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SLEUTH: Suburbia For Deansgate | Two MCR Taps? | Spinningfields 'Modern Chinese' | Meat Map

Week 5: Loads of food and booze news plus Sleuth's worst dish of the week

Written by . Published on February 6th 2015.

SLEUTH: Suburbia For Deansgate | Two MCR Taps? | Spinningfields 'Modern Chinese' | Meat Map

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 a deal has been signed on a new venue just off Deansgate. Hale's flash Suburbia basement bar/club (main image), a favourite of footballers, wagettes, Kelly Brook and Sleuth (Kelly dragged Sleuth along), are making moves into Manchester city centre and have reportedly signed for the former-Avici White site opposite Grill on the Alley on Ridgefield.

Living Ventures first opened Suburbia in 2009, but Sleuth hears LV have now cut ties with the club, with Suburbia manager Tom Thornton Brookes buying LV out for an undisclosed fee. More good news for the John Dalton Street ginnel then, relivened recently by the opening of admirable new Spanish gaff La Bandera. Sleuth will miss Avici though, the night's he's had in there...

Avici WhiteAvici White


Sleuth is enjoying the tap tap of workmen’s tools as the new Piccadilly Tap craft beer bar takes shape in former suede and leather shop on Station Approach. Licence granted and regular updates via their Twitter account @tapmanchester – almost time to smell the hops. The brew’s got a bit clouded, though, by the the presence of @Manchestertap, which signals a rival establishment setting up somewhere in Ancoats - Sleuth hears in the old Edinburgh Castle pub on Blossom Street.

The suggestion – which has got hophead bloggers in a bit of a froth – is the latter comes from the folk who run all the other station-based Taps around the country, notably Sheffield and York. Whist the Piccadilly venture is from Bloomsbury Leisure, which runs Gordo’s favourite excuse for passing out on the Pendolino, the Euston Tap. So far neither operator has replied to Sleuth's queries. Whatever’s in the pipeline, Sleuth will stay on top of this one...

Piccadilly Tap will open on the Piccadilly ApproachPiccadilly Tap will open on the Piccadilly Approach

Is this the site for the other Tap?Is this the Ancoats site for the other Tap?


Sleuth is disappointed. When Sleuth spotted new hoardings go up in Spinningfields, Sleuth was convinced early-00s Russian lesbian-pop duo - Lena Katina and Yulia Volkova of T.A.T.U and All The Things She Said-fame - were to open up a Pirog and craft-vodka bar in Manchester. Sleuth loved T.A.T.U, not because of their music videos, no, no, but because the outwardly homosexual pop act stuck two fingers up to Russia, a nation which is to LGBT rights what Tonga is to space exploration.

Anyway, turns out TATTU (inspired by, erm, tattoos @TattuMCR) is actually a new two-floor 130-cover 'modern chinese' restaurant and 200-capacity bar by the lads behind Cross Street's subterranean hotdog and pizza bar Dogs'n'Dough. The good news, owners Adam and Drew Jones have coaxed up journeyman Pan-Asian chef Andrew Lassatter. Lassatter has overseen multiple big-money operations down in London and should possess the minerals to make for an interesting menu and a solid new addition. Still, Sleuth has no idea what this rumoured 'food catwalk' is? Doesn't Yo Sushi have one of those?

Tattu - SpinningfieldsTattu - Spinningfields


Sleuth went to Croma in Chorlton with the family and because he’s so over pizzas (as the Americans say) he decided to go for a crab and prawn linguine. When he received it the thing was singed black at the top and much of the pasta was as crunchy as freshly baked twigs. Then Sleuth re-read the menu which declaimed how the pasta dishes were baked. Eh? The excuse was Croma only has ovens not stoves and thus can only bake the pasta. Sleuth reckons in that case they shouldn’t bother but bless the staff for swapping the dishes immediately.

Croma's Baked Pasta Dishes - AlmostCroma's Baked Pasta Dishes - Almost


Sleuth is weird for maps. He sleeps under a 1:50,000 scale Ordnance Survey map of Manchester with his head resting on a 1:25,000 map of the Lake District wrapped round a pillow. Scafell Pike is strangely comfortable. Now Fazenda, the fine meat purveyor in Spinningfields, has produced a very pleasant Meatrolink map of the city with stations as cuts of meat. It’s a map so Sleuth likes it. Meanwhile or maybe meatwhile, TGI Friday’s at Piccadilly Station have a very charming map on the wall of eighties band the Smiths - the best Manchester band ever. Sleuth loves the destinations on this London underground style map. One stop, roughly where Monton is in reality, is called Murder. You have to pass through Vulgar to get there. The Fazenda and the Smiths maps complement each other nicely especially as Morrissey thinks Meat is Murder.

Fazenda's 'Meatrolink'Fazenda's 'Meatrolink'



Sleuth has a friend whose daughter works in the Trafford Centre in one of the clothes shops. She went into work the other day in the lovely coat the shop had provided for her as part of the clothes allowance. She placed it on the counter while she went to the loo. Another member of staff took the coat put it on a hanger and put it on display. A customer came in and bought the coat. “Where’s my coat,” said the young lady on returning. Oh dear. The customer had not only purchased a nice coat but also gained a free set of car keys and a purse. Bargain.


Sleuth hears a new bookshop is to open in Manchester this year although the exact location remains a mystery. It will be called Aspidistra Books and promises ‘politics, history, LGBT books, quality literature, no celeb biographies’. Excellent news although the last part is enough to make Dianne Bourne of the MEN diary pages tear her hair out. Sleuth remembers with fondness the old Frontline books on Newton Street which had a similar ethos. He also remembers the mad Police chief James Anderton who raided the shop to seize the gay material as he thought it was perverting Mancunians, his police officers running right past The Anarchist Cookbook which contained instructions on how to make a bomb. 

God's Cop - James AndertonGod's Cop - James Anderton

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

Poster BoyFebruary 6th 2015.

Grass Roots.

David SmithFebruary 6th 2015.

Is it me or does James Anderton look just like Mr Baxter the PE teacher in Grange Hill.......off of the 80's.....Whooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.


AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

Bars like Suburbia belong on the locks, I'd hoped this part of Deansgate was getting past all that.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

Spot on. John Dalton Street and its offshoots is becoming quite the destination. Suburbia is just what it doesn't need

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

Food catwalk? Just when you thought Spinningfields couldn't get any more pretentious

1 Response: Reply To This...
Paul SoanesFebruary 7th 2015.


Henry VFebruary 6th 2015.

I remember Anderton from the seventies and eighties, a right pain in the arse. He shut down all the illegal boozing dens except The Hathersage Hotel, where George Derbyshire used to make his own gin in the bathtub.

SmittyFebruary 6th 2015.

Hope the bookshop is in the Village - just what it needs!

grangeFebruary 6th 2015.

The TATU girls were both straight , married with kids now...

AnonymousFebruary 6th 2015.

I misread the title of this post and thought that we were getting Suburb back on Deansgate. Now that would have been great...

Michael IngallFebruary 7th 2015.

Easy tiger you went early on the the new artisan cinema suggesting a print works replica and you now know it's Curzon the ultimate art house cinema group, sleuth dust quite investigate enough before he pulled the trigger and I am afraid likewise for Tattu, pretentious we maybe , -of course , if we weren't we would be serving the same old crap served up elsewhere , and by the way what a mega disappointment Fumo was on Thursday night on a rare exploration outside" pretentious city ' and talking of tattoos what's with the clientele is it compulsory in there - andway stupid we are not and maybe dig a little deeper and you are going to be absolutely raving about this place , nothing to do with the dogs and dough guys whatsoever , try and think out of the box !!! The jones guys are smart .

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 7th 2015.

You were still out from the previous night when you wrote this weren't you?

Michael IngallFebruary 14th 2015.

No partially sighted without my spectacles, and dyslexic spelling skills so maybe I should just abstain from making any comments without my reading specs, and without a proper spell check, but funny comment, nice one

RevaulxFebruary 7th 2015.

I love the Euston Tap, but as as cask ale fogey I love the Sheffield and Tork ones even more. The latter don't want to be in a derelict corner of Ancoats; they should do anything and everything within their power to get the domed buffet bar at Viccy

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 7th 2015.

That bit of Ancoats is coming along quite nicely, and as people keep renovating old buildings into flats, it's headcount is going up. I'd love them to open there.

Paul SoanesFebruary 7th 2015.

There is nothing wrong about Ancoats, the heart and soul of Manchester, such industrial heritage which has brought the city of Manchester fortune and wealth from days gone by. Now, a new fortune will entail with the growth of projects such as the Tap, Halle st Peters, accommodation, Crown & Kettle, my house, community spirit, and many more things to come.... watch this space!

AnonymousFebruary 7th 2015.

Ancoats is a great location for them, perfect time to get in there plus there are a couple more places rumoured to be opening very near by, this is the new NQ. Bedsides the dome bar at Victoria wasn't made available to them.

AnonymousFebruary 8th 2015.

I too ordered the crab and prawn linguine at the Chorlton Croma a few months ago. Fussy customer I may be, but rarely have I sent a dish back for being, well, just foul. The pizza which arrived after I re-ordered from menu was mediocre relief. I shan't be returning to Croma anytime soon for fear of what else a kitchen so clearly lacking in judgement is capable of.

AnonymousFebruary 11th 2015.

Seeing Anderton's face made me want to throw up...Remember him too well....Moved on thank God?

David in CheshireFebruary 19th 2015.

I recall a performance of The Threppeny Opera at the Contact Theatre, in about 1976. A senior policeman was intructing another one to arrest a suspect, with the words "Put the bracelets on him, Anderton".

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