Week 20: Let's say nice things about everything all the time and drink good cut-price wine

Sleuth is a sideways glance at the city each week. It's the truth, but Sleuth's truth. Sometimes Sleuth even gets serious, but not often... @mcrsleuth

Boris Johnson announces candidature in Manchester

Sleuth was delighted that Boris Johnson decided to announce his intention to go for a new job in Manchester this week. Since the tragic death of Ray Boddington, of the famed Piccadilly Rats band, earlier this year, the city has missed one of its premier tourist attractions. So it seems fitting the former foreign secretary has decided to apply to fill the spot once occupied by the much loved entertainer. "I'm going to see if other ex-members and current members of the Cabinet want to join in as well," said the tousled haired maverick madman to Sleuth. "After all we've enjoyed making the public laugh at us for years now." "And how will you announce the new line-up of the band?" asked Sleuth. "We'll advertise it on the side of buses, saying that 350 million people love our performances. It's not true, but the public will believe any crock of shit."

2019 05 17 Sleuth Piccadilly Rats
Boris to join Piccadilly Rats

Deer on Oxford Street in shock Town Hall move

Sleuth was moved to see a deer running down Oxford Road on Thursday. The animal was clearly disorientated. Manchester City Council was unmoved. "Of course, we still had to fine it £60," said a stern spokesperson. "It ignored all the signs warning that only buses, black cabs and bikes could travel down the road. The signs are very obvious and in plain English. We can't make exceptions just because the deer is a wild animal and may not be able to read." "I couldn't believe I was fined," Bambi told Sleuth. "I didn't see any signs. Also, the way the street changes so quickly between areas that anybody can use and those that have restrictions is totally bewildering. I was very upset that day, as well, because my mother had just died. I won't be coming into Manchester any time soon, I can tell you." 

Hawksmoor restaurant's wine promotion extended

Sleuth was amused by Hawksmoor's announcement on Twitter this week: "To the customer who accidentally got given a bottle of Chateau le Pin Pomerol 2001, which is £4,500 on our menu, last night - hope you enjoyed your evening!" Following the unprecedented success of this little story across the established media and social media, Sleuth was pleased to see Hawksmoor has decided to make permanent the offer to sell £4,500 bottles of wine for buttons. Sleuth went down to enjoy a bottle himself but other people had beaten him to it.

2019 05 17 Sleuth Crowd
Wine promotion pulls in the crowds at Hawksmoor

Uncritical Manchester media

After, the publisher's heartfelt article on Thursday, Sleuth has decided that perhaps discretion is the better part of valour. But it did pain him when a nationally famous chef in his early fifties - from a prominent London/Manchester restaurant on the fringe of Spinningfields - told Sleuth that "Confidential shouldn't criticise the city and its restaurants". Instead, he said, "Confidential should support the food and drink industry in every way and not write negative restaurant reviews, even if an experience in a restaurant had been crap. It didn't help the sector". Sleuth was terrified by this and exclaimed "What?!" pointing out that, through responsible criticism, restaurants, cities and people improve. The chef, like some people it would seem, want a supine media without any edge at all. How very dangerous, thinks Sleuth.

The inspiration for Deansgate Square revealed

Sleuth was at the launch of the Dakota Hotel this week. It's a splendid place and should be a real boost for the Ducie Street/Piccadilly side of town. In the restaurant Sleuth saw a poster. It was for Metropolis, the 1927 German movie in which there is a highly stylised futuristic city where a beautiful and cultured utopia exists above a bleak underworld populated by mistreated workers. It reminded him of something. Ah yes, he thought, clearly SimpsonHaugh Architects had something similar in mind at Deansgate Square, the new cluster of towers with the tallest building outside the capital. 

2019 05 17 Sleuth Metropolis
Metropolis poster at Dakota looks familiar
2019 05 17 Sleuth Met 2
The new Metropolis form SimpsonHaugh Architects

Neighbourhood bar tells it as it is

Sleuth was passing Neighbourhood bar this week, the Spinningfields' place that had its licence revoked in April this year following repeated trouble and violence. He was surprised to see lights on in the building. Turns out it was an illuminated artwork along one wall rather than anything signifying an imminent reopening. Sleuth squinted through the window and discerned that the artwork was made up of two large neon words reading: 'Shit Happens'. How apt, thought Sleuth, sums up the bar perfectly. 

2019 05 17 Neighbourhood Shit Happens
Shit happens, it really does, and it really did at Neighbourhood