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New Restaurant, Re-invented Bar, Taxi Madness, Pussy Riot And Politics

Sleuth 9/11/2012

Published on November 9th 2012.


New Restaurant, Re-invented Bar, Taxi Madness, Pussy Riot And Politics

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

Spinningfields Finds Americana In The Neighbourhood

Details are swinging Sleuth’s way over the opening of Neighbourhood in Tower 12 in Spinningfields. The place is styling itself an ‘NYC eatery and bar’. A sneak menu preview includes ideas (not totally settled yet) such as lobster tacos and grilled cheese, smoked bacon and tomato soup dumplings, steaks, wagyu sliders and crab fried oysters. Americana rules it seems in 2012 - it's the on-trend food fashion. Neighbourhood is the creation of James Hitchen who has already opened Southern Eleven in Spinningfields. As somebody said to Sleuth, a New York, venue should go down a storm. Sleuth pointed out that was a bit sick. 

Sleuth’s Ever-Changing Bar Of The Week

It’s been Ostara, Charango, Scott’s Hill and now it’s going to be The Beagle. The troubled Chorlton location is styling itself a 'beer house with dining rooms'. The team behind it, is the team behind Common and Port Street Beer House. In a site that’s not had the best of food luck, they seem an ambitious lot. They’ve teamed up with Laurence Tottingham of Aumbry in Prestwich and will have ‘playful takes on colonial relics, British exports and foreign imports, anything that influenced the British palate over the last couple of hundred years is fair game. There may even be some fair game.’ Nice. Sleuth's mouth s watering already.

Rossendale Taxi Invasion – Beware The Lack Of The Knowledge

Sleuth got in a mini-cab the other day, and said, “Manchester Town Hall please.” He was already a bit puzzled because the private hire vehicle was red, and in Manchester they have to be white. “Could you give me directions?” the cabbie said. Pause. Silence. Sleuth then spent five minutes spluttering vigorous indignation at the driver. 

“How would I know?” said the cabbie, “I’m from Rossendale.” Turns out that drivers with hackney licences in say, Rossendale, can be private hire drivers anywhere in the country. This loop hole means that cabbies who pay massively less for their licence and plates than Manchester drivers and don’t have to conform to vehicle colour and vehicle age or undergo any 'knowledge' test, can pick people like Sleuth up from their doors and not have a single clue where to go. Confidential has a full story about this next week. 

As for Sleuth he had to give meticulous instructions at every junction to the Town Hall. As he got out of the car the driver said, “Excuse me. Just had a job radioed in. Where’s the University on Oxford Road?”

Does anybody know what this building is?Does anybody know what this building is?

Sleuth’s Wonderful Cathedral Suggestion

So Sleuth was amongst the great, the good, the not so great and the not very good, at the opening of the Albert Square Chop House this week.

He was talking to the charming Anthony O’Connor, the director of fundraising and development at Manchester Cathedral. Anthony also arranges the events. These cover everything from wine tastings to Alicia Keys gigs.

Sleuth suggested that a real splash of fund-raising publicity would be made if the Cathedral invited, Russia’s jailed Pussy Riot to perform for their first gig after release - that would fit beautifully with Manchester's radical tradition.

Anthony O’Connor looked very interested, although he might have choking on the mini-Eccles’ cake canapé doing the rounds. Anyway watch this space. Sleuth’s sending an invite now. 

CathedralCathedral

Sleuth And The Labour Plotters

Council Leader Sir Richard Leese pulled the celebratory opening pint at Albert Square Chop House. “It's fantastic to see this place open again. I remember when it was the Square Albert pub,” he said. He then pointed at Graham Stringer, MP for Blackley and Broughton and a Confidential columnist. “I remember back in the eighties I spent many a happy hour in here plotting with Graham.” 

Graham Stringer, the council leader before Leese, confirmed this. “In 1984 half the Labour group met in the pub to decide how to take over the council. I’d voted against the whip on an issue so was banned from meetings in the Town Hall. It was so loud in the pub and so many people wanted to have their say that we ended up late at night with a group of forty councillors debating out on the street. Then we went into the Town Hall and I was voted Council Leader by three or four votes.” 

If people can’t remember, it was under Graham Stringer that the city seriously began to wake from its post-industrial hangover.  

Roger Ward, proprietor of Albert Square Chop House, edges behind Sir Richard Leese, Council LeaderRoger Ward, proprietor of Albert Square Chop House, edges behind Sir Richard Leese, Council Leader

Sleuth And The Alarming Confession

Sleuth was leading a Haunted Underworld tour in the city last Saturday. Suddenly a pair of ruffians charged past pursued by a police officer and a security guard. The latter caught up with the baddies in the Barton Arcade. One of Sleuth’s guests on the tour looked shaken. “That was my best mate,” he said. The rest of the group stared at him. Sleuth articulated what they were all thinking, “What, one of the lads arrested?” The young man went red, “No, no, the police officer.” Sighs of relief all round.

Sleuth's Jolly Graffitti Of The Week

Somebody, bless 'em, has taken it upon themselves to add Beatles lyrics to the help points round the city. This is the one on Portland Street. So all together now....

Portland Street sing-alongPortland Street sing-along

Sleuth's Gratuitous Picture Of Food

Here's some of the nosh available at Umezushi, underneath the arches at Victoria Station. Sleuth's put it here because he's hungry and he's going off to eat some. It was good food Japanese food. Full review next week. Website here.

UmezushiUmezushi

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

AnonymousNovember 9th 2012.

I'm sure Private Hire don't strictly have to be white. Street Cars (for example) taxis are silver...

CAB manNovember 9th 2012.

Oh yes they do dear Anon

1 Response: Reply To This...
avoNovember 13th 2012.

http://streetcarsmanchester.co.uk/ The video on their site shows silver vehicles on their fleet. Are you saying they're operating illegally?

AnonymousNovember 9th 2012.

In Manchester private hire have to be either white or silver. However, Sleuth is being very naughty by hailing a private hire cab as he knows he should phone for private hire and may only hail a black, hackney, cab.

SleuthNovember 9th 2012.

Sleuth didn't hail one. He rang for it and it picked up from his house.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousNovember 9th 2012.

That's outrageous. Name and shame the firm, Sleuth!

SleuthNovember 9th 2012.

It was Olympics/Goodwins but as our story next week will show, it's a legal practice, a loop hole, being looked into by a Law Commission

StephenNovember 14th 2012.

But why did you ring this firm, if you want a Manchester journey? I'm missing part of this story aren't I?

Duke FameNovember 12th 2012.

EDITORIAL DELETION: This comment has been deleted. We keep saying this but we do not allow personal attacks on individuals. These will be removed when noticed. Wit, a sense of humour, satire and so on are encouraged but not gratuitous personal attacks.

David in CheshireNovember 13th 2012.

My taxi story: About 15 years ago I got a black cab from my office in West Gorton to a trendy new Web Design company in town. "Little Lever Street", I said to the driver, a great woolly bear of a man looking like a member of ZZ Top who'd fallen in with the Hells Angels. Little Lever Street is now, as then, a shabby back alley only yards from Piccadilly Gardens, between Lever Street and Newton Street.

Half way up Hyde Road, he turned to me and with considerable feeling he said "I've been driving this cab for 20 years and this is the first time I've ever been asked to go to Little Lever Street".

It does your heart good to bring cheer to an honest tradesman.

NazcaNovember 13th 2012.

Common/Port Street bar in Chorlton... my wallet will be permanently empty now!

AnonymousNovember 14th 2012.

After dark, both Hackney and private hire taxis in Manchester, generally appear to operate without regulation.

Paying anything from £14-£20 for the same journey to Didsbury - from a usually common starting/finishing point - puts me off venturing into the city centre as much I used to.

I wholeheartedly welcome the 'cashless society' with regards to taxi travel. (Fortunately, Metrolink is arriving in the not too distant future and, despite hearing some users knocking it, if it allows me to (largely) avoid using cabs.)

James SpencerNovember 15th 2012.

Whats wrong with the bus or train?

Derek BNovember 26th 2012.

Manchester Private Hire vehicles can be either white or silver! Source Manchester Private Hire Driver

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