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The Grouch – 20/01/11

Parking pains, Britain’s Got Idiots, another Red restaurant, more BBC bluster and Ithaca’s new owner revealed..?

Published on January 21st 2011.


The Grouch – 20/01/11

The Phantom (parking) Menace
I hate parking meters – I even hate them when they’re not there. Anyone parking up on Spinningfields, behind the big screen and opposite the Opera House may, like The Grouch, have been totally perplexed. There are parking bays. There is a sign that says ‘Please pay at the parking meter.’ There are, however, no parking meters. None. Not one. The Grouch hopped across Quay Street, onto Byrom Street and towards the nearest machine. Which was out of order.

Whoever owns the stretch of road and surrounding street, whether it be Spinningfields or Manchester City Council, somebody needs to SORT IT OUT. Its feel bad enough being hammered for parking charges – don’t confuse us into the bargain.

No smoke without being fired
Speaking of the Opera House, Britain’s Got Talent was in town last week, a show that should be closed down under Trades Descriptions. The Grouch and Sleuth were knobbing off to the Abercrombie for a pint and the usual high-brow discussion, and tracked the queue of people waiting to get in all the way around the back of the Opera House, past The Grapes and onto Deansgate. A separate queue had formed full of people who didn’t know why they were queuing.

Even more depressingly, a group of people were standing on one side of Quay Street to look at the queue on the other, the equivalent of a monkey staring blankly at its own reflection for hours on end before smashing itself in the face with a hammer.

Bear in mind that this is a show which in previous years featured a man chopping wood, and it’s probably no surprise.

But as The Grouch was coming back from lunch one day, he spotted Ant, from Ant and Dec, having a crafty smoke around the back of the Opera House. The Grouch reached for his camera phone. “You can’t do that,” shouted a security man in a hi-viz vest. “It’s not good for his image.”

And being the host of Britain’s Got Talent is? What’s the world coming to..?

Neville gets ready to tackle the food industry
What is it about footballers and restaurants eh? Following in the footsteps of Giggsy and, Rio, Manchester Utd’s Gary Neville is planning to build a restaurant in Salford.

Neville’s firm, Signature Developments, wants to knock down Folly Lane Social Club on Station Road, the former home of a rugby team, and build a 4,000 sq ft two-storey restaurant with 95 covers.

The building has been empty since 2008 but 200 local residents have so far objected to the plans, saying it would lead to an increase in congestion and litter. And bad food.

Council planning officers have minded the application for approval, however, when it goes to committee on January 20.

United teammate Ryan Giggs also has restaurant interests in Salford, owning a share in dreary Worsley-based Italian eatery Milan. Rio’s got Rosso, of course, which has never really taken off in the eyes of the critics.

We’ll see if Neville fares any better.

Mountains from mole hills at Salford Quays
Northophobes at the Daily Mail were sent into overdrive this week by the admission that BBC 1 and 2 might end up moving to Salford Quays at some point. They probably won’t, to be honest, but it’s always nice to see the Mail in a flap. Richard Deverell, chief operating officer of BBC North, said at the Nations & Regions conference he ‘couldn’t rule out’ the possibility of the channels coming to MediaCityUK by 2015, although admitted that nothing was likely to happen in the short term.

The Mail, of course, turned that into ‘Top boss says he believes whole channel will re-locate’. Not quite. But we’ll take it, of course. We’d even be happy with BBC 3 or 4 – if they stay open long enough.

I just can’t get enough (of Ithaca)
A few weeks ago, we told you that the former Ithaca unit was close to being bought up. We’ve heard rumours the interested buyer is actually Dennis Rogers, who managed the ill-fated restaurant with Arnie Hira and even brokered the lease on John Dalton Street.

Rogers is now based on the Isle of Man, but distance is clearly not an issue if the rumours are true. Unfinished business? Perhaps. Watch this space.

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Burt CodeineJanuary 21st 2011.

I'd happily take either BBC2 or the near sublime BBC4 up here (and wouldn't rule such a move out either).
'Shut it Mail, I want you to stop.'

AnonymousJanuary 21st 2011.

Why is the prospect, however remote, of a government funded junk TV channel moving to Manchester good news?

Dperessed areas get relocated government jobs, not vibrant, interesting and dynamic ones. That's why Salford got the new BBC buildings at the docks.

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