"Sometimes, I think you have to leave something where it is, accept that it happened and was really good for a time, but that it’s better if it doesn’t continue, and that’s been an extremely hard thing to come to terms with."
A popular Latin American restaurant concept that first began its life on Manchester’s street food scene has announced it will shut the doors to its restaurant at the end of this month.
It might have opened its first restaurant over in Todmorden, which happens to lie just beyond the borders of Greater Manchester, but for foodies who love their pop-ups, Yakumama will still be a familiar name.
Championed by the Manchester tastemakers like GRUB and Pollen from the start, the all-vegan and veggie concept made quite a mark on the city’s street food scene between 2015 and 2019 – popping up at locations across the city, as well as selling spicy-sweet homemade Aleppo hot sauce at a number of different independents.
Owners Hannah Lovett and Marcy Sandoval then went on to open their first permanent site in Calderdale, West Yorkshire, taking over the old co-op building in a little market town just 20 minutes from Manchester and an hour from Leeds on the train.
But on Thursday night, owners left fans of the restaurant shocked when they revealed that they will be closing up shop for good at the end of January – giving diners just four more weeks to get booked in for one last meal.
Sharing a heartwrenching post to social media last night, owners broke the new: writing that it was with ‘very heavy hearts and weary heads’ they had decided that Yakumama would be closing at the end of the month.
The pair said it had been ‘a long old road to get to this point’, and that it had been ‘a struggle financially and emotionally for some time now, due to all the reasons that everyone knows about’.
Saying they’d ‘worked hard to get over the hurdles’, they added that the ’emotional and financial input […] just isn’t in us right now, and we need to prioritise our heal and a more balanced life.’
Since making the announcement, the restaurant has been overwhelmed with bookings and messages of support from its numerous fans – leading them to put up a story that read “Just had about 100 table bookings in 10 minutes. Yikes”.
The closure post has now been liked over 700 times on Instagram alone, and Yakumama’s comment section is flooded with kind words from those who’ve worked and dined with Yakumama over the years.
One person wrote: “Sending loads of love you two. You should be immensely proud of everything you’ve done and achieved. Can’t wait to see what’s next for you both xxx”
Another said: “You are my favourite restaurant. Ever. Thankyou for you and the teams passion and creativity. I would buy a Yakumama recipe cookbook in a heartbeat! Good luck.”
A third said: “I am so extremely sad to hear this. Always raved about the food and cocktails! I’ll make sure to put a booking in before u close, you will be missed! All the best for the future xxx”
The full post read: “With very heavy hearts, and weary heads, we are so sorry to say that Yakumama at The Old Co-op will be closing as of the end of January.
“It’s been a long old road to get us to this point but it’s for the best. It’s been a struggle financially and emotionally for some time now, due to all the reasons that everyone knows about. We’ve really dug our heels in, and worked hard to get over the hurdles we’ve faced, but this can only take us so far.
“The Emotional and financial input required to get it where it needs to be, just isn’t in us right now, and we need to prioritise our health and a more balanced life. Sometimes, I think you have to leave something where it is, accept that it happened and was really good for a time, but that it’s better if it doesn’t continue, and that’s been an extremely hard thing to come to terms with.
“The atmosphere in that place can be soo good it gives me goosebumps, and that could not be achieved without our ridiculously wonderful team, all of whom we love immensely, and are family now.
“And of course you lot, mostly familiar faces that we see on some occasions every weekend. The support and joy that has brought is immeasurable. We have felt welcomed since the very first day. Tod is an extremely Special place, Thank you.
“”We are open for 4 more weeks, so please come get involved and see us off with a bang! Our last service will be brunch on Sunday 29th Jan. You can book a table via the link in the bio.
“And beyond that, see you in the pub. Much love. Thank you, thank you, thank you. Han + Marcy”
Bookings are filling up fast at the restaurant, with a small number of weekend tables left available at the time of writing. If you’d like to book in for one more visit, you can do so by visiting Yakumama’s website here.
Feature image – Yakumama
‘Sad news’ – the world’s only Vagina Museum has been forced to close
There’s a museum for just about everything these days (we all remember trips to the Stockport Hat Works museum) – but the world’s only space dedicated to vaginas has been forced to close again.
The world-first Vagina Museum announced this week that it’s had to vacate its premises and has once again been left ‘homeless’.
The museum, which welcomed 40,000 visitors in the 10 months it was open, was founded to raise awareness of the gynaecological anatomy and health, erase stigma, and act as a forum for feminism.
Inside, visitors could browse everything from educational materials to art pieces inspired by vaginas and vulvas – including giant tampons decorated in red sequins.
The Vagina Museum said it was ‘disappointed’ that it has been asked to leave its space, adding that it will continue to operate digitally until it finds a new base.
They wrote in a heartfelt statement on social media that they were ‘incredibly proud’ of the museum’s achievements.
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