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SLEUTH: Solita NQ Pizza Joint | Room Interest | Roast & Conch | Arena Is World Beater

Week 2: Pizza, pavement, passion and profanity

Written by . Published on January 16th 2015.


SLEUTH: Solita NQ Pizza Joint | Room Interest | Roast & Conch | Arena Is World Beater
 

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

SOLITA NQ PIZZA PARLOUR 

"You know what really bugs me," said Solita owner Franco Sotgiu as he talked Sleuth through his latest plans for Solita III in the former-Aumbry in Prestwich. "That I can't get a decent pizza in Manchester." (this is no secret, Sotgiu on average, sends 2,743 tweets a day, half of which are about not being able to find a decent pizza - he's Italian you see) "So do something about it," Sleuth replied, "you're the ruddy restaurateur."

Little did Sleuth know that Sotgiu (the only person ever to have been diagnosed with Sotgiu's 'busy-arse-itus' - meaning he can barely sit still longer enough to eat a biscotti) had already secured a site for a new wood-fired pizza parlour in the Northern Quarter to open late-summer 2015. 

"Think trestle tables, Italian beers, wood fired Neapolitan-style pizzas and a first for the North, pizza al metro - pizza be the metre," Sotgiu told Sleuth. He wouldn't give up the location, but told Sleuth it's within 200m of Solita NQ. Hmm, Sleuth's spotted a few empty sites by Shudehill of late...

SolitaSolita planning a pizza parlour

ROOM SINGS A CARROLL

British Belgian brothers Bernard and Francis Carroll have been designers and restaurateurs that have done much for the Manchester dining scene. They have been - separately or together - behind the late lamented Brasserie St Pierre, Lounge Ten and the once upon a time Reform. This became Room and sadly closed last week - click here. So Sleuth was interested to learn that the brothers took time out to visit the site this week. Could the boys be thinking of re-inventing the space, reforming Room so to speak into the big glamorous beast it was as Reform?

RoomRoom

ROAST & CONCH

Sleuth was sad to see that Steve Pilling, the man behind numerous successful Manchester operations (Sam's and Thomas's Chop House, Damson, Dockyard, amongst others) had given up on his Roast & Oyster restaurant idea for Deansgate's Courthouse buildings after Hawksmoor stole his thunder (see here). Sleuth loves to shuck more than most.

Sleuth was talking to a pal with a pal (stick with us) involed with Henry Boot Developments - owners of the building. He told Sleuth that before Hawksmoor were announced as flagship tenants, a new restaurant called Roast & Conch (fair bit roasting going on in the Courthouse, eh?) were to open in the space. Roast & Conch is a restaurant by British chocolate brand Hotel Chocolat - there's a big Roast & Conch in Leeds, Sleuth's told, plus one in London and one in St Lucia, of all places. According to Sleuth's pal Hotel Chocolat may now look at the site again. Sleuth's had a quick look and found that every dish includes cocoa, including Yorkshire pudding filled with pulled pork and cocoa gravy... reconsider, Mr Pilling?

Courthouse DeansgateCourthouse Deansgate

UNDERLIT LOVELINESS AND THE MOST BORING RANTING IN THE NORTH

Sleuth loves these benches in St Peter's Square. Sleuth loves everything about the St Peter's Square redevelopment and the relocation of the Cenotaph. Sleuth especially loves the lighting such as the illumination under the aforementioned benches. Sleuth doesn't love being stopped every nine point eight seconds by people throwing up their arms and saying, "How can the council leave all this tarmac here?" They're not leaving it here folks but there's no point putting paving down until the lines for the second city Metrolink crossing are in place. So please stop ranting on about it and stop coming up to Sleuth and going on about it. Sleuth feels like standing there with an A-board. 

Underlit delightUnderlit delight

MANCHESTER ARENA IS WORLD'S THIRD BUSIEST

report conducted by Pollstar placed Manchester Arena as the third busiest concert venue in the world. UK venues took all three top spots in the survey, with London's O2 arena first with 1.8m tickets sales in 2014, Glasgow's SSE Hydro second with 1.05m and Manchester Arena close behind with just over 1m tickets sold last year. What's perhaps most surprising is that the United States' flagship venue, New York's Madison Square Garden, was so far behind Manchester with only 790k tickets sold. Sleuth thinks this is great news for the city, and can't wait to catch S Club 7 at the arena on Friday 8 May. Best £50 he's ever spent - S Club tickets here.

Phones 4u ArenaPhones 4u Arena

ALBERT HALL GRANTED WEDDING LICENSE

Ever wanted to get married in an old Brannigans bar? Sleuth knows he has, he's oft dreamt of groomsman in Guinness tophats, big bottles of Hooch on the tables. Well the Trof Group's expensively refurbed Albert Hall on Peter Street (formerly Brannigans) has just been granted a wedding licence, meaning you can share vows on the stage where Goldfrapp, Sam Smith and Bombay Bicycle Club have all performed. A huge organ comes included, the same can't be said of the wedding night...

 

Albert HallAlbert Hall

Albert Hall 's huge organAlbert Hall 's huge organ

 

JIZZDOG, SIR?

Now Sleuth understands the 'dirty food' trend has become an excuse for provocative marketing and filthy one-upmanship, what started with 'slut sauce' has fast descended into 'Go-Fuck-Yourself Burgers' and 'Stick-It-Up-Your-Arse-Pal Burritos'. But Sleuth draws the line at Deansgate Locks bar Lola Lo's 'JizzDogs' (For the sake of decency Sleuth has removed all jokes about explosions, chin drips and salty aftertastes... because, as one ranter pointed out in last week's column, Sleuth is 'better than that'....... spooge).

No thanksSleuth's ok thanks

...AND IN BEZ NEWS

Sleuth thinks the  first bit of 'Bez News' for 2015 is a cracker. The Happy Mondays' maraca man's much-publicized push for a MP's seat in Westminster and revolution has stumbled at the first hurdle. He barely made the first hurdle, actually, more broke his ankle coming out of the blocks. While Bez rememembered to turn up to the launch of his Reality Party in Salford on Monday, what he did not remember was to actually register his party with the Electoral Commission - read here.

Sleuth's now on the look out for another revolution and hears some bloke called Russell has started one to change the world and definitely not just to sell some books - you can buy your own 'Revolution' here for £17.

Bez: 'registering is for The Man, man'Bez: 'registering is for The Man, man'

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

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

The arena was voted the busiest in the world a good few times before the O2 opened in London. Surprised that Glasgow sold more than ours in Manchester.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
SquirrelitoJanuary 16th 2015.

Hydro probably had a one-off boost with the commonwealth games

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

'Voted'? It was the busiest for about 10 years running, until the O2 opened and eventually became the busiest, then all of a sudden that poll became mainstream news. Funny that.

David SmithJanuary 16th 2015.

Perhaps not an A board but one of the posters on the Metrolink platform would go to good use to inform.......THE TARMAC ISN'T STAYING!!!!

Yvonne BarryJanuary 16th 2015.

Best pizza in Manchester is already available at Slice!

Andy JonesJanuary 16th 2015.

Think Slice is good pizza, agree theres little else good in Manc surprisingly, so good to hear about the new Solita They still need some more greenery in St Peter's Sq, it's still a concrete jungle, temporary Tarmac regardless.

Dan FisherJanuary 16th 2015.

Jizz Dogs! Rancid, What do you expect from a 'tiki bar' on the locks though.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

It's actually Fizz Dogs.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Crazy Pedro's anyone?

SmittyJanuary 16th 2015.

I tried to say this already, but the site didn't let me, so can I join the other people who have said that Mister Solita doesn't have to go too far for good pizza - Slice on Stevenson Sq does the best pizza I've ever tasted, anywhere. AND I've been to Italy and Chicago dontchaknow.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Wow, you're so well travelled Smitty. Perhaps Pat Karney, Former Manchester spokesman for Christmas, current Manchester spokeman for good pizza could hire you as a consultant for the good of Manchester. I also tried to say this already but the site didn't let me.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

I love all the flowers and greenery next to the central library it's so in fitting with the rest of the green and luscious Manchester city centre....Ahh..hang on...

5 Responses: Reply To This...
MANCJanuary 16th 2015.

What point are you getting at? That there's not much greenery in the City Centre (yes, true to an extent) or that there's none in the 'not even half-finished, work-in-progress St Peter's Square'?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

How many city centre's in Britain are 'green and luscious'?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

We definitely need some more green space in the city centre, there's hardly any at the moment, it's depressing looking at concrete and tarmac all the time

Calum McGJanuary 16th 2015.

Come and help us rejuvenate the grotty Roman Gardens on Liverpool Road. :)

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Where's that? Got any links for more info Calum?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Yay let's all laugh at Bez.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Ummm hello?? Salvi's Cuccina or Slice or Le Delicatezze Di Bruno ....

Stephen HayesJanuary 16th 2015.

If St Peters Square is so admired by the Sleuth and Gordo, I assume why were they not seen on November 11th preying for our lost and fallen heroes of so many wars at the Cenotaph. These men died so you could eat your way through Manchester amongst so many other tributes. Get a grip, it is not all eating and drinking, there are real people out there, praying and thanking. God Bless.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

This site is about food and drink. This may be more what you are looking for - www.helpforheroes.org.uk…

SleuthJanuary 16th 2015.

What a truly strange rant, Stephen. Sleuth has been visiting the Cenotaph for years. Sleuth has to admit though, it is odd that you didn't spot Sleuth on Nov 11 in the crowd of thousands...

Free SpeechJanuary 16th 2015.

Who the fck are you to tell other people how to remember the dead? Let people grieve and remember how ever they want - you are offending the people who fought the Nazis by dictating, can you see the hypocracy Steve-o? And I think it's highly imapproriate that people were "preying" whilst others were praying.

Free SpeechJanuary 16th 2015.

haha oops! Haha fell on my own rant there... criticising others when I can't even spell ‘inappropriate’.

AnonJanuary 16th 2015.

Are you drunk?!

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

Help For Heroes? Now there's some big earners behind that organisation. F***ing wrist bands and sh*t. I met some blokes in November selling wrist bands for some HFH style charity. They were getting paid to do FFS! Stay clear. Royal British Legion all the way.

Stephen HayesJanuary 16th 2015.

Isn't it time you stopped all the anonymous bollocks. If anyone has something to say, stand up and be counted or crawl away and be quiet.

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

why, you were the one talking rubbish even with your name all over it. you don't have to go to the cenotaph to show respect.

Free SpeechJanuary 16th 2015.

Fuck off steve.

AnonJanuary 16th 2015.

Do one Steve.

AnonJanuary 16th 2015.

Steve's like the drunk person at the end of a night ranting about anything that pops into his head. Except he's doing it at 4pm. On a website.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

Steves as much of a Hero as the Heroes he says we should worship. Let us all thank those who went out to kill and ended up killed

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

I used to have an ID, but Mancon tweaked the website and now I 'have' to post as Anon. Are you listening Garner?

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

You're a silly boy, Steve.

kate1January 16th 2015.

Think Kosmonaut are already opening a pizza place in NQ any day now. Should be ace!!!!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

30 January I think, it will be ace! Still room for another though, I'm sure Solita's will be great too. The NQ is booming.

Chris HawkeJanuary 16th 2015.

There seems to be a conversion going on (for quite a while now) on Stevenson Square, above Guilty By Association, with pizza recipes on the windows. Who is going to own that one?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

That's the kosmonaut one Chris, will be called Ply

tattygirlJanuary 16th 2015.

Pedrosssssssssssssssssss

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

To say you can't get a decent pizza in Manchester is ridiculous. I don't know why Mr SoLita can't just open his restaurant without slagging others off.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonJanuary 16th 2015.

I refuse to visit any of his places for exactly that reason. It's not the way to attract custom. It makes him look like an aggressive, bitter old tit.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Anon here again...Re not very green Manchester city centre. Considering the size of central Manchester (it wants to be the second city) you'd expect at least a sort of Winter Garden that Sheffield has or an Exhibition Park that Newcastle has. London has four huge parks in the centre. Even Liverpool has some sort of nature in the form of the waterside. I don't really count the Manchester canals...not the last time I looked at them. Manchester council is obssessed with chain establishments and concrete. Bit soulless really.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

What do the council have to do with chain establishments?

Mister PurpleJanuary 17th 2015.

Yes, we should time-travel back to the 16th and 17th centuries (when London's royal parks were created) and establish some huge parks in Manchester. That would certainly be easier than the city council finding a few billion pounds buying up gigantic areas of central Manchester and creating a new Richmond Park or Hyde Park from scratch.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

Ahh if only you knew your history. There are plenty of council owned spaces that could have been/could be made in to a park. The planned flattening of most of Piccadilly for hs2 shows what can be done when it needs.

rinkydinkJanuary 18th 2015.

New Islington is central and has a big open green space if that's what you want. I really don't think Manchester has anything to learn from Newcastle or Liverpool. They'are both way behind Manchester in terms of street culture and the sheer number of people that use the city and I suspect they look to Manchester for ideas and inspiration. In a nutshell, neither are in the same league

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Regarding the pizza thing. I do laugh at Pedro's, Kosmonaut chat....seriously? Bars doing 'hipster pizzas'. This city is such a sad scenester...dirty burgers, grilled cheese...whatever next for the sheep? For a good pizza - Don Marco on Deansgate. It doesn't have a aloof guy with a beard annoyed to be taking an order. They're nice normal everyday folk. And the pizzas are lovely.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

I've been to London and Berlin recently, they have bars that serve pizza, does that make them sad scenester cities? You don't know what you're talking about.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

The problem is that Manchester does not have a large, varied city centre. It has a small one dedicated to the pleasures of a small section of the population. During the evenings, and especially at weekends it is just a large version of a boozy town centre like Bolton or Altrincham - lots of drunken youngsters eating chips, burgers and kebabs. During the day it isn't too bad, but as long as the night life concentrates on teens and twenties and their love of booze, loud music and junk food then the city centre at those times is never going to be a sophisticated and cosmopolitan place to be, and just a playground for kids with lots of disposable income.

rinkydinkJanuary 17th 2015.

What a load of crap. There are loads of restaurants or Northern Quarter bars that people of any age would feel comfortable in. How old are you? I bet you're about 45 but you come across like 80

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

There are many places in the city centre a hell of a lot more civilised than the towns you mention anon, even the worst bits of the city centre are not as bad as those sorts of towns. The NQ as rinky mentions has 30/40 bars and clubs that are a world away from anywhere in the area.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

I hear what you say, but the city centre is not attractive to many people in the evening. Higher income, older people are not attracted to it because it seems to be an area which is commercially focused on younger people who spend freely on booze and junk food. I've no problem with this, but don't expect Manchester to become a sophisticated destination for an evening out. At the moment it is essentially a large market town, full of the yokels from miles around determined to have a good booze up and hopefully a shag afterwards too.

rinkydinkJanuary 17th 2015.

I repeat, there are many restaurants and bars that do attract people of 40 upwards, week in week out. It sounds like you're looking for something specific that you'll probably find more easily in somewhere like Knutsford or Hale. Manchester has a young outlook but isn't exclusive in its pull. On the whole, people aren't bothered about Michelin stars or candles and tablecloths. And that can only be a good thing

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Can't get proper American style pizza in Manchester, just that thin Italian rubbish.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Barry MaginnJanuary 17th 2015.

Is that meant to be ironic? I really hope it is...

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

No, there's nowhere to get proper deep pan pizza like they have in the States is there? Domino's is better than any restaurant serve, a proper american pizza place would clean up.

mancadamJanuary 17th 2015.

the american pizza styles (there are several) are on the whole dreadful, and dominos is the absolute nadir of any of them.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Bear in mind that Madison Square Garden is dedicated to professional sports upwards of 100 days a year, which I believe aren't included by Pollstar.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

It says Fizz Dogs. Also, 'pizza be the metre'? Also, 'involed'? Have you hired the copychecker from the Daily Mail online or something?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

Rusholme is the ultimate hipster dirty food destination I can't believe no one has picked up on this yet oh wait they aren't being ironic.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 16th 2015.

I've had some decent food in Rusholme

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

To sleuth / site editors and writers - why aren't you supporting the campaign to save the Ancoats Dispensary? Great building, great regeneration proposals. The MEN is putting you to shame here www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/ancoats-dispensary-campaigners-funding-bid-8463306…

11 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

It's not often I would say the MEN is putting anyone to shame but credit where it's due here.

Jonathan SchofieldJanuary 17th 2015.

The silence is quite deliberate. I admire the work of the Ancoats Dispensary people, their indefatigable struggle, but I don't actually think the building has much value apart from being slightly old and maybe having some use as a landmark. But now what remains is so debased does it the Dispensary even carry those reasons for retention.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

Not much value? On what basis? I'm sorry Johnathan but I find this attitude disappointing and quite baffling, myopic even. "Value" is more than just architectural there are many other dimensions including social and communal and historic - and the dispensary has these in spades. "Ancoats Dispensary is the setting of L.S. Lowry’s only internal painting Ancoats Hospital Outpatients’ Hall. It has played a central role in the social and industrial history of Manchester and made a pioneering contribution to the development of medicine in Great Britain throughout the 19th and 20th centuries including pioneering works in fractures, orthopaedics & surgical techniques." www.ancoatsdispensarytrust.co.uk/100daysappeal-147.html… And www.ancoatsdispensarytrust.co.uk/1874-1989-71.html…

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

Furthermore. Apart from its clear social, historic and (some may say debatable) architectural value, surely this project is worth supporting for what the trust want to create here. A genuine community resource promoting health, wellbeing, education and econmic development for the whole community rather serving the (mainly affluent) incomers. However important the newcomers may be to regenerate and sustain the neighbourhood, as the recent high profile reports of anti social behaviour illustrate, it is crucial that the new community is cohesive and all sections feel they have a stake. This is an area that has been regenerated at great expense to the public purse, let it not be forgotten. For all these reasons, surely the team behind the dispensary deserve some support from a civic-minded publication like Man Con? As I say, you are being put to shame by the MEN which is not something I thought I'd see.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

Manchester council planning is idiotic at best, but thanks god schofield hasn't got any input. Never heard him saying a thing about preserving heritage and gives the thumbs up to any cheap w*nk thrown up. Can't think of any building of merit built in the city centre since the Bridgewater, in the meantime plenty have been flattened. But big, shiny, new always get a JS thumbs up irrespective.

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

that's not a very intelligent contribution Anon @9:29 PM

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

Jonathan, this guy makes the same point in calling for a greater sense of community. Projects like the Dispensary, in the heart of New Islington, can only help promote community cohesion. In light of stories like these, your stance is even more difficult to understand. www.manchestereveningnews.co.uk/…/man-savagely-beaten-ancoats-attack-8471044… . Time to reconsider and throw Man Con's weight behind the campaign?

Jonathan SchofieldFebruary 2nd 2015.

I might deign to do an article on this - this week

AnonymousFebruary 2nd 2015.

Haha well if you do, I'm sure it would be very welcome. This is a great project with some good people behind it. I understand ManCon cannot cover everything but in light of previous articles covering the area's problems and your dedicated property section this always seemed like a strange omission. Not often that a positive civic campaign like this gets coverage in the crime obsessed rag that is the MEN and not on here.

AnonymousJanuary 17th 2015.

Salvis cuccina - best authentic Neapolitan pizza. Try it! Best in the city so far

AnonymousJanuary 18th 2015.

I added to a Waitrose pizza this weekend and it was great. It cost a few quid for a full size one too.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkJanuary 18th 2015.

What exactly did you add to it?

AnonymousJanuary 19th 2015.

I always add to a store pizza, Rinkydink. You know, extra pepperoni and all that good stuff.

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