There, I’ve said it.
Nothing against LV. I think they’re a great operator. A fine local business. Full of entrepreneurial spirit and able to knock out a successful brand in the time it takes some companies to answer an email.
But I feel a bit funny about them taking that unit. Why?
Well, I suppose I saw it as a chance for something a bit different – unique even – to come into the city centre. The space is achingly beautiful. The opportunity is fantastic.
I was secretly hoping for an El Gato Negro, or a Parkers’ Arms, or a Man Behind The Curtain. Something we’ve not seen before. A step change.
Have no doubts – LV will take the place on, make it look spectacular and trade the arse off it. But variety is the spice of life, apparently. And a Hakkasan or similar would have been great in there, especially when you consider that it wants to open 15 new restaurants this year, as well as a hotel, and is rolling out a new concept called Ling Ling.
It’s easy to pick and choose your fantasy operator of course, and if you believe Manchester City forums, Hakkasan is more likely to end up in East Manchester than the city centre thanks to the shared ownership thing, but when the Room unit became available, it seemed set to act as an attention grabber that could be used to pull in an out-of-towner with real clout.
Good luck to LV of course, as we love them dearly.