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SLEUTH: Cielo Blanco Move On MCR | Affleck & Brown | Axis Tower

Week 7: It's Sleuth... but 'with a twist'

Written by . Published on February 20th 2015.

SLEUTH: Cielo Blanco Move On MCR | Affleck & Brown | Axis Tower

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


Sleuth hears Leeds answer to Lucha Libre, Cielo Blanco, are poised to make a move on Manchester and are currently viewing a number of sites with eyes on a late-2015 opening. Cielo Blanco - located in Trinity Leeds shopping centre - comes from the Leelex Group, a bar, restaurant and music company with a number of operations in Leeds including Call Lane's raucous Jake's Bar and Neon Cactus, as well as London's Portobello Star - a fave of the Notting Hillbillies ('top bants'). Sleuth hears Cielo were originally lined-up for the redeveloped Manchester (Freemasons) Hall on Bridge Street, then for the Corn Exchange - but were gazumped by Wahaca. Sleuth ate at Cielo last year and wasn't hugely impressed, but then Sleuth is growing tired of bastardised Mexican food, Sleuth wonders when last an actual Mexican ordered a 10lb Titanic burrito with enough chipotle sauce to blow the arse off a rhino.

Cielo Blanco staffCielo Blanco staff


Affleck & Brown used to be a posh department store on Oldham Street, the equivalent of Kendals (now House of Fraser) on Deansgate. Then the Manchester Arndale opened and Oldham Street went down the pan. Now bars are opening on an hourly basis and the latest on Hilton Street in the former Art NQ Cafe Bar (the orange and blue one on the corner nobody ever drank in) has given itself the name of the old department store. On a brief visit last night Sleuth found Affleck & Brown has already trumped many of the NQ new breed bars on three counts; firstly, they had IPA for £3.50; secondly, there were more than seven people in which is already more than the Art NQ ever had; thirdly, the barmaids were as giddy as toddlers on a see-saw and served with smiles wide, unlike many NQ bartenders of late who look as though they'd rather be in Tripoli than stood in front of you.

Affleck & BrownAffleck & Brown


Planning for the huge 7m x 30m LED media screen on the new 27-storey Axis Tower by Deansgate Locks is to go ahead. There had been some doubt whether the new state-of-the-art advertising screen would be approved, with concerns over whether the bright flashy ads would mean distracted Metrolink drivers would forget to stop at stations, distracted vehicle drivers would end up in the canals and distracted residents would accidentally walk off the end of their balconies. Still, these issues were overcome by banning the use of 'motion video displays' in favour of 'moving advertisements'. Now, Sleuth is no ad man (even if he did buy a power suit, side-part his hair and walk around the Confidential offices slapping bottoms after watching Mad Men) but can someone explain to Sleuth the difference between motion videos and moving ads? - details here

Axis TowerAxis Tower and media screen


Sleuth met Al Melling for lunch. Al Melling is writing a book. He’s the engineer’s engineer, a Royton boy and designer of Formula One engines and those of high performance motorbikes. A V12 engine he designed helped Jaguar win Le Mans. His Rochdale-based company MCD designed suave sports cars such as the Wildcat pictured below. At lunch Melling revealed an odd medical condition: synesthesia. This is where stimulation of one sense leads to an automatic response in another. “I taste colour,” said Melling. “What does that blue sign taste of?” asked Sleuth. “Aluminium,” responded Melling without hesitation.

Al Melling in Barton ArcadeAl Melling in Barton Arcade

The WildcatThe Wildcat


Sleuth went on an excursion to Alderley Edge on Tuesday and ended up having lunch in the Legh Arms in Prestbury which also seemed to support a hanging pub sign reading 'The Black Boy', a traditional pub name now past its sell-buy date – no wonder it calls itself The Legh Arms. Our food botherer Gordo worked here from the age of three to the age of ridiculousness - or so he tells us. Food was ‘hearty’, sledgehammer over the head portions of lamb and mash, the atmosphere very Cheshire G&T. Still Sleuth was intrigued by the photo-montage by the door to the car park. Ah, he thought, this is where San Carlo must have had the idea.

3Inspiration for San Carlo's famous face wall?

4The Legh Arms aka...


Sleuth was at the launch of the Chinese New Year celebrations in Manchester on Thursday. These involved beautiful projections of patterns and life in China across the whole facade of St Ann’s Church. There was a musical accompaniment as well. It was lovely and Sleuth recommends it as performances will be repeated Friday and Saturday evening. It was also the occasion for entrepreneurship. Sleuth was stood to one side of the church when one of the city centre’s gentlemen of the street sidled up. “I’m taking donations towards the entertainment,” he said, nodding at the projections. Sleuth laughed, “We all know it’s free, mate.” “Worth a try, I thought,” said the man shuffling off, “showing initiative, like, innit.”

Cny Light Show 4

Cny Light Show 5Chinese New Year Light Show


There's little that annoys Sleuth more - aside from wet socks and people who stop at the top of escalators - than the expression 'with a twist'. It's lazy, it means nothing and needs to be culled. So Sleuth is taking it upon himself to highlight the offenders and thus rid the city of twists. First up is new Oxford Street vintage clothes store Goodstock - which offers a 'shopping experience with a twist'. Tut tut.

(Sleuth has since been told that Goodstock is actually a charity shop and now feels very, very guilty. So Sleuth's heading over at lunchtime to pay £70 for a denim jacket that's had fourteen previous owners and smells like a sumo wrestler's jock strap)With A Twist

Shopping with a twist

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

AVOFebruary 20th 2015.

Didn't Gordo work at the Legh Arms since the age of 3?

1 Response: Reply To This...
EditorialFebruary 20th 2015.

True. That's been added.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

In the Legh Arms wall photos, the bottom one looks like Adolf Hitler would have looked in the early sixties. Did he settle in Prestbury after the war?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AVOFebruary 20th 2015.

Hitler got driven out by the steep rise in house prices in the early 90's. Apparently all the riches looted from WW2 could only net him a small room above Bacchus.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.


SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

By the way a helter skelter is a slide with a twist

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

And a screw is a nail with a twist

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

And fusilli is spaghetti with a twist

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

And Oliver is a character in a Dickens' novel with a twist

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 22nd 2015.

Bill Haley wrote a song about a Twist.

tblzebraFebruary 20th 2015.

And rope is hemp with a twist.

1 Response: Reply To This...
So IconicFebruary 20th 2015.

The Corkscrew was a ride with a twist.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

'The Usual Suspects' is a film with a twist.

JoanFebruary 20th 2015.

JS. I thought the CNY St Ann's projection finished in Saturday. Your article says Sunday. I'm hoping you're right, but guessing not. Sundays often seen like Saturdays with a twist, though not usually around churches.

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

The link to the screen pdf goes to your C:/ drive. Anyway, moving ads are smooth flowing video, like normal TV, motion is typically animated, a good example is to look for "kinetic type" videos on Youtube. For the sake of the Great Northern residents I hope they can dim this screen at night as large scale ad boards can be very distracting and can interfere with sleep patterns. A little irresponsible to approve this so close to a residential development.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Bill WoodFebruary 22nd 2015.

I just have bladerunner in my head now - is the City centre heading for this?

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

Find and Replace: "Ceilo" with "Cielo".

8 Responses: Reply To This...
SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

Oh for f....

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

The Twisted Wheel was a nightclub with a twist

Lynette CawthraFebruary 20th 2015.

A second pedantic proof-reader writes: Not just in your header; I can still see five 'Ceilos'...

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

Issue has been dealt with Lynette (Sleuth has hung the sub-editor) but the page hasn't yet updated.

SmittyFebruary 20th 2015.

Not wishing to add to the pedantry (who am I kidding), but if you mean that you put your sub-editor to death, you "hanged", rather than "hung", him.

SleuthFebruary 20th 2015.

Sod off

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

It's hanged not hung

Sleuth OldFebruary 21st 2015.

Sleuth Old knows it was 'hanged' so he has hung Sleuth Young out to dry

SquirrelitoFebruary 20th 2015.

Don't get me started on Chubby bloody Checker

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

Hee hee

AnonymousFebruary 20th 2015.

In Bristol there's a road called 'Whiteladies Road and at the top it's called Blackboy hill'.. The legacy of Empire.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Barry MaginnFebruary 21st 2015.

Both these roads are named after old pubs. They have nothing to do with the slave trade. Although it is true that most of the wealth that built Clifton was through slavery.

SteamyFebruary 20th 2015.

That big screen might distract drivers leading them to drive onto the Metrolink tracks. Oh wait.

AnonymousFebruary 22nd 2015.

C'mon people of mancunia, make this happen..... www.kickstarter.com/…/keystone-independent-art-drink-and-food-all-under…

2 Responses: Reply To This...
mancadamFebruary 22nd 2015.

why dont you take out a business loan or use the profit from your other supposedly successful ventures instead of asking everyone else to pay for you to make a living? or maybe all the food and drink will be free since you're asking the general public to stump up the cash to pay for event in the first place.

DarrenFebruary 22nd 2015.

The money people pay is for a ticket?

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