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Sleuth Wk 23: Beagle Food Guerillas, Has San Rocco Closed, City Arms is Waterstones

There's some truth and some stupidity but it's all hugely important

Written by . Published on June 2nd 2013.

Sleuth Wk 23: Beagle Food Guerillas, Has San Rocco Closed, City Arms is Waterstones

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

Street Food That Isn’t – The New Food Curiosity

Sleuth's loved the food in Chorlton venue, The Beagle. It's been a great addition to Chorlton. That's changing. The Beagle has 'decided we’re going to stick to what we’re really good at; great beer, great wine, great cocktails and great atmosphere. We want to be a craft beer house with food, not a restaurant with a bar attached. From 6 June we will be teaming up with Guerrilla Eats who will be taking up a residency in our kitchen to provide the finest street food this city has to offer. A variety of traders will bring their vibrancy, passion, high quality and dedication to our kitchen, offering you foods from around the world'.

Yeah, right thinks Sleuth. Street food in a kitchen in a bar. The stretching of definitions is becoming tedious.

Guerrilla Eats cannot be street food if it's not...er...on the street. Simple. A big part of the ethos of Guerrilla Eats, according to the traders, has been their 'authenticity'. No matter how you stretch the definition of street food, this ain't it. 

The Beagle hit by guerrillasThe Beagle hit by guerrillas

Malaprops And Roses

Sleuth is a fan of John Robb and his forthright opinions. The vegetarian, punk rocker based in Manchester has even got his own web magazine Louder Than War (http://louderthanwar.com/). One fan is a regular reader and was enjoying Robb’s recent piece about Gareth Evans, the Stone Roses' ex-manager. Sleuth got this email from our reader. ‘I always enjoy the spelling mistakes, bad grammar and malapropisms in Louder Than War which almost exceed those in Manchester Confidential, but John's really outdone himself this time by referring to Gareth Evans' ‘daredevil nativity’.’ 

Fabulous. Sleuth loves challenging Christmas plays with acts on the high wire and children human cannonballs in school halls?

Or did big John Robb mean ‘daredevil naivety’.

Italians on the Range

Sleuth was at a Whalley Range family party recently. A Manc who lives in Livorno in Italy was back for the 10km Manchester Run with his partner and a couple of Italian chums with whom he trains. The pair, Andrea and Sabrina, turned out to be ballroom dancers on their way to, as they said, "The greatest ballroom dancing event in the world at Blackpool". They proved their skill on the lawn in a back garden on 'The Range'. Charming. As he emerged from the kitchen with a couple of beers Sleuth's eyes popped and his legs started involuntarily twitching as he saw this. 

The Ideal Man For The Job

Sleuth was at a recent meeting of businesses, residents and troubled people over the proposed changes to city centre transport with the Princess Street and Oxford Road bus priority lanes. These may effectively cut off Chinatown and adjacent areas from private vehicle access and private hire taxi firms. One of the people at the meeting related how their firm had recently attended a meeting with a strategist from Transport for Greater Manchester about the Oxford Road changes and asked in detail about access routes. Apparently he replied: "I'm not sure where you mean because I'm not from round here." 

Map of complex city centre transport changesMap of incredibly complex city centre transport changes

Public Debate On The Way - City Centre Transport Policy

Confidential is helping to organise a public debate and discussion for Wednesday 12 June, 7pm, at the Yang Sing restaurant - it will be formally announced on Monday or Tuesday. There will be business leaders and opinion formers and, we trust, senior figures from the City Council and Transport for Greater Manchester. This is short notice but as a spokesperson from Manchester China Town Community Group says: "The public consultation deadline is 26 June, a month after it started, and these are fundamental changes that affect livelihoods. Some people only got the information a week before so we would expect the people who devised the plans to come and talk at the debate and discussion." Only one person, a hotelier, in the meeting Sleuth attended has been specifically visited by a Transport for Greater Manchester official to explain the plans. 

Waterstones as City Arms

Sleuth loves the City Arms at the back of Town Hall on Kennedy Street. He was in there the other day mulling over the world, chewing over the ales, chatting comfortably along when he glanced at the books lining the window ledges in the back room. They were all for sale, at modest prices. Sleuth took home a book called 'The Power of Architecture' for £2. As his drinking companion said: "Good idea this. Waterstones has a coffee shop, the City Arms has booze." We both raised a glass to that. Alcohol and literature are timeless companions.

Sleuth And The Exact Bill

It's cost Sleuth a fortune but he's been taking four people out for ages, buying multiple dishes and trying to get an exact and particular price. At last it happened at Cibo in Didsbury on Saturday.

Ton upTon up

San Rocco Gone?

One of Manchester's oldest restaurants is the Italian restaurant San Rocco close to Pizza Express on South King Street. Sleuth hears it's closed and is investigating - despite the sign that says it's 'closed for refurbishment'. This follows the closure the other week of Italia, aka Pizzeria Italia, which was also 'closed for refurbishment'. Here's hoping. Sleuth also hears that the early evening extension to parking charges contributed to the decline of trade. Maybe also the location, down a sidestreet hasn't helped as restaurants have blossomed all over the place on Manchester's main streets. Or perhaps the time of the average, old fashioned, 1970s' style Italian is up? 

City Centre Trout Fishing

Every seven days or so Sleuth is stopped in the street by policemen, firemen, concierges, essential workers, old Italian restaurants, lost Transport for Greater Manchester staff, guerrillas, gorillas, John Robb and the entire crowd of the audience at Etihad stadium gigs, and asked: "Where can we find a nice place in the city centre to fish for brown trout?"

"Why," says Sleuth, "that would be just off Trinity Way in Salford, ten minutes walk from Harvey Nichols and the Manchester Arena."

And to prove this he showed the policemen, concierges, old Italian restaurants, lost Transport for Greater Manchester staff, guerrillas, gorillas, John Robb and the entire crowd of the audience at Etihad stadium gigs, this picture of Mr A Hamer of the Salford Friendly Anglers in the River Irwell, just off Trinity Way, catching brown trout. (By the way the Salford Friendly Anglers are the oldest angling society in world having been set up in 1817.)

Trout snafflingCity centre trout snaffling

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

Jeremy SmithJune 2nd 2013.

Good bill skills, the only issue I see is you'd have to eat the food. Still awaiting Manchester Confidential's "impartial" review of major advertiser CIBO

3 Responses: Reply To This...
Spymaster ConfidentialJune 2nd 2013.

Good grief it seems there's a group of people who do a Mancon 'watch' and attempt to spot inconsistencies. I think it noble of them that they keep these criticisms up.

nices wolkchenJune 2nd 2013.

that was a rubbish comeback

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Jeremy are you saying that Cibo's rubbish? If you are its probably polite to let mancon do their review before you slag off their conclusions and impartiality.

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

Its a pity you didn't mention the public consultation exhibitions for the Cross Centre Bus Route Plan. You might also have asked for the Traffic Forecasts which have long since been completed. Access to China Town is shown on the map via e.gs Whitworth Street and Sackville Street(except on Friday and Saturday nights) and Munshall Street, Bloom Street ,Sackville Street but I am not sure how you get back.

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

The guerrilla eats guys pop up in bars too, call the police people trying to mix things up broaden their appeal

Trader JoeJune 2nd 2013.

But it's not street food is it? So why say so? Go down Cheetham Hill Road and nip in the joints there for 'streetfood' that is the main livelihood for people.

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

Pretty sure it hasn't been said that this is a street food event, I thought it was their street food traders being let loose in the beagles kitchen

Trader JoeJune 2nd 2013.

To quote The Beagle's own info: 'We will be teaming up with Guerrilla Eats who will be taking up a residency in our kitchen to provide the finest street food this city has to offer'.

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

If whoever is resident is serving what they would typically serve from their van/stall then what's the big deal It would be particularly good in winter when it's cold, and it's good having a bit of variety.

Mark McGinnJune 2nd 2013.

San rocco in cheetham hill has been closed for the last year. I think it was probably part of the same group. Charming restaurant but a bit dated. Its being replaced by............yet another curry house. A bit sad really,

1 Response: Reply To This...
paulsouthernJune 2nd 2013.

I had been going to the San Rocco on Cheetham Hill since mid eighties. It was a bit dated but always had good food and good service. Miss it loads. The 'curry house' has still to open. It seems to have stalled. It looked like it was going to open months ago but remains shut. Also I can't work out why they have painted it matt black. The place looks like a bunker!

JoanJune 2nd 2013.

Detailed information on traffic and bus plans via the link below. There's also links to information about this week's consultation drop-in sessions. www.tfgm.com/…/default.aspx…

CobbydalerJune 2nd 2013.

San Rocco has a sign up saying it's closed for refurbishment.

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

NEW OPENING - next weekend - BYRONS BURGERS have finally arrived !!

imhowardJune 2nd 2013.

I completely agree. Street food belongs on the STREET!

AnonymousJune 2nd 2013.

SShameless plug from the new Byron manager...good work!

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Another food failure for that beagle site in chorlton then. At least it hasnt ended up with a new name this time.

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

First comment isn't me by the way, I mean, how dare there be another Jeremy Smith !

AnonymousJune 3rd 2013.

Apparently there is only one Jeremy Smith, I appear to have lost the rights to my name and am now anonymous

AnonymousJune 5th 2013.

No - the Byron Burgers plug was NOT from the manager. I'm a fan of BB and until now could only get their burgers in the London area. They will be on corner of Deansgate/ St. John St. formerly Pesto. Go try them!

AnonymousJune 6th 2013.

oh no! street food at the beagle? well I'm not up in arms. isn't street food just a style of food that was best fit for ... street consumption, funnily enough. it also happens to work really well in bars. The hungry gecko at the beach is a great example. I'd rather eat guerilla eats food in a bar with good beer and a nice atmosphere than eat 95% of what you might call 'street food' in this country, by default of the fact it's being served 'on the street'. Its garbage. Couple that with the fact that you can barely buy a decent beer in the streets of Manchester let alone drink it IN the streets and it sounds like a fine idea to me. i guess it just depends out its handled. Hopefully free flowing, good price and with a carnival atmosphere. If so, i'm there.

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