Times are tough for the hospitality sector right now, but one Manchester bar has come up with a novel way to raise the cash it needs to help keep its business afloat.
Northern Quarter bar Alvarium has had a tough couple of years. This summer owners released a heartfelt plea for more outside seating, warning that “the consequences could be detrimental” if their request wasn’t granted by Manchester City Council.
At the time, the bar said it was “still struggling” and that having extra space last year meant they could “absorb some of the economic shock” from the fallout of the pandemic. In spite of this, its request for more outside seating throughout the summer wasn’t granted.
Seven months on, owners have now launched a Crowdfunder in a bid to keep their business going throughout the winter months.
Turning to their customers for help, owners are offering a £3,000 bar tab and a luxury stay on the border of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales in the hopes that a big prize will entice much-needed donations.
Looking to raise a total of £50,000, on its Crowdfunder page Alvarium says the money will be used to “make a dent” in the “crippling debt” taken on in order to remain in business throughout Covid, as well as to cover “essential repairs” to its electrics and plumbing.
The bar explained: “We love Alvarium and we hope you do too, therefore we’re asking for your help.
“Our prize draw is offering one lucky winner a £3000 bar tab to be redeemed in Alvarium, but not only this we are also offering a luxury stay right on the border of the Lake District and Yorkshire Dales.
|Our very kind friends at the Kings Arms in Kirkby Lonsdale have offered up a weekend stay in one of their picturesque cottages along with a meal at the top-rated restaurant in the area, Number Nine Bar & Kitchen. Single Entries are £3 with two entries costing £5. If you wish to enter for free, postal entries are also available.”
Owners also expanded on the difficulties the bar has faced over the past few years, pointing to a number of factors.
These include: being denied a permit to extend its outside seating this summer, its insurers not paying out for business disruption because staff were retained using the furlough scheme, and issues with the owners of the building, who they claim are “trying to close any possible avenue open to us to generate extra revenue.”
They said: “It’s been a tough 2 years for us here at Alvarium. After Manchester City Council swept the rug out from under our feet by taking away our road closure, making summer exceptionally difficult for us.
“This alongside our insurers refusing to pay out for business disruption suffered during Covid, despite the Ombudsman instructing them to do so, on the grounds that we retained our staff by using the furlough scheme.
“So, if we would have let all of our staff go and not claimed furlough, they would have honoured our claim – an option which has always been out of the question for us. During this time, we have had to make some very difficult decisions to try and survive.
“However, the owners of the building are trying to close any possible avenue open to us to generate extra revenue to get Alvarium flourishing again, leaving us feeling very lost.”
As part of the Crowdfunder, the bar is giving away a £3,000 bar tab, as well as a luxury weekend stay at one of the Kings Arms in Kirkby Lonsdale’s picturesque cottages, and a meal at Number Nine Bar & Kitchen, the top-rated restaurant in the area.
With single entries priced at £3 each, whilst you can buy two for £5 or five for £10. There is no limit on the number of times anyone can enter, with the prizes being drawn in 30 days time.
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.”