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The Grouch – 27/01/11

O’Leary’s clamping; MOSI boss’s impressive frontage, developers give up on Fire Station and could Brown’s show Rio the red card?

Published on January 28th 2011.

The Grouch – 27/01/11

With friends like these...
As you’ll no doubt have seen, Ryanair’s Michael O’Leary was in Manchester earlier this week to plug four new routes into the city.

O’Leary likes to play the cheeky Irishman, and also used this week’s press conference to round on the airports old management team, led by Geoff Muirhead. The Grouch is sure that has nothing to do with an incident that took place in 1998, when Muirhead clamped his planes because he hadn’t paid his landing fees.

O’Leary was so incensed he flew over unannounced and turned up outside Muirhead’s office in his usual sweater and jeans combo to demand the clamps were removed. Not until you pay up, came the reply.

The Grouch is sure Ryanair’s new relationship with the airport will be much improved – although new boss Andrew Harrison might want to find out where his predecessor left that clamp – just in case.

Hill not hung up on size
MOSI unveiled its newly-refurbished galleries this week, literally – they had a big black curtain and everything. There were some big digital screens, an aeroplane, a replica of the first computer and some other stuff about history and that.

Museum boss Tony Hill defended the £9m splurge and said it was important to have this sort of facility in Manchester – dead right too – although the museum will have to find private sector donors or appeal to the goodwill of the donating public fairly sharpish to help plug the funding gaps.

The museum is only small, said Hill but perfectly formed, although he could perhaps have chosen his words better. “I always think it’s more important to have quality than size,” he said. Cue sniggering from some childish individuals at the back. He then started going on about an impressive frontage, which was too much for some.

The news that the free bar had started charging soon wiped the smiles off their faces though. Cask has never been so busy.

Fire Station open day fails to ignite
The city council has started looking for developers to take on the London Road Fire Station. They even had an open day the other week, for interested parties, at the town hall. It was schedule for between 2pm and 6.30pm. The Grouch turned up at 4pm, to see who was around. The lady on the front desk was confused. “It’s packed up,” she said. “They closed it a couple of hours ago.”

Blimey. Is it such a done deal with Argent that other developers just aren’t even bothering?

NB – Before the city council gets in touch, The Grouch is duty bound to point out that the process to appoint a developer to the London Road Fire Station will be fair, open and transparent. So there you go.

Brown’s turns up the heat on Rosso
The Grouch joined Sleuth on a poke around Brown’s Brasserie earlier this week, ahead of the official opening – very, very nice indeed. It does leave you wondering how Rosso might be affected though. The extra footfall might work in its favour, or existing customers might end up deserting Rio’s restaurant in their droves. Customers are fickle and the new place is always the most in fashion. Rosso recently lost its marketing manager, Marie Robertson, who worked her socks off for them before deciding to start her own business down south. With Jamie’s Italian also set to open near Rosso soon, Ferdinand might have to take a few tips from his manager at United on how to build a winning team.

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