Let's Go Round Again (Maybe We'll Turn Back The Hands Of Time)
Sad news today with the announcement that the Angel, just off Rochdale Road in Manchester’s N/4, has closed its doors for good. Having once been the beating heart of the N/4 as the Beer House, the pub was derelict before reinventing itself as a top food destination under famous local chef Robert Owen-Brown.
Whilst the beer selection wasn’t always to my palate, it was great to see the place supporting local breweries and taking cask (and other beer) seriously. And it was a reminder of the days when the trio of the Beer House, Pot of Beer and Marble Arch ruled supreme.
Now whilst no one doubts Robert’s culinary qualities, it has to be said that perhaps the business side isn’t his strongest forte. Indeed, people have remarked that his various openings and closings are beginning to take on somewhat of a carousel feel. Perhaps that is why in his new venture, he will be restricted to doing what he does best-cooking.
The good news is that this will mean a boost for the Mark Addy where he will take up residence as Head Chef. The Addy lies just over the border in Salford, astride the River Irwell and facing the new (very dull), Spinningfields development. Named after a famous Albert Medal winning Salford publican who rescued over 50 people from the Irwell, the pub has been in the doldrums for a long time. Apparently, the pub will undergo a much needed facelift and we shall have to see what they do on the beer side, but the N/4’s loss is Salford’s gain.
However, is there a chance for another N/4 old favourite to rise again? A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away-when the N/4 regeneration started-I was told that there were plans for the Pot of Beer. I must admit I was sceptical, though. Now most people assume it has been demolished because the building work obscures it. However, it still stands and so, just maybe, it will be the next phoenix on the block...