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Lucha Libre And Elixir Bar Opening, Timbaland Feasts, Tram Floods

Sleuth 41: Absurdity and News

Written by . Published on October 4th 2013.

Lucha Libre And Elixir Bar Opening, Timbaland Feasts, Tram Floods

Sleuth 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

Shack Blown Up - Nobody Bothered

Sleuth was alarmed this week by news that Shack, Manchester's most mysterious restaurant had blown up. Its site on Hilton Street was a right mess. Had a fondue gone tragically wrong? But then Philip Glenister walked out of the wreckage with a 'casualty' and Sleuth was relieved to note Shack was in fact safe for the gastronomes of the city to continue to ignore. Turns out the whole thing was a scene from a forthcoming BBC dramatisation of the IRA bomb attack in 1996, entitled From There To Here 




Philip GlenisterPhilip GlenisterTiming Is Everything

Sleuth recalls a story from the editor, who does tours around the city. He was due to do his first public walk in Manchester on Saturday 15 June, 1996, at 2pm - he'd only qualified as a guide the week before. The tour was for a local historical group and the walk was called Bombed and Besieged Manchester at War. It never took place because the theme of the tour took over all too convincingly at 11.17am that morning. 

One Day Around 2032 It Might All Be Finished

Sleuth was at the launch of the public consultation for HS2, the high speed rail link proposals at the Town Hall on Tuesday. Patrick McLouglin, minister for transport, was there as was Sir Richard Leese, the council leader. The latter wondered whether it could be possible to speed up delivery of high speed rail travel from the present anticipated completion date of 2032. Later Sleuth was admiring the graphics for a new Piccadilly Station. "Look,"he said, "there's London Road Fire Station." "Yes," quipped a nearby wit, "it's 2032 and Alex Langsam and Britannia Hotels Group still haven't started refurbishing the Fire Station."

Piccadilly Station of the future


Piccadilly Station of the future, with London Road Fire Station

How To Alarm A Minister

Nick Hurd, the government minister in charge of Civil Society - no Sleuth had never heard of that one either - was in town with the Tory conference. He visited Manchester Cathedral volunteer programme. One of its members, Charlene, said how the programme had changed her life, made her more confident. "I'm now going to set up an after school childcare business," she said. "The problem is for a lot of families in my area they are in work but don't earn enough to pay the bills especially childcare. I think I can provide a solution so parents don't have to turn down work or work part time." Enterprise, entrepreneurship, just what Nick Hurd wanted to hear - despite the problem of low wages rearing its ugly head. "So I'm looking for government grants to help get started," Charlene continued. Government grants? Hand-outs? Sleuth has never seen a minister of state's head revolve before.

Nick Hurd and others at the Cathedral

Nick Hurd in blue suit and tie chats to the people

Sleuth's Art Of Dressing Appropriately

Sleuth got off the tram at Castlefield/Deansgate this week, fortunately dressed in full combat gear complete with thigh high army waders. He was very smug at having to avoid the Raiders of the Lost Ark parapet walk.

Carefully does it

Carefully does it

Best insult of the Conservative Party Conference:

Two young Conservative types were having a spat in the street and one turned to the other with all the vehemence he could muster and stammered: “You’re, you’re…you’re just a ginger Ed Milliband." Sleuth agrees, that would be horrible. 

Lucha Libre Opens In November

Lucha Libre is opening in the second week in November hears Sleuth. This Liverpool operation will take up space next to All Star Lanes in the Great Northern. It's a Mexican themed restaurant with grand designs on authenticity. So while the menu will feature baja fish burritos, sweet potato fries, rib enchiladas it will not be supplying fajitas because they are Tex-Mex not Mex-Mex and thus vex Lucha Libre very much. 

Sleuth Without His Coat And Hat, But Sporting His Wrestling Lucha Libre Mask Prepares For Church

Sleuth without his coat and hat but sporting his wrestling Lucha Libre mask prepares to go shopping

Timbaland's Calorie Controlled Diet 

Timbaland, producer, rapper, star has been in town with Jay Z. He's a big fan of Sleuth, Jay Z is even a bigger one - they all are. Anyway here's Timbaland getting ready to tuck into a bit of Mexican at Barburrito on Deansgate. Looks a bit calorific that baby he's holding in his hand. Mind you he looks like a man who can hold his food. 

Timbaland in Barburrito


Timbaland in Barburrito

Elixir Bar To Open On Deansgate 

November will bring a positive glut of bars. At around the same time Lucha Libra launches, Elixir bar will open opposite John Rylands Library. This is going to be, and Sleuth is quoting the owner, "a high end, service-led, cocktail and drinks space that will blend the individuality of a Northern Quarter bar with the efficiency and style of a Spinningfields operation." There'll be some food to help the drink along too. "It's all about individuality," Sleuth is told, "there will be mojito cupcakes." Crikey Sleuth lives off them. By the look of Timbaland he lives off more of them.

Sleuth's Grand Design Of The Week

Sleuth loves skyscapers, they lift his soul. So he was excited to see this proposal on a city model. It looks like the building might create traffic problems on Peter Street but it has got a wonderful design.

Massive new tower for the city centre


Massive new tower for the city centre

Sleuth's Astounding Wall Decoration Of The Week

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street and asked by policemen, concierges, Philip Glenister, historians, cabinet ministers, Mexicans in masks, cleaners and all the bar owners of the city: "Where is the best view while travelling by car over a sewage works across Salford, with Manchester city centre  beyond and even further back the Pennine hills?"

"Why," says Sleuth. "That would be at the Barton High Level Bridge - completed this month 43 years ago - over the M60."

And to prove this he showed the policemen, concierges, Philip Glenister, historians, cabinet ministers, Mexicans in masks, cleaners and all the bar owners of the city, this video.

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

AnonymousOctober 4th 2013.

Is elixir just bar123?

AnonymousOctober 6th 2013.

Luche Libre is excellent love the liverpool one cant wait for this to open.

BonzoOctober 6th 2013.

Agreed ! The Liverpool one is amazing. Looking forward to this one opening.

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

No - Elixir is a completely new bar - nothing to do with the previous owners. The guys who have taken over have a great deal of experience in the cocktail and bar industry - and have developed quite a celeb and high end following over the years. I have been a number of events where they have operated the bar and have always been really impressed. The bar seems to currently be being refurbed - and if past experience is anything to go by - the drinks and service will be amazing! I will certainly be at the front of the queue.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

celeb and high end following, great. another towie bar

SquirrelitoOctober 7th 2013.

Sheesh..."celeb and high end" Helen Flannelhead et al?

Jonathan Schofield - editorOctober 7th 2013.

Since this bar has yet to open then the comment above is ridiculous. I'm beginning to think that the only way to control cowardly and irrational comments such as Anon's here is to remove them unless the person is willing to name themselves. The internet is already full of idiots with narrow-minds and chips on their shoulders who hate, apparently, anything and everything as their default reaction. I, as editor, would rather not have them on Manchester Confidential. Worse it's full of characters such as the Anon above who 'hates' before they've even visited a new initiative that if nothing else will at least provide jobs. Reasoned negative opinion, crafted critical comment is fine, but the comment here is silly, childish.

SquirrelitoOctober 7th 2013.

Seems to me the Anon comment and my own were an eye-rolling reference to the description "celeb and high end" by the previous poster, which- to me - read like something found in one of theose freebie "foodie" magazines found hanging around in Knutsford hair salons - hardly a hating of an unopened bar or a sign of any chips on any shoulders, nor intended as a denigration of Man Con, Jonathan.

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

That was the point - why having a 'celeb and high end following' was seen as a positive

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.

that certainly hasn't been my experience of their past events - not a tangoed face i sight

AnonymousOctober 7th 2013.


Dr ZubianOctober 7th 2013.

If there's something Manchester has been lacking in a bar it's one with the the individuality of a Northern Quarter bar with the efficiency and style of a Spinningfields operation! Especially one with quite a celeb and high end following, can't wait!

James SmithOctober 8th 2013.

Can't help but noticing that the proposed Piccadilly development doesn't seem for there to be any need to flatten Mayfield Station, is that right? The only reason to that I can see from the graphic to knock it down would be to replace it with a mixed use developmzzzzzzzzz...

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

It's a mint old building but it's so knackered it's not much use. Love to see it restored back to a station but it won't happen, boo :(

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