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New Mark Addy To Open, New NQ Bar And Victory

Sleuth Wk 8: The Truth, The Nearly Truth, Some Sort of Truth

Written by . Published on February 21st 2014.

New Mark Addy To Open, New NQ Bar And Victory

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

The New Mark Addy

Sleuth hears The New Mark Addy will open in the middle of March. Many of the problems with the building are being addressed. The canopy is being repaired to stop water ingress, the carpets on the stairs replaced with hard surfaces, windows repaired, paintwork redone. The food will echo the original eighties menu of cheese, hams and pates many with a North West accent. There will be six real ales on tap, top wines and good spirits. The arches along the terrace will be stripped and cleaned too and probably heated. Allen Caldwell and Jeffrey Gilbert are the boys behind this re-invention. Sleuth wishes them luck. He finds it grand that given all the UK floods, the pair are brave enough to re-open the Mark Addy when its terrace is about a forearm's length from the rushing waters of the River Irwell. 

New Northern Quarter Bar Opens Permanently

Sleuth's a bit sick of the word ‘speakeasy’ being over used to describe bars that aren't illegal drinking dens in Prohibition America. But hey there's always a cliché du jour and Sleuth supposes the word sums up hidden away places big on spirits and cocktails, even if legally selling them.

On Friday 7 March The Fitzgerald, will open permanently off Stevenson Square, in a narrow alleyway called Stevenson Place. This is so hidden away you might miss it blinking while walking past. The name refers to F. Scott Fitzgerald author of the Great Gatsby and will have 1920s furniture, suitable cocktails and waitresses in flapper dresses. In which case Sleuth is thinking that for once 'speakeasy' might be apt, especially as to get in you have to walk up to the door and whisper 'Fitzgerald'.

F Scott Fitzgerald


F. Scott Fitzgerald studies the plans for the bar named after him in the Northern Quarter. "It's all I ever wanted" he told Sleuth from beyond the grave.

Kraak alley and the world's biggest arrowKraak alley and the world's biggest arrow (Stevenson Sq in the distance)

Reds Through The Door

The new restaurant Reds, reviewed by the editor here, has some charming accoutrements alongside the beautiful beef long at £15.95. A curiosity amongst the fixtures and fittings though lies in the toilets. Namely grilles. Not grills, but grilles. As in confessional booths in churches of a Roman persuasion. Apparently if the people on both sides of the booths draw back the doors on said grilles they can enjoy a chat while on the job. Sleuth isn't that keen. There are certain things in life one should only ever do alone. Still Sleuth supposes these grilles may prove useful should you be in a rush and need to unburden your guilt with a priestly mate you've brought to lunch. 

The beef long - you can talk about it in the bogs

The beef long - you can talk about it in the bogs

Prince And The Luck Of The Draw

Prince is playing the Academy 1 and tickets sold out in about seventeen seconds. Sleuth was on a tour with a man this week who said: "I got tickets for Prince on Friday. When he said he was playing Manchester on the Brits and my girlfriend screamed, 'We need tickets!' I said, 'But we don't know where he's playing?' 'Guess,' she said, 'I don't know, try the Academy.' I looked on my phone. Nothing. Then I refreshed, and the tickets were on sale. Couldn't believe it. So we got a pair of tickets just from the pure luck of guessing right." Sleuth mugged him and ran off with both tickets.

PrincePrince - in demand

Sleuth's Bored By Prince's Choice Of Venue

Given the individuality of Prince, Sleuth is disappointed in his choice of venue. Academy 1 for all its virtues is effectively a breeze-block rectangle that looks like a B&Q. Surely something like Albert Hall on Peter Street would have been better. Sleuth's been thinking of other dull venues Prince might have considered: the Travelodge on Blackfriars, Burger King on Piccadilly, Waves in the Britannia Hotel, Manchester Arndale Food Court, Chorlton Street multi-storey car park. Actually all of those places would be more interesting than the dull old Academy 1.


Music venue or B&Q?

Sleuth Applauds Defeat For The Puritans

Three sort of serious Sleuth's here. It was good to see the new puritans defeated on Wednesday in the Discuss debates on the motion Drink is a greater menace than drugs. Dr Alan Higgins, Greater Manchester Lead on Health took on William Lees-Jones of JW Lees Brewery and lost, narrowly, but lost all the same. Sleuth is pleased because Sleuth is sick of busybodying and do-gooding and banning. The event at Albert’s Chop House seemed predicated on the fact that alcohol issues cost £400m to the local NHS. So?

The Danish And The NHS

As William Lees-Jones said you can't have national policy dictated by the balance sheets of the National Heath Service. He's right of course. There are other more important considerations such as remembering we are a democracy not bureaucracy. Freedom in the West means we do as we please within the law. As for the Danes, last year they were found to be the happiest people in the world, yet they drink as much or slightly more than the Brits and have a much higher death rate through alcohol than us. Interesting. Maybe we need to drink more to be happier. 

Danish woman gagging for a drink


Danish woman gagging for a drink

The Big Fat Problem 

Sleuth reckons as pointed out in the debate, that if we are going to base national policy on the balance sheets of the National Health Service rather than principles at the core of life in a modern democracy, then we should turn our attention first to obesity. Obesity kills at least six times as many people as alcohol each year in the UK. So should the debate have been called Food is a greater menace than drugs. Absurd - right? 

Sleuth And The Eyes Of The Building

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, concierges, Mark Addy, dead American authors, Mr Stevenson, priests on the way to toilet confessions, Prince, new Puritans, obese NHS patients and all the cheeses in the North West and asked: "Where can we find the best pair of windows that look like John Lennon spectacles in the city?"

"Why," says Sleuth, "that would be in Onward Buildings on Deansgate. You can read about its tiled splendour here."

And to prove this he showed the policemen, concierges, Mark Addy, dead American authors, Mr Stevenson, priests on the way to toilet confessions, Prince, new Puritans, obese NHS patients and all the cheeses in the North West, this picture.

Pair of glasses windows


Pair of glasses windows

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

Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on February 21st 2014.
Jessica MyersFebruary 21st 2014.

If Fitzgerald is really a speakeasy why mount a big illuminated sign on the front of the building?

Calum McGFebruary 21st 2014.

Agree about Academy 1. Instead of refurbing it, they should flattened it. 1990s cheap architecture at it's very worst.

Stuart FearFebruary 21st 2014.

So that's a BAR named after the infamously alcoholic F. Scott Fitzgerald who keeled over dead in his 40s? Maybe Dr. Higgins has a point. And a call to tackle obesity from an inveterate food pedlar? Oh how baffling this modern world is.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

Scott still wrote better than anybody else I've ever read, drink or no drink.

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

I've heard the area will be renamed the Stevenson Square Quarter.

AnonymousFebruary 21st 2014.

Prince - most overrated pop artist ever? Total snooze fest.

John NuttallFebruary 22nd 2014.

Prince, overrated?? You're obviously a Coldplay fan

John NuttallFebruary 22nd 2014.

The alcohol debate should really have been titled 'Legal drug is a greater menace than illegal drugs', scientifically alcohol is a drug, the fact that the Government is pimping off it is irrelevant.

rinkydinkFebruary 23rd 2014.

Let's hope the work being done at the Mark Addy gets rid of that minging damp smell that was so offputting

David in CheshireFebruary 23rd 2014.

The Academy occupies a space which in the 70s was a patch of scrubby grass between the Union building and the Devas Street building (once the Music School, by this time it had been abandoned by the university, occupied by students for informal gigs and parties, and was known to all as The Squat). The union had at some point been promised the grassy space, and had erected a large sign in the middle of the grass, which read "This is the Union extension". The Squat is now a car park and the grassy knoll is the Academy. Ugly, it is, as has been pointed out.

AnonymousFebruary 23rd 2014.

I love the coloured glass lobby of the Academy, I think it's quite lovely. Never really noticed the rest of the building to be honest.

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