Another Burton Road favourite is back in action this week – the wildly popular seventies-style food and drink hub Mary & Archie.
Having remained closed since the start of the the pandemic, the independent cafe bar has now relaunched in its original spot with a takeout and click & collect service – much to the joy of regulars.
For eight years, Mary & Archie has been attracting an eclectic crowd throughout the week for breakfast, lunch, dinner, cocktails and local beers.
They’re part of the Burton Road furniture – and Didsbury hasn’t been quite the same without them.
“We just want to say a massive thank you to all our customers,” General Manager ‘Fletch’ explains.
“We set up a fundraiser at the start of the pandemic when things were looking particularly bad, and the support from the community was amazing.
“It’s thanks to them that we’re still going and we’re really glad to be back.”
Adorned in funky seventies art and decor, Mary & Archie has found its groove over the past decade as the go-to spot for almost every kind of occasion – be it a morning fry-up, afternoon coffee or an evening cocktail.
“We’ve got a calm and cosy vibe that people really like,” says Fletch.
“People visit at all times of the day. We’ve got loads of regulars – many of them have already been down to check out the new paint job we’ve added – and there’s quite a mix of customers on the whole.
“I think we’ve been popular because we’re a great place for people who want something a little bit different.
“We get all the dates coming here. Tinder has been massive for us!”
The cafe bar caters for a diverse range of palates, too – with burgers, wraps, tacos, brunches, salads and wings all on the menu.
“We’re proud of our food – it really is good,” says Fletch.
“The jerk chicken goes down really well, but the veggie and vegan options are also really popular.”
Dining options will be temporarily reduced whilst Mary & Archie gets up and running again, and staff are taking extra steps to keep customers safe during the reopening phase.
“Right now, everything is outside with 2m distancing in place, but we’re getting a bit of an action plan together for when we’re allowed to reopen fully again, whenever that may be,” Fletch tells us.
“We’re quite a small place so we’ll have to make some changes, maybe taking half the tables out.
“But for the time being it’s going to be great just to see people again.
“We’ve got such a good, friendly crowd.”
Visit Mary & Archie at 200 Burton Rd, West Didsbury, Manchester M20 2LW.
Fans of the space queued down the street for its final few days in Bethnal Green, before its eventual closure on Wednesday 1 February.
Their statement said: “Sad news. We’ve received notice to vacate our premises at Bethnal Green by the end of this week. As a property guardianship, we’ve always been aware that we may be asked to leave with very short notice. We’re disappointed that it has come so soon.
“@Enter_theVenue the creative hub with whom we share our space, have also been asked to leave. The Vagina Museum will continue to operate in the digital world as we search for a new home.”
The message continued: “We’re sad about this development, but incredibly proud of what we’ve accomplished in the ten months we’ve been at our Bethnal Green premises. We’ve welcomed more than 40,000 visitors through our doors, and received so much love and positive feedback.
“In our time at Bethnal Green, we’ve once again demonstrated just how much the world needs and wants a Vagina Museum.
“Times are, once again, uncertain for us, but we’ve been through this before and risen stronger than ever. With a community like you supporting us, we know we can get through this too.
“We’re actively searching for a new home, and if you know of any vacant spaces (or have one yourself!) please don’t hesitate to reach out. In our home in Bethnal Green, we and ENTER demonstrated that we can transform an empty, unused building into a thriving heart of a community.
“If you don’t have a building, you can still help! Please consider making a donation; a donation of any size makes a huge difference and will help us to weather this storm, just as we’ve weathered storms before.”
The Vagina Museum concluded its thread with: “We’ve made it through a pandemic and a period of temporary homelessness before. With you, together, we can make it through this too.”
Gary Neville addresses ‘clumsy like’ on Tweet about Mason Greenwood ￼
Gary Neville has said that his liking of a tweet about Mason Greenwood has been ‘misinterpreted’.
The former Manchester United legend and football pundit set off a Twitter storm last night after he ‘liked’ two tweets by Nazir Afzal, and briefly retweeted one.
The tweets in question said that Greenwood was an ‘innocent man’ and added that ‘you are innocent until PROVEN guilty’.
Mason Greenwood had all criminal charges against him dropped by the Crown Prosecution Service.
He had faced allegations of rape, controlling and coercive behaviour, and assault, all against the same woman.
The CPS said that Greenwood case had been stopped because of ‘the withdrawal of key witnesses and new material that came to light’, adding that there was no longer a ‘realistic prospect of conviction’.
Several people noticed that Neville had liked a tweet about Greenwood’s ‘innocence’ and quickly challenged him on it.
One person shared a screenshot and wrote: “You have a massive platform and you’re liking bulls**t like this just because the monster plays for a team you support. you’re disgusting @GNev2.”
He posted: “I liked a tweet relating to the Mason Greenwood news this afternoon from Nazir Afzal. ( the former director of public prosecutions ).
“This like is being misinterpreted. It was a clumsy like as I obviously condemn any violence against women.”
Greenwood issued a short statement yesterday, writing: “I am relieved that this matter is now over and I would like to thank my family, loved ones and friends for their support. There will be no further comment at this time.”
Featured image: Instagram, @garyneville2 / publicity picture