A popular Manchester city centre gaming bar has suffered a devastating burglary just six months after opening its doors in the city, leaving its owners financially and emotionally bereft.
Thieves broke into Pixel Bar in the Northern Quarter in the early hours of the weekend, getting away with nine high-spec gaming PCs worth an estimated £25,000.
The burglary occurred on Friday morning around 5am, just half an hour after Pixel Bar’s staff had left the premises.
Footage shared by the bar’s co-owner Craig Ryan with The Manc shows three masked men helping themselves to the high-tech gaming computer equipment, which is kept on the basement level of the bar.
The men’s faces are only partially covered and may be recognisable to some.
Pixel Bar is now working with the police and is appealing for anyone who has any information to come forward.
Posting the heartbreaking news to social media, co-owner Craig Ryan wrote on LinkedIn: “This weekend our Manchester bar was burgled. The thieves got away with 9 of our PCs from our PC Gaming Arena.
“We’re devastated, financially and emotionally this has really hit us and I don’t know what to say.
“We’re working with the police. If anybody has any information please contact us or the police.
“Needless to say, until we find a way to replace the hardware there will be no PC gaming or tournaments happening at the bar. We’ve no idea how long this will take. Personally this hurts so much. We’d just hosted a great university esports event and had a lot of events lined up.
“The rest of the bar is open as normal thankfully.
“We’ll be dramatically increasing the level of security throughout our venues so that this doesn’t happen again.
“Please understand that we’ll not be answering any questions about the event at this time.”
The gaming bar, originally launched in Leeds, moved across the Pennines to Manchester in November last year and quickly became a popular haunt amongst gaming enthusiasts.
It also caught the eye of Manchester’s cocktail lovers with its quirky gaming-themed menu, which features choices like ‘Jigglypuff’, ‘Princess Perch’ and the ‘Yoshi’s Island Iced Tea’, plus a selection of ‘magic potion’ shots – promising do deliver ‘full health’ and ‘stamina’ to the drinker.
Co-owner Craig told The Manc that, following the burglary, the downstairs part of the bar is currently off-limits, but he added that the upstairs section with its bar, arcade games and consoles remains open and that anyone wanting to come down, buy a cocktail and support them is very welcome.
He said: “[Downstairs is] off-limits for now, we’re working with our sponsor to try and replace the PCs at cost, hopefully, but until we’ve got all the security in place and fire compliance with the new security measures we can’t open up, even if we had the hardware, so it could be a while yet.”
He added that they are still waiting to find out whether the custom-built gaming computers can now be bought back on insurance, as they were gifted as part of a sponsorship deal with bespoke computer company PC Specialist when Pixel Bar opened.
Pixel Bar is now appealing for anyone who has any information to come forward to them or to Greater Manchester Police.
Feature image – Supplied
Afflecks institution puts out appeal to help find thieves who stole £20,000 worth of Pokémon cards
Collectors shop Card Empire has issued an appeal to help find two men who stole over £20,000 worth of Pokémon cards from the premises last week.
An Afflecks institution since 2005, the collectors shop that specialises in Yu-Gi-Oh! and Pokémon memorabilia had an estimated £20k worth of cards nicked from their shop situated on the first floor of the popular indoor market and emporium.
Card Empire has two other locations across the UK, one in Stockport and another in Liverpool, but it was their Manchester city centre site that was hit by two individuals who simply walked in and walked out with the expensive collection of cards whilst the staff were bust with customers.
The owners shared multiple CCTV videos of the large box of 4000 cards being swiped from the desk on 17 May at around 3:30pm.
Card Empire is now asking anyone with information or who might recognise the two individuals to come forward and help them recover the stolen cards.
Writing in the Facebook post, store manager Anthony said that “the police have been informed, and because of the value of the cards it is being treated as a burglary by the police which will result in prison sentences.
“I’d like everyone to take a look and see if you know who these two are. They are clearly working together. We of course would like to get our property back but any information identifying these two would be much appreciated.”
He then went on to add: “To the thieves, you have 7 days to return the box before I make it my mission to see you behind bars.” The appeal from the store has even led other members from the international Pokémon community, with US YouTube content creator Rattle Pokemon sharing the following video:
Manchester given £72 million by Government to ‘improve train services’ in the North
A £72 million funding package that’s set to “improve train services” in Manchester and the North has been unveiled today.
After what can only be described as scenes of continuous travel chaos on trains throughout the Greater Manchester region, and across the North West and beyond over the past few years, with passengers being hit with ongoing strike action, lengthy delays, short-notice cancellations, and skyrocketing ticket prices, the Government has today unveiled a £72 million funding “boost” intended to address this.
The Department for Transport (DfT) says passengers across the North are set to benefit from “fewer delays and more reliable trains” under its new plans.
Rail Minister Huw Merriman revealed the latest of four infrastructure upgrades, which the Government says are aiming to “improve day-to-day journeys for passengers across the region” while supporting “productivity” and “economic growth”, during a presentation at Manchester Victoria Station today.
According to the DfT, the £72 million funding will go towards building a third platform at Salford Crescent station, as well as carrying out track improvement works across Manchester to help reduce delays, bottlenecks, and station overcrowding – which meanings passengers will have more “comfortable and reliable” journeys.
Manchester Victoria Station is also set to get itself extra entry and exit points to platforms under the funding, which the Government says will make it easier for passengers to travel through the station during busier periods.
Transport Secretary Mark Harper says the work to improve Manchester’s rail infrastructure will “leave a positive impact for generations to come”.
However, while several new measures have been announced as the £72 million funding boost has been unveiled today, it does appear that this has come at a slight cost to some previously-planned infrastructure improvements.
The DfT has today revealed that Network Rail has withdrawn its previous planning applications for the proposed construction of a platform 15 and 16 at Manchester Piccadilly Station, which was first submitted back in 2014, and has asked its task force to consider “alternative options to better serve passengers”.
They also want plans to support the £26 million that has already been injected into improve services at the city’s main train station, as well as at Manchester Airport and Manchester Oxford Road stations.
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham has also welcomed the funding boost, and called it an “opportunity to change rail journeys for people and businesses” in Greater Manchester and the North “for the better”.