Staff at the Old Abbey Taphouse in Hulme were left terrified after masked men drove up to the community pub and launched an attack on the venue this weekend.
In the early hours of Sunday morning, two people arrived at the community pub on a motorbike dressed in balaclavas. It was 4am and the pub was already closed, but staff were still inside the building closing down after a long but uneventful shift.
The venue was then attacked and all of the windows at the front of the building were smashed, leaving workers fearful and the building in disarray with broken glass everywhere.
According to a statement put out on social media by the pub’s owners over the weekend, the police were called during the incident but “unfortunately they are still yet to attend the scene.”
The statement continued: “The attack seems completely unprovoked, extremely aggressive and totally out of the blue.
“Thankfully, no one was hurt, we have insurance, but we’re completely devastated and our staff are extremely upset. We work so hard and this is something no one deserves to experience.”
Earlier that evening, the pub had hosted its annual Winter Feast for residents from the Hulme community. The Old Abbey Taphouse is known locally as a community-led venue, where owners and staff work tirelessly throughout the year to bring people together and provide a safe space.
In September, the venue was crowned CAMRA’s Community Pub of the Year for the work it does in the community by the Trafford & Hulme branch.
The flagship venue of STEAM Hubs and Pubs C.I.C (Community Interest Company), it was specially designed to be a safe space for the community when purchased in 2018 and does a lot for its vulnerable neighbours.
As well as hosting community feasts, during the pandemic owners Frankie and Rachele ran a successful Taphouse TV Dinners campaign that saw the pub deliver nearly 3,000 two-course dinners to people who were struggling in the local community.
Owners are now appealing for anyone who has any information that can help them understand why the attack happened or who did it to contact them directly ‘in confidence.’
They said: “If you have any information that can help us understand why this happened or who did it please contact us in confidence. If you live locally and have any CCTV that maybe help us please get in touch.”
Feature image – Old Abbey Taphouse
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.”