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Black Lion Closes, Shaun Ryder, Paul Flowers, Crispy Squirrels

Sleuth Wk 48: Love, Truth, Absurdity, Delinquency

Written by . Published on November 22nd 2013.


Black Lion Closes, Shaun Ryder, Paul Flowers, Crispy Squirrels
 

SleuthSleuthSleuth is a sideways glance at the city every week, it's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. He's several people all at once. We give £25 for every story/rumour and piece of absurdity you find for us to publish. Sleuth sometimes even gets serious. We ask for the money back if any legal action follows. Follow Sleuth on twitter @mcrsleuth

Black Lion To Close

This Saturday there's going to be a wake for the loss of a charming and occasionally brilliant pub. The Black Lion, boozer, artspace, theatre, movie house, is overstretched financially and the charming tenants are having to turn off the lights. The problem is that the classic Victorian boozer at the junction of Blackfriars and Chapel Street isn't turning over enough moolah. Sleuth hopes to get to the wake to pay his respects. But what Sleuth suspects is that Enterprise Inns, one of the pubcos blighting modern British life, has not been helpful. Pubcos control the drink supply and charge tenants a fortune for each barrel. Each pint sold results in only a rattling tin of twopenny bits making its way back to the tenants. This is largely the reason so many pubs are closing. Very sad.

Black Lion

Black Lion

Elixir Opens

As one pub closes its doors another bar opens their's. Elixir on Deansgate, opposite John Rylands Library is now operating. Escapade Bars who operate a drinks and bar consultancy across the country have now a proper permanent showcase for the type of thing they offer. The bar is a funky space on two levels, with the DJ behind a booth on the wall. "We want the place to feel distinctive and different," said Jaime of Escapade. Sleuth loves the originality of the drinks. Check out the La Petite Voliere on the menu below. There's a small food menu too. "We want to give this part of the city a top end Northern Quarter bar, something maybe with an indie metropolitan vibe," said the other owner, Dan. Sleuth wishes them luck. 

Interesting drinks menu

Interesting drinks menu

Shaun Ryder De-Sweared

Sleuth was chatting round the city on Monday. He loved the story he heard about Shaun Ryder's latest book, What Planet Am I On? Ryder believes in aliens, he's even got a TV show taking him around the world trying to find evidence of extra-terrestrial visitations. Anyway the ghost-writer (or should that be alien-writer?) Luke Bainbridge produced text based on Ryder's voice as it was recorded. Thing is Shaun wants this one to be appreciated by his family, so he asked for the text to be "de-fucked". The book is now expletive bare. Shame as when people see the entertaining book the usual reaction is, "What the fuck!"

Sleuth suspects Ryder's ears have been made a bit more Spock-like in this pic

Sleuth suspects Ryder's ears have been made a bit more Spock-like in this pic

Big Banker Man In The News

Sleuth, earlier this year, met Paul Flowers (main picture above), the arrested and disgraced ex-Chair of the hapless Coop Bank, once the pride of this city's financial sector. He was still in post at the time and talked of his methodist ministry and his former life as a Bradford Councillor. He even gave Sleuth his business card. Sleuth thought he was a big man massively in love with himself but Flowers never offered Sleuth drugs or access to illegal downloads nor did he invite Sleuth to an all expenses paid luxury lunch. Clearly Flowers was a bon viveur but nothing wrong with that. So is Sleuth. Odd how quickly fortunes change, how debts have to be paid. Flowers has withered in winter.

Card of a disgraced banker

Card of a disgraced banker

Honest Hotelier Of Hotel Gotham

Sleuth was talking to Robin Sheppard about the his Hotel Gotham idea above Jamie's Italian in Lutyens' glorious Midland Bank. He said: "Ive got an excellent company Squid Ink to do the interior design. I've told them to think outside the box, really go for it." Sheppard paused: "I also said I'll be an over-bearing client that will interfere constantly. It seemed best to be upfront." 

Hotel Gotham at 100 King Street

 

Hotel Gotham at 100 King Street

 

Crispy Squirrel And Vimto Trifle

Sleuth was at the charming launch of Robert Owen Brown's book Crispy Squirrel and Vimto Trifle on Monday in the Mark Addy. Sleuth loves the book. "Excellent stuff this," he said to Owen Brown, "loads of accessible recipes but some are a bit more problematical. How for example does one source the squirrel of the title? Never seen it in a butcher's." "Trap them yourself," came the reply complete with a cheeky grin. "Grey squirrels are horrible you'd be doing the country a favour," Owen Brown continued. "They pushing red squirrels to the verge of extinction. I have a soft spot for red squirrels because of my red hair. I'm probably genetically related." Squirrels and chefs. Complete nuts. He's part squirrel

He's part squirrel

Butcher Humour

During the above launch Owen Brown's mate Big Louie did a five minute stand-up routine. "It suprised me to see in a book by chef here, some vegetarian recipes. Very good I hear too. Are there any veggies in the room tonight?" Several hands were raised. "Surprised you had the energy to lift your arms," quipped Big Louie. There were several chuckles but one person choked on his beer, spluttered and then howled with uncontrollable laughter. This was Lee Frost, the well-known teetotal (Is that right, Ed?) butcher of Chorlton. Sleuth was tickled by a butcher creased up by a vegetarian joke.  

Sleuth's View Off 

Twitter had a face off for views over city on Thursday. As a good Confidential member Sleuth thought @JonathSchofield's city view was best. Although the @MCRHouse's offering was good. Sleuth had to laugh at @AngryBeetham's pic though which simply said: ME LOOKING AT MY FEET.

@JonathSchofield's busy skies@JonathSchofield's busy skies

@MCRHouse's sunset view@MCRHouse's sunset view

@AngryBeetham looking at his feet@AngryBeetham looking at his feet

Big Umbrella Boat Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, concierges, Paul Flowers, Owls and Pussycats, sad Black Lions, Elixirs of Life, Grey Squirrels, Red Squirrels and all the aliens in Shaun Ryder's head and asked: "Where can we find an upturned umbrella that might substitute as a pea green boat should we decide to go to sea and get married in the land where the Bong Tree grows?"

"Why," says Sleuth, "that would be in Spinningfields after a very windy night."

And to prove this he showed the policemen, concierges, Paul Flowers, Owls and Pussycats, sad Black Lions, Elixirs of Life, Grey Squirrels, Red Squirrels and all the aliens in Shaun Ryder's head, these pictures.

If you should wish to go to sea...

If you should wish to go to sea...

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

SteamyNovember 22nd 2013.

The attitude of the staff and overpriced food at The Black Lion really won't have helped. I lived in Blackfriars / Chapel Street until recently and ended up going anywhere but the Black Lion. Very sad as location & the building space etc are brilliant.

dch236November 22nd 2013.

I agree, the beer quality / choice was suspect to say the least. For me there are too many good pubs to waste time at the bad ones.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

The beer choice is governed by brewery, as a gin girl I loved it there! The staff were always lovely & the vibe more relaxed then most pubs in that area.

Jon GarrettNovember 22nd 2013.

I've seen this place shut and reopen a few times under different owners over the past dozen years. It might just be because it doesn't get the footfall but weird that the New Oxford up the road is thriving. Think range of beer has something to do with it, last beer I had in there a few months ago was rank and pricey.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

If you want to hear the opinions of the New Oxford, check out their online interview on Salford Online. The recent manager did more with the lion then anyone else managed over the last decade.

Jon GarrettNovember 22nd 2013.

Will do, have you a link ? Just making the point that the site of the Pub seems doomed, if you think of all the flats near by it's a shame.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

Its a huge shame! I live in one of the nearby flats & the last thing anyone wants is a closed up facade & a lost local.www.salfordonline.com/…/46602-salford_s_black_lion_pub_to_close_down_again.html…

Jon GarrettNovember 22nd 2013.

Ah, so it's bloody Enterprise Inns (ironic name) watching their profit margins, thank god the Eagle Inn is still about !

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2013.

Yes agreed! Up the Eagle x

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

Can't believe the best local on Chapel St is closing.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

An old man pub on the outside....Nthern QTR on the inside! Gutted.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

The only one in the local area I would feel comfortable going in on my own, huge loss for the locals.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

The team at The Lion couldn't have tried any harder to keep that place open, so sad to see them lose their jobs.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

Nooooooo!

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

The New Oxford has much less restrictions placed upon it & Tim from the New Oxford was one of the many owners who tried to make the black lion profitable....but couldn't!

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

If you want to hear the opinions of the New Oxford, check out their online interview on Salford Online. The recent manager did more with the lion then anyone else managed over the last decade.

AnonymousNovember 22nd 2013.

Enterprise Inns like most businesses in the trade will look at the Lion as part of a property portfolio not as a pub business. Having lived in Manchester got over 10 years it's obvious that it's the indies that are thriving. Companies like Eneterprise don't care. Hold a property in 'controlled decay' then sell on for redevelopment. There's more money in that than actually running an actual pub. Most pubs like this end up getting sold on to Tesco or Sainsburys as a shop. Ironically due to their excellent proximity to local residents. Challenge Enterprises, Punch ect and they'll bemoan the government and alcohol taxation.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

Indeed they are but watch licensing changes especially by Tesco

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2013.

The Co-op Bank scandal sadly "also proves" the now lamentable state of Manchester journalism. The Manchester Evening News coverage of this whole sorry "Manchester" story, has been both pitiful and pathetic. It's about time somebody (MC & ex GMG journos etc?) spoke up about this, isn't it???

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 23rd 2013.

Hardly a friend of Manchester, but the sad truth is the Daily Mail website is now the place to go for the latest Manchester news & sport stories. (Even to comment on them too.) Yes thanks so much for this, Guardian Media Group! The original founders of the Scott Trust must be spinning in their graves.

AnonymousNovember 23rd 2013.

There is certainly a journalistic story to tell about how the Co-op through the Co-operative & Labour Party funds numerous Councillors in Manchester including a third of those on the Council Executive. There is a story about how that Executive transferred £20million of Public Money + public land to the Co-op’s NOMA project to relocate the ring road, ignoring its own planning guidelines on road construction near residential properties (having also funded the CIS Building solar project previously). This has effectively inflated the land holdings of the Co-op by changing the postcode from M4 to a more lucrative M60 whilst significantly undermining the quality of life of the residents in the area. There is also a story to tell over how the Co-op subsequently sold the “NOMA Public Realm” to Deutsche Bank and a Chinese Investment company for £145million. What share do the Public get back of that? Bon viveurs and their Media acolytes indeed!

AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

Narcissistic British journalists, the best in the world eh? Hardly. Flowers humiliating & damning performance before that Commons Treasury Select Committee (covered live by the BBC Parliament channel) was on the 6th November - yet it didn't even make that evening's news bulletins. Even though the Co-op Bank troubles were a major story, Flower's evidence that day was "obviously" not considered important or significant enough, by all their financial correspondents? Luckily for us all though, a drug dealer was watching and carried out his own brand of "investigative journalism" - which he then passed on, fait accompli, to a Sunday newspaper the following week! So such sanctimonious hypocrisy we're seeing on our news channels now. British journalists & news correspondents, the best in the world - my a**e!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

Further details of the rent boy can be obtained on Facebook when you have finished with your Times. His agency (they are mentioned) will tell ManCon what services he offers or maybe as good journalists they know already. I can't afford his prices so will have to resort to Grindr (staights go to Tendre) What any of this has to do with the real situation of the Co-op Bank plc, now owned by hedge funds we will have to wait from less exciting reports.

AnonymousNovember 24th 2013.

But the Treasury Select Committee was live on BBC Parliament and no doubt for 7 days after the 6th of November and the proceedings can be read in Hansard. Surely Anon prefers his news without journalists' spinings

AnonymousNovember 25th 2013.

BBC news journalists (and others) didn't spin the story - on the 6th November and for a week and a half later, they didn't even think it was worth commentating on. But it was, because Flower's performance that day was "damning" in itself and should have been headline news. That's the point you two above. So it seems not only have our financial regulatory bodies have not been keeping an eye on the ball, it's obvious now that our narcissistic financial journalists (on their Premier League size wages) haven't either!

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