Gary Neville’s team will restore the historic Sir Ralph Abercromby pub as part of its new £400m St Michael’s development, it has been confirmed, after locals fought to stop the centuries-old boozer from being demolished.
The historic pub, located between Jackson’s Row and Bootle Street, in Manchester, dates back to the 1800s and was considered at risk in the early planning stages of the St Michael’s development.
Back in 2016, a group of locals fought hard against Manchester City Council’s Regeneration Team and developers to keep the pub – launching a Change.org petition to save it that amassed over 5,000 signatures.
At the time, they argued: “Developers have indicated their intention to demolish the pub with a new building proposed for this site.
“Rather than lose a piece of Manchester history, they could easily accommodate the existing building into the plans. We’ve lost enough historic buildings to be replaced by steel & glass boxes. It’s time we fought to keep our history.”
Now, their wish is finally about to be granted as the former Man United star has confirmed not only will his team retain the pub – but will actively work to restore it to its former glory.
Named after a British soldier, politician, and colonialist, the Sir Ralph Abercromby is one of the city’s last remaining structures from the Peterloo era.
It is one of Manchester’s rare remaining Georgian buildings, and, along with the Friends Meeting House, is one of the last witnesses of the 1819 massacre considered a vital stepping stone towards the British democracy we value today.
It was in this very boozer that protesters would have discussed the rising cost of living and the state of falling workers’ pay, as starvation ran riot amongst hard-working but politically unrepresented local weavers and spinners.
And it was also here, on that fateful day in 1819, that the injured were carried back and nursed after an estimated 700+ were hurt by cavalry charging into a protest simply asking for the reform of parliamentary representation.
The tiny pub, one of the few original structures remaining in the area, will likely be dwarfed by the new tower but encompassed in the overall St Michael’s vision.
Also included in the plans for St Michael’s – 15 years in the making – are a 41-storey skyscraper, a rooftop restaurant, and a 162-bed 5 Star international hotel.
That’s not to mention the 217 luxury residences, which go on sale after summer as part of a joint venture between Relentless Developments and property developer, Salboy.
The tiny pub, one of the few structures remaining in the area from the time of the Peterloo Massacre, will be dwarfed by the new tower but encompassed in the overall St Michael’s vision – sitting by itself in a new public square.
Sir David Jason set for TV return in Only Fools and Horses documentary Christmas special
In a surprise bit of festive news, the only and only Sir David Jason is returning for an Only Fools and Horses Christmas special this December. Lovely jubbly!
The best-loved and most-watched British comedy of all time will be back on our screens in documentary form this festive season, with Del Boy himself David Jason revisiting the iconic comedy character after 20 years he last played him on screen.
While the legendary sitcom was broadcast on BBC back in the day, the highly-anticipated Only Fools doc will be airing on Channel 5 right before Christmas as a special one-off programme.
Looking back on the show’s incredible run on UK screens over seven series and the several ‘Christmas Cracker’ specials, specifically, the latest Only Fools and Horses documentary will see Jason and a number of other guests appearing to chat about the legendary show.
While it’s still unclear how many of the original cast will be appearing, Jason’s on-screen wife Tessa Peake-Jones (Raquel) is confirmed to be appearing along with other special guests including newscaster Krishnan Guru-Murthy and Bendiorm‘s Sherrie Hewson.
Sadly, a full theatrical reunion just isn’t on the cards following the deaths of Roger Lloyd Pack (Trigger), Kenneth MacDonald (Mike the Landlord) and Buster Merryfield (Uncle Albert) in the 30 years since the show ended its run.
Only Fools writer John Sullivan also sadly passed away aged 64 in 2011 and fellow co-star Nicholas Lyndhurst, a.k.a. Rodney Trotter, told Metro: “We can’t. John is no longer with us. John was the driving force of the show and we have also lost quite a few cast members now.
“I don’t think I could do it without them and I certainly couldn’t do it without John. At the risk of depressing everyone, I think the last two times I’ve seen David has been at funerals.”
Simply entitled, ‘The Story Of Only Fools And Horses At Christmas’, the 90-minute special is yet to have its broadcast date fully confirmed but you best keep your eyes peeled on the TV guide — we’ll let you know as soon we do.
Jason, 81, has only just recovered from hip surgery earlier this year, so it’ll be nice to see his familiar grin back on our screens.
Right, we’re off to binge a whole series on UK Gold.
Habas restaurant in Manchester announces shock closure – with huge closing-down discount
Habas, the Middle Eastern restaurant launched by the team behind El Gato Negro, has announced its shock closure.
The subterranean restaurant will be going out with a bang though, promising one last knees-up with a big discount.
Habas will be doing 25% off its entire food and drink menu this New Year’s Eve so that fans of the eatery can raise a glass to the Manchester restaurant.
They’re also hoping that Mancs will raise a glass to new beginnings, teasing a brand new concept.
Habas is located at Brown Street in Manchester city centre and has been serving up its Middle Eastern menu since 2021.
It comes from Mills Hill Developments Limited, the company also responsible for El Gato Negro and Canto, fronted by celebrated chef Simon Shaw.
Habas has stressed that its closure ‘is not forever’ as it announces details of its New Year’s Eve closing down party.
You can ring in the new year with a selection of mezze dishes, sharing platters and small plates, feasting on chicken tagine and traditional tzatziki, all 25% off on Sunday 31 December.
Drinks, too, like the cranberry elderflower martini, blackberry ginger smash and clementine daquiri will be with 25% off.
Simon Shaw, Chef Parton at Mills Hill Developments Limited, said: “As of January 2024, we have made the decision to close the doors of Habas Bar & Restaurant, however we are thrilled to announce that our Brown Street venue has an exciting new concept on the way.
“Throughout December, Habas, will continue serving up the city’s best middle-eastern cuisine, so make sure you pop in and see us. AND on New Year’s Eve, Habas, will be hosting an unforgettable celebration with 25% off food and drinks. We want to rejoice with all of our customers, with one final hurrah!
“We would like to thank all of our guests and reassure Habas fans that this is not the end of Habas Bar & Restaurant forever, simply a farewell from Brown Street for now.
“We look forward to welcoming you to our new exciting concept in Q1 of 2024.”