As for the 1% of people are LGBTQ in that link, even the article criticises the figure. Do you really think that is true of Manchester?

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

My more coherent letter is here versus my rant above. Things we do in a rush. Nevertheless, there's an increasing number of very pissed off and disillusioned LGBTQ people in Manchester. I think people had btter believe that if nothing else! goo.gl/Qzt89W…

GimboidOctober 10th 2013.

I think you're intending to reply to me but nothing you said actually relates to my questions.... That's incoherent for you.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

GIMBOID I think if you believe only 1.5% of Mcr are LGBTQ you need to express your agenda in posting in this story.

GimboidOctober 10th 2013.

I don't have an agenda, I posted it only in response to your incorrect assertion of the proportion of the lesbian and gay population. Paranoid much?

rinkydinkOctober 10th 2013.

Who cares about having a 'gay area' anyway? I haven't been down there for about ten years but am out most weekends. There are no shortage of cool places to go in Manchester away from Canal Street. Be brave and travel further afield

Lexington 42October 10th 2013.

I'm gay and I've lived in the village for 10 years, and I am totally in support of the village. I'm not really bothered who Julia grant is or how wonderful she is. What bothers me is how some businesses have been allowed to totally ruin the place! Lets be clear we need an Early morning restriction order to reduce the plague of anti-social behaviour we have in the area linking that to homophobia is idiotic, the village will continue to spin into decline, if daft queens call it homophobia when their favourite bars are made to run better door policies and be more aware of their neighbours.

Julia GrantOctober 9th 2013.

The gay village has had the heart ripped out of it.......time for action. Let's start with a community centre that can kick start a new community space and put a heart beat back into village life....... From that new life will grow but we need to heal the gay village first. Thank god queer has gone. Hopefully essential will quickly follow.....you dont need bar owners who encourage drug use Sure there are many who will agree

4 Responses: Reply To This...
TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Don't need bar owners who encourage drug use? Hypocrite much? www.youtube.com/watch…

AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

And so what. We all have a past. A bit different than a club that may of supported gang related drug pushing. TTFN I'm sure you are as pure as the driven snow!

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

I'm not claiming to be. It's Miss Grant who is saying 'you don't need bar owners who encourage drug use' And it's may 'have' not may 'of'. I may not be pure as the driven snow but I can use grammar correctly.

Village memoryOctober 10th 2013.

Can't believe you have the gall to come on here and say those things Julia.

Thomas McNeillyOctober 9th 2013.

Gays

Thomas McNeillyOctober 9th 2013.

Or queer mmm bad naming

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Blame the Pubcos moving in and exploiting the area. Expensive rents, cheap drinks. Pack em in, flog em endless cheap booze and to hell with the consequences. Canal Street is where Peter Street was a few years ago but unlike Peter Street, Canal Street has better physical qualities and a more loyal customer base. Because of the lack of competition it hasn't really had to compete so the poor operators landlords have survived. Unless an independent operator with deep pockets wants to take the risk on one of the larger units and effect a cultural change nothing with change.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
Adam PrinceOctober 9th 2013.

I genuinely believe it is an intentional model of urban decline and decay of the Gay Village. Until I see genuine investment and anything other than 'off your face related' then I won't believe otherwise. Let's face it, this is prime business location especially if HS2 (don't bank on it) and Northern Hub make it. What an inconvenient place for a Gay Village to be situated when it could be a future prime business area right? Paranoid? Why then the investment vacuum?

AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

What 'investment' do you expect, and by who?

rinkydinkOctober 10th 2013.

Blame anyone but the gay bar-owners of the past who wouldn't know cool if it slapped them in the face. The bars look sh!te and play sh!te music. You reap what you sow

Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

Thought you hadn't been down there for 10 years, RINKYDINK? How would you know how they look and what music they play?

rinkydinkOctober 10th 2013.

Because I usee to live there until 2004 so I know it was sh!te then. I have friends that go down there still and they say it hasn't changed - it's got far worse. I also pass through in the day sometimes and it stinks and is full of not-rights. Oh yes and the bars look sh!te as I walk past them and sh!te music comes from them. Any more questions, Trouble?

SquirrelitoOctober 9th 2013.

Hmmm, all these "Julia Grant is the Messiah"-related posts have a very similar style of prose. Absolute bobbins. She took the Queens in Benidorm to the brink - see Tripadvisor reviews from before, during and after her tenure. The Village needs strong, focused, forward-thinking, hospitality professionals - if not visionaries. Julia Grant couldn't run a pair of tights.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 9th 2013.

Thanks Pat Karney.

Peter CoppingOctober 10th 2013.

I passed the other day and it was covered in ads for Poptastic and a guy cleaning the place up

SteamyOctober 10th 2013.

Great comments section. Based mainly on the incoherent waffle from 'Adam Prince'.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

Well 'Steamy' if I am getting haters I am clearly doing something right! What's so incoherent about wanting a Gay Village that that survives? Represents LGBTQ people far better, is safer, has a community centre, uses the empty spaces for arts and culture and a Pride that is well Governed? Incoherent. Right.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Adam Prince is setting himself up as some mouthpiece for some disaffected minority and clearly loves the sound of his own voice. These diatribes are appearing all over the place and are never anything but tedious. His head is so far up Julia's backside it's sickening - and runs counter to what many in the village (with long memories) might think about the notion of Miss Grant riding in on her white charger. Noone is saying Canal Street is perfect but there are some gems on there and its surrounding streets, places like Icon, Molly House, Taurus and Via. But don't let that get in the way of a good rant, Adam. And a community centre will solve everything apparently! I love Julia's comment that you don't need bar owners that encourage drug use - there's a video up of a Roast of a village legend called Nana and in Julia's speech she talks about getting Nana on whizz so that they could get the Hollywood decorated in time. Nice to see double standards are alive and well

9 Responses: Reply To This...
David Michael EvansOctober 10th 2013.

Via A gem? I don't think so lol

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Maybe it's not for everyone but they do try and stop the hen parties which seems to be a big part of the problem.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

TTFN. You can misrepresent me. But you acknowledge the Village is not perfect? Does the community deserve a voice or not? I see little action with our 'LGBT Labour' Lead (maybe someone will internally challenge that role). All I am concerned about is the failure and somehow moving forward. I try and avoid ManCon debates nowadays and should probably do so again! Hide behind your pseudonym as you wish. Do I think many drugs should be decriminalised and party people kept safe and having these taxed and sold - yes. What are your ideas? I have no desire to be a leader, but do I care about the decline of the Village. Yes, greatly. Take what understanding you may wish from anything I say. I know i am not perfect but something has to change. I can only hope I can be a minuscule part of making something better. All I see is a lack of action around me and it has to change. Give ideas then and make something happen? Could we have a reasonable conversation if it was not on here. Probably.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

I think you just stand to turn a huge amount of people off with the non-stop negativity. And by allying yourself to Julia who you seem to be claiming is the second coming. She doesn't tend to stick around for long. And to suggest that she is the solution to all the problems will stick in many peoples throats. Businesses have invested in the Village, hence the success of many of the recent additions - Richmond Tea Rooms, Molly House etc. and I don't think they symbolise a decline. The LGF also does lots for the community and village but are convenient whipping boys for everyone. There seems to be a rump of people who will slag off everything about the village and it's depressing. You seem to be focusing a lot of time and effort in slagging off individuals and that hardly seems to be in the spirit that you claim to espouse.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

Perhaps I do but how can I feel positive when I do not feel positive and have lost a lot of confidence in leaders. Should I lie? Of-course there are many vested interests, but I am not only negative hence trying to work with people to see if we can lobby for something better. And I do not slag everything off about the village. I say it is still far safer for me than many places and still go there a lot, so now you are making assumptions. Hence I was so anti-EMRO and anti the demonzing of the 'crime statistics'.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

What leaders? Why do the 'leaders' have a vested interest in the village? They don't get involved in the NQ or Spinningfields - why do the leaders have to get involved in the village? There are people with needs all over Manchester. The village has always been a variety of drinking places and now has enough of a range to appeal to most people. There are things that need to be done - the beggars, the hawkers trading the crap and the policing should be ramped up.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

I'm talking about having lost faith with LGBT Lead in the Council. And Lead Cllr Peel very much DID try to get involved in how the village was run and thankfully no-one else did so. The Police presence has to be increased. Yes. Why the whole EMRO issue was skewed when there was talk about charging the Village for extra policing which flies in the face of a still vulnerable minority and its protection. Why is drink the only thing that can happen in the Village? A few 'varied' bars? Is that all? Nothing else? And possibly LGBTQ beggars effected by the benefit cuts and the horror of this government, How humanitarian of you.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

You're willfully misinterpreting - you seem good at that. I mean that something should be done about the beggars to stop them going up and down the street and often getting a mouthful of abuse. And you are only bothered about LGBTQ beggars? How humanitarian of YOU! Next time one asks for change I will check out how they identify their sexuality. And noone is saying that drink is the only thing that has to happen in the village but you are incredibly naive to think that just because you moan about it that you will handed a community centre. As another poster stated before other minorities don't get handed them, they are funded from within the community. So what are you doing to generate those funds?

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

No I just didn't get your meaning from "There are things that need to be done - the beggars, the hawkers trading the crap and the policing should be ramped up." And as if I am saying that really! There is a model that people hope to be able to generate funds. I am not giving up that information! And it is a HOPE. That's all. Then our opinions are not all that different after all. Good. However, the revenue from the Village is very high. What has come back into it? But this conversation goes nowhere. Well we both tried.

AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

haha

Nickster123October 10th 2013.

I have not been to the village in years and i was a regular 'straight' person who enjoyed the vibrancy, diversity and the pretty much guaranteed good night out full of good laughs and lovely people that the village used to offer. All that seemed to disappear in the desperation of the recession hitting and it all became about cheap cheap drink deals and whereas it used to have a smattering of hen nights (i admit i did go on one but we were very well behaved to the point of boring) it went bonkers with it bringing in the cheap street sellers and the tackiness of a night in Benidorm. Now all i see of the village is the occassional walk through on my way to work early morning and it is depressing!! Bring back the spark the village had, get rid of the offensive bars like GAY and make it a place for Manchester to be proud of gay, straight, TV or whatever!

AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

I love Manchester Confidential!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerOctober 11th 2013.

So do I !

SmittyOctober 10th 2013.

Look, the Village isn't perfect, but it's still the best gay quarter in the country. Those of you who think it's all shite should consider the following venues: Molly House, Richmond Tea Rooms, Velvet, Taurus, Eagle, Vanilla (for the ladies), Napoleon's (for the more glamorous ladies), the wonderful Oscar's, veteran Via, Villaggio. I could go on. There's a great selection of great venues where great people can have a great time. We should be thankful for what we've got, while wanting to make it even better. That, I think, is the view of most people who use the Village. These rants make it look as though we're all a bunch of whiny queers. If you hate having an open, friendly, rowdy, sometimes annoying but mostly fabulous gay scene, perhaps you should consider moving to, I dunno, St Petersburg?

10 Responses: Reply To This...
Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

In the past I would have agreed with you, but the Village is anything but fabulous at the moment. Wouldn't take much to turn the tide, of course, but don't look to the businesses themselves, the VBA, or the don't-be-nasty-or-you'll-spook-them councillor(s).

SmittyOctober 10th 2013.

When were these halcyon days, Trouble? Because people like you have been saying the same thing from the day and hour I moved to Manchester 12 years ago. It wasn't true then, and it isn't true now. Look at the great new bars we have. Look at the lovely job Mark's done with the Velvet Hotel. Look at the fabulous Richmond Tea Rooms. Look at the brilliant Oscar's. Look at the great job the LGF do with the best condom distribution network in the country and brilliant initiatives like the Village Angels. The best Pride in the country. Seriously, why can't people like you celebrate the wonderful village we have instead of constant carping? The businesses and the council do much more for our village than the serial complainers.

Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

I'll agree there are some great venues, however there are also far too many really crappy ones. No matter how great the ones you mentioned are (and they are great!), a turd is still a turd, no matter how many sparkling gems are wedged into it. As for the LGF, are you on the marketing team, or what? I can't even begin to address that, there's not enough space and I don't have that kind of time. I'll pass on the Kool Aid, ta.

SmittyOctober 10th 2013.

It's odd that some people always say things like "do you work for them" when you say something nice about an organisation. I don't, by the way. I've mentioned two of their excellent projects and they have many more, but it is SO much easier to carp, isn't it? You've still not said when these golden days of the village were. I can always remember crappy bars in the village, sweetie.

Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

Oh Smitty, that wasn't a genuine question, I'm sure the people who work at the LGF wouldn't be so naive as to gush in such a way. As for claiming it's easier to carp, well that's an effective way of stifling any discussion, isn't it? Ooh, don't say anything bad, you'll be marked out as a CARPER! I don't claim to know of any "golden days", however I do remember when I could walk up Canal Street and not worry about being abused, begged at, asked to buy drugs or bunny ears, or have to skirt the various hen parties. I could also visit 95% of the venues and enjoy myself, whereas now some of them are completely no-go. If you can get in at all, of course -- "members only", what a blast, SWEETIE!

SmittyOctober 10th 2013.

Well I have a lovely time when I go out. We must be going to a different village. Because, whilst the one I've been going to for years isn't anywhere near as awful as you describe, I can't quite remember a time when there were no beggars, bunny ears or hen parties. As for carping, carp away if you'd rather do that than address what I think are the holes in your argument.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

Smitty I go out every week in the Village and support it and enjoy. Saying 'don't be negative' because it could be better and thinking of ideas how just kills the debate. Why you were offended by the EMRO discussion too. What has happened since? Not much.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Well said Smitty - a voice of calm reason and someone who values what we have. I also go out in the Village - there are places I like and there are places that aren't my cup of tea and it's always been that way. This never ending slagging off of what we are lucky to have is incredible to me. Nicely said anyway, fella...

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

Smitty are you the head of media and communications at Manchester City Council by any chance? Just wondering...

SmittyOctober 11th 2013.

No anonymous, I'm not. I used to work for the council, but don't any more and that has nowt to do with what I think about the Village.

Jon GarrettOctober 10th 2013.

Wasn't Queer originally a "Slug And Lettuce" chain ? And there was definitely a Belgium Mussels Bar on Canal Street, much happier, sophisticated times before the cheap beer and Blackpool tackiness, no wonder people keep away.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

Seriously? I wouldn't have guessed Canal Street was Van Damme's sort of scene. Bwa-bwaaaaa.

rinkydinkOctober 10th 2013.

Yes the Belgian Mussel bar was called Abbaye. If closed around 2003 complaining that Canal Street was heading in the wrong direction. How right they were!

JoanOctober 10th 2013.

Adam. You say that you want all sorts of community and cultural spaces in the village. If it were an isolated village I might agree, but this village is in the middle of a vibrant city centre which houses art galleries, museums, theatres etc. Currently there are hardly any ‘community centres’ as such in the city centre, for anyone. But as well as bars and restaurants there is a range of artistic/cultural venues and events in Manchester which almost universally have a strong track record on gay-curated, gay-voiced, gay-authored, gay-created, gay-staffed, gay-perspective, gay-friendly work. Manchester’s cultural scene is all the stronger for it. There is still a question about how far Manchester and its communities would benefit from gay-only venues and activities, but that needs, I believe, to be a debate with people raising questions. Oh, and you’re really unfair to my colleague Councillor Kevin Peel who simply expressed an opinion in what was intended to be a debate.

13 Responses: Reply To This...
Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

Oh poor Councillor Peel. Someone was UNFAIR to him! The poor darling!

GimboidOctober 10th 2013.

Well said Joan.

SmittyOctober 10th 2013.

Well said indeed, Joan.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

Joan, I respect you and your wise counsel and always enjoy talking to you. Before I destroy my name completely (why people post on here anonymously if they feel passionately about something)! I think the whole community ethos is wrong in Manchester, as people were saying in a campaign meeting last night about community provisions in general. Also the continued request for an open consultation from many people has not occurred from the Council. So much space in the Village is empty and derelict. I know many who are depressed by this status. After years of the Village being such a money maker, I believe the Council should have done more than allow it to become only alcohol focussed. A gay history museum for example is not impossible and these units could be acquired and I am sure the People History Museum might support such a franchise. If the Village as all the headlines have screamed, is so unsafe, then how is such a community focussed model going to be realised? The Pride model offered minimal money to the community which I find shameful. As for Kev, he offended me personally and if my online presence is reckless, I find his absolutely so. I did not knowingly vote for the Perez Hilton of the Labour party. I speak for friends and people who have been offended by his presence, but will leave it there. Regardless, LGBT Labour have never even responded to one of their voters correspondence. As you know in our discussions I get depressed by the Council's record with responding to citizens. About the Gay Village again, if I ever witnessed ACTION I might have my faith restored but it seldom seems forthcoming.

DrakeOctober 10th 2013.

Don't worry, Trouble at Mill, CallmeKev is currently in new York. Judging by his twitter feed, he's spent about two weeks of the last six months in Manchester (and now works in Birmingham), so he's unlikely to be hurt by a comment he win't see

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Nicely put Joan. I don't know Cllr Peel but this endless vilification of an individual seems to be the only way the discourse goes as far as the negative people are concerned. They are all so sure that they know best and that they can change the world with some leaflets, meetings and endless whining.

Adam PrinceOctober 10th 2013.

TTFN I come home and a person who had vilified me says "I don't know Cllr Peel". Some Tweets from the LGBT lead of Manchester. I'm not perfect but I never put myself or tried to get elected to such a position of accolade. I hope someone challenges him from Labour. His career should not be a given. Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel9 Sep Tom Daley: I am NOT gay www.mirror.co.uk/…/tom-daley-am-not-gay-2258873… … < And the nation's gays raise their eyebrows and say 'Of *course* you're not, bbz'. Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel6 Oct 11 Disclaimer: trans fats are not the same as fat trans. Please don't start bombarding me with hate! Or when advocating the closure of Manchester's Gay Village at 3am (the only Councillor to support this position), tweeting from partying until dawn on holiday, is very tactless Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel4 Aug @tomwburke I was out until 5am last night! My credentials are in order! Or at dawn Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel 4 Aug Even the drug dealers are having a snooze. (@ Görlitzer Park) 4sq.com/1ekC1Qn… from Görlitzer Park, Berlin View conversation Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel4 Aug Not even at the club yet. It's already past my UK bedtime. #rockinBerlin Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel3 May Glass of champers? Don't mind if I do! (with @joshmacalister & @melanie_ward) (@ Searcys Champagne Bar) 4sq.com/YsCKwN… Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel26 Sep 12 Looking forward to lunch with @IvanLewis_MP tomorrow. I'm expecting the most expensive restaurant in Prestwich. I don't come cheap! Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel22 Jul 11 Off to party like its 1999 with @aaronhussey at the VIP launch of @ManJazzFest Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel5 Oct I love travelling coach, there's more sense of community...There's a colonial woman on the wing. There's something they're not telling us! Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel5 Oct Annoying woman behind me on plane tried to bring her trip to Kenya (Keenyaaa) up every 5 seconds. Did someone say Molly Sugden? VIP in the £425 K Alicia Keys concert he helped organise! Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel24 Sep 12 She's looking at me!! Alicia Keys @ Manchester Cathedral @ Manchester Cathedral instagr.am/…/… Collapse Or calling people 'whores' sluts etc. Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel24 Aug @husseybyname @RobbieScott100 @LGBTLabour Whore. View conversation Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel4 Jul @husseybyname Boo, you whore. View conversation Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel10 Mar @doylematthew Boo, you whore. View conversation Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel1 Dec @husseybyname @benmiskell Boo, you whore! View conversation Kevin Peel ‏@kevpeel22 Aug @kiramadeira @husseybyname SLUT!

AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

What exactly are you trying to prove by quoting Kev Peel's tweets? That he shouldn't have a personal life? That, as a young gay man, that he should be secretive about having late nights and a fun, active social life? You are starting to look creepy and need to get a grip.

TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

Adam Prince: Like I said I don't know the guy and he could well be a tool, but Jesus that's one scary obsession you've got with the man. He's just a councillor, he's not an MP, he's not the PM - and I think he's entitled to a life outside local government. Wow - way to undermine your credibility. Though I think you did that when you decided to proclaim Julia Grant as the saviour of the universe. There's some decent points in amongst your rhetoric but they are drowned out by this kind of hysterical witch hunting and shortsighted cheerleading. Anyway, like you said earlier we ain't never gonna agree. You stick to the bear baiting and most normal people will just chose the parts of the village that we enjoy. Seriously...I think you need to drop the personal attacks on individuals, it's doing you no favours...

Adam PrinceOctober 11th 2013.

I will drop it and this is a reason why I haven't posted a rant for ages. Last thing I will say on the issue. Taking 1.5 mins to copy and paste tweets is not 'scary' is it? Also a huge Manchester Pride story is set to break in the press very soon. The support of this model from MCC has to stop. Saying I am dissatisfied and why is my democratic right and yes, I am upset by the inaction in the Village in general. In none of my dealings with KP have I found him very professional and yes it was personal when he insulted me, I offered an apology or to talk it through but was ignored like trash. I do not respect and will never forgot someone who did not advocate equality and was prepared to advocate implicit homophobic policies and I would argue has lead to more demonizing of the Village. I think there is a worrying lack of standards in this city and I have been sacked for less. I do not respect champagne fauxiclism and the lack of tact and I would say integrity herein. 54k tweets is overkill for any politician. And yes, clearly Peel see's his role in the future of the Labour party and spends a concerning little time here or representing his constituents. He clearly is trying for Westminster and I am tired of career politicians taking a easy ride while making ill informed quips and decisions that have offended my friends, me and many I know. I do not feel he is achieving in grass roots or ward communication or action properly. To out 'Tom Daley' on Twitter' or make 'fat trans' jibes as an LGBT Lead is not funny, though perfectly irrelevant if he were not in office as LGBT Labour NW, LGBT Labour UK & Europe. I am used to haters and being misunderstood and wear my heart on my sleeve. But here I leave it. I am not obsessed, just deeply disappointed, feel deeply disenfranchised by how politics are beginning to work in this city and know if many of my friends were careless enough to tweets/ social media thus from a professional , they would have been out of a job. So yes I will drop it, but I am entitled to my say. And guess what, I am not happy with this situation and will not 'cheerlead' when I have no belief left. If I ever saw genuine achievement and a real public consultation then I may think differently. Yours most scarily, most creepily and most misunderstood. I will argue, but no more on here though I'm as scary as Casper.

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

I'm with Adam Prince on this one. I don't think it's unreasonable to have an elected representative to behave accordingly. It really isn't appropriate for Kevin to 'out' Tom Daley. Or make disparaging comments about TS or TV. Especially as he's supposed to be the council rep for gay men. It's also not unreasonable to have an expectation that your councillor is listening and acting on behalf of their constituents. Irrespective of your political leaning Marc Ramsbottom was a hard working councillor and is missed. Joan Davies takes it seriously too. I got the feeling that she was a bit out of her depth at first but she does listen and has really upped her game. I'm sure Kevin is a nice enough bloke and wants to be an MP good luck to him. Unfortunately the impression I get is his presence as a councillor is merely a tick in the box against one of the criteria to become an MP.

SamOctober 11th 2013.

Why am I in on a Friday night? Because I have no money. Do I like my job? No I hate it. Would I be sacked if I tweeted or acted like this? Yes. Do I trust Peel or feel he represents me? Absolutely not. All he cares about is is himself. All this Labour talk and yet acts like a 'celebrity' Tory. He sucks up to the biggest leaders and does little in his own city, if he is ever in it. The Lead of Gay Manchester. Very depressing. Why so many people don't vote and have given up.

WgOctober 11th 2013.

I don't know much about Councillor Peel but as the LGBT lead for the city I cant say he has have ever done anything noteworthy for the gay community as far as I can see. But this post has made me have a closer look at him and his doings, and quite frankly I am shocked at how a person in power and with a public duty is allowed to get away with the things he says. Them being homophobic classest and very unprofessional! I know I will never and urge anyone else I know to ever vote for such a pompus socially unaware moron again!

Jon GarrettOctober 10th 2013.

Yup, it got replaced with a Pizza restaurent, although I do miss those steaming mussels !

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

Caviar Kev at it again!

Trouble at t'millOctober 10th 2013.

What is with these anonymous bar owners? Do they fear reprisals from the shadowy cabal that is the VBA?

3 Responses: Reply To This...
TTFNOctober 10th 2013.

'Anonymous bar owners. Shadowy cabal'. I smell the putrid stench of the Facebook Facts About Manchester crew. A more depressing bunch of losers you'd be hard pressed to find...

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

As opposed to the kind of desperate losers who are always in some dive of a bar or restaurant in the "vibrant" vomit strewn city centre, feeding their alcohol addiction and pretending they're cool?

TTFNOctober 11th 2013.

Or just people who like going out and socialising. Not everyone who enjoys conversing with real people over a drink is an alcoholic you know. Maybe that doesn't fit in with your bleak nihilistic view of the world though.

DrakeOctober 10th 2013.

Just as a point of order, the council never supoorted a late night levy, it was GMP flying kites through the MEN on that one. Cllr Peel tried to get the EMRO through without a lot of support, but that also wasn't council policy

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 10th 2013.

Amen! One useless Councillor.

Mr HappyOctober 10th 2013.

It's been a lovely day today don't you think?

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkOctober 10th 2013.

A bit nipply

DrakeOctober 11th 2013.

Well, next time ManCon needs a linkbait article, this seems to be a good subject

Puzzled of RochdaleOctober 11th 2013.

What's a linkbait article?

5 Responses: Reply To This...
SmittyOctober 11th 2013.

It sounds quite tasty.

DrakeOctober 11th 2013.

An article put up purely to get traffic, and therefore one used to demonstrate to potential advertisers quite how successful the site is. See also: the entire campaign against on street parking charges

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 11th 2013.

Drake really? As the editor of the site I just thought it was a hot issue for The Village and needs discussing. I do lots of articles about architecture and history to the despair of the publisher but I think need telling. Why do you always think editorial policy is a Machiavellian plot? Readership is important but honestly if I wanted to pursue cheap reads it'd be sex stories and Jeremy Kyle all the way.

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

A site discussing popular pressing city centre issues? How dare you MC. What an utter moron you are Drake

DrakeOctober 11th 2013.

It wasn't an insult, quite the opposite. It's how the Daily Mail got to be the most successful UK website after all. In fact, it would be basic editorial policy in most places. You really don't think about what stories would be popular/interesting? Anonymous, I don't think you understand what's being talked about, so better concentrate on some basic comprehension first, eh?

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

Oh dear! I've not been down Canal Street for a long time now and it looks like nothing has improved. It used to be a much more chilled place to go and have a drink and a bite to eat in the city centre but now I'd head to any number of the new Northern Quarter style bars springing up in town and beyond. I still believe that the essential idea of having a safe, but all inclusive place, for gay and lesbian people is still depressingly necessary so I hope that Canal Street cleans up it's act because Blackpool has fallen into the abyss following their model and may never recover.

1 Response: Reply To This...
SamOctober 11th 2013.

Nowhere is as bad as Blackpool. But the Village is getting worse and worse.

AnonymousOctober 11th 2013.

Manto was a class bar when it first opened and for about two years after. It had a really nice vibe, friendly people and some of the best looking women in town went there. It reached it's best twenty years ago. I went to Paradise at that time too. That was a great place to meet women too. Soon after it started getting rough. That's the first time I'd seen a rough gay crowd. Scruffy and dodgy types. I'm sure Canal Street's the spiritual home for a lot of Manchester homosexuals, and the same goes for the old public toilets that were dotted about the city back in the day, but why does there have to be a gay 'area' at all? There was the big 'coming out' in '91/'92 and they partied and it was a good time to be around, but they've come out now. It's nothing new, it's widely accepted [or ignored] by the public, so it's about time they mixed with the rest of us hetro's. Gay isn't cool and trendy any more boys. Community centre? WTF? Get out and clean the area up.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
SamOctober 11th 2013.

Great a straight man slagging off the Village because he wants to pick up women. It's truly over.

AnonymousOctober 13th 2013.

No, I'm slagging Canal Street off because its been rubbish for well over a decade. Since the year 2000 I'd say.

AnonymousOctober 16th 2013.

I agree that it's been rubbish for 20 years. However you need to remember that it didn't magically become a gay part of town in 1991. The Union and Rembrant have been gay for 50 years and who know how far much further back it goes. Quite possibly over a hundred years.

AnonymousOctober 19th 2013.

Hang on I'm taking notes here. What else do we need to do to Canal Street to enable chaps to pick up attractive women so its better again?

Hero
Manc GuyOctober 23rd 2013.

@ANON...do you mean The Union and Rembrandt buildings themselves are gay? Hmmm...it must be something in the canal water!

AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

I remember Abbaye with a DJ at weekends and an amazing selection of beers. Via Fossa was more upmarket with a decent food menu and lovely dining area. It must now start to raise the game. What about some patisseries and brasseries opening up too like in Soho. I think as hope it will change for the better.

AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

In addition to Abbeye, anyone remember Sarasota restaurant above Manto? Mash and Air which became the risible Risa bar, Lush restaurant which became Baa Baa, Prague V that became the awful View. Canal Street used to be stuffed full of great restaurants and genuinely stylish, cutting edge bars. What happened is simply the same process that has afflicted many other formerly cheap, off radar and trendy districts around the world. Corporates move in trampling the indies and much of the character disappears. This is no conspiracy, no machievellian plot but an ECONOMIC process. But as others have noted, those smaller, cheaper venues off the main drag are where the interesting indies have moved and thrived - Mollys and Richmond Tea Rooms being prime examples. How to help Canal Street? I actually think more stringent licencing conditions will actually help the area whereby some of those dire, characterless drinking barns like Crunch, View, Manto or G-A-Y that are currently able to rake it in by offering up nothing but cheap booze, late into the night, up their game.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 13th 2013.

Mash and Air was very popular when it first opened. I went in a while after looking for an office party venue for work. It looked tattty. We settled on Berlin around the corner in the end. That's now called something else.

AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

Oh yes, I remember Sarasota restaurant very well with the sliding roof in summer. It has been closed for years but surly it could be revived into something similar. Mash and Air with its microbrewery and famous duck pizza was unique, Prague V had a great atmosphere and even Slug and Lettuce had a Bohemian feel about it. What about the days of Gaia (which before that was Fresco) and Spice Indian eaztaurant on Sackville Street. How standards have dropped. The area needs different unique bars and not NQ type burger places and bl**dy cup-cake nonsense neither.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

Indeed. Who knew Canal Street once looked like this www.mustique.com.ar/…/marc-newson---interiors… and www.isometrix.co.uk/…/…

AnonymousOctober 13th 2013.

Prague V was always rocking. A mix bag of people too. The Slug' was a great bar and I agree with ANON about the Bohemian feel to it.

AnonymousOctober 19th 2013.

I remember all this. I don't think the village has ever been more diverse - yes there's some dives but there were dives then. There's never been a Molly or a Richmond Tea Rooms before. Is this not all a touch 'the music was better in my day now its all noise'? I could never afford to drink in canal street in those days either, it was exclusive and expensive!

AnonymousOctober 12th 2013.

Those were the days. Things are really not progressing. Life is getting tougher, disparity is increasing, the chains are becoming ever more dominant and the country has changed for the worst over the past 10 years. Perhaps that is why the lowest common denominator survives by proofing unhappy over-worked people their quick fix of cheap booze.

Hero
Dom77October 14th 2013.

It really does make me laugh to hear how bad people think the village has become yet they've not been there for years or people moan about how rough it's got yet have only made that assumption from the media or hearsay. I go out regularly in the Village and enjoy myself along with many other gay people and some straight too! Yes the bubble has burst, but that's probably a good thing as during it's heyday in the halcyon 'Queer as Folk' years the village was credited with celebrity status. That brought in short term investment from corporations cashing in on the Pink Pound which inevitably gave us new bars and clubs, bigger Pride events and helped voice our cause for equality to the general public. But in the long term we've been left with Pride events that do less and less for the charities that it was set up to support, hen-dos, binge drinkers and a poor reputation in the eyes of the council and the general public. The village needs to contract, let the chain pubs move out so that the community can move back in - it's started already to some extent with the smaller independent bars that foster what the village was intended for - a safe place for gay people to come and spend time with their friends to seek support or feel part of a community. The Village isn't at its best at the moment but lets not live in the past either - times have changed! The council need to get tough on problem bars, shut them down - the community will walk with its feet but this needs to be backed up with strong door policies. People may say why do we need the Village when everywhere is gay friendly now - well until I can go into a pub, bar or club and have a cheeky snog with my other half without attracting attention - I will still want to go to a gay venue because it's the one place I feel I can be myself without being judged.

rinkydinkOctober 16th 2013.

The village is dead

PlinkyplonkOctober 16th 2013.

The village is alive

paulsouthernOctober 16th 2013.

It appears the village is dead or alive, 'you spin me round' :-)

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 19th 2013.

lol

AnonymousOctober 17th 2013.

New Petition asking for your opinions re the 'Decline and Fall' of the Gay Village. www.gopetition.com/…/protect-the-gay-village-petition-manchester.html… Also find this questionnaire for those who want to go into more depth! www.surveymonkey.com/…/FPZGYQQ…

Millicent TrubbleNovember 12th 2013.

The former Queer bar has now been let by an independent pub chain based in Stoke on Trent and will be managed by a gay team.

Elle OrganiserNovember 18th 2013.

There are some really interesting and valid opinions being shared here. We are Community Organisers in the area and are really keen to hear your views about the M1 area and start some positive changes. Please get in touch! www.facebook.com/manchestercentralcommunityorganisers…

Mike WaterfootJune 24th 2014.

On a red hot Sunday recently I went to Canal Street. It was packed with families eating an having a great time. I went in one of the bars and the guys in there were at it again! "We want our Gay Village back, it should be for gays" Are they so thick that they can't see that if the "straight" people weren't there putting a hell of a lot of money in the tills then the bars on a Canal Street wouldn't be able to continue in business. It's all the trade, straight or gay that keep the bars going. It used to be "we are gay, we want treating the same as everyone else". Now it's "we are gay, we want segregating from everyone else and we want our village back" I have to admit that some of the bars do need to keep their toilets a lot cleaner than they are.

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