I have only been a part-time Didsbury boy for the last year. My knowledge of the emergence of such misspellings as B.lend are gained from occasional forays, texts from Craftwords and missives from my own Didsbury Mum.
We briefly had a Tapas Mile thing going on but the demise (let’s be honest, it wasn’t very good) of Cantina set me thinking about the fallen. Not the brave soldiers but the crap ideas and donkeys that have failed to launch on our sceptred streets.
the original MOod board for Cau’s development.
There are urbane myths about Didsbury. But look closely at what has survived. The two places that have seen off all the others (since The Happy Garden realised that 6 months without a customer meant it was probably time to close) are Kansas Fried Chicken and Saints & Scholars. They have seen off Japanese Fusion, noncy Med-Fed and everyone else. Saints & Scholars reminds me of Bez. I have no idea why or how, but still good value.
Controversial plans for the new development on the site of Didsbury Police Station.
What of those who have tried and failed since The Didsbury Village Wine Bar closed its walled garden to become Felicini’s,The Mudflap Cafe and finally a symbol representing Daoist Philosophy and Buttermilk soaked Fried Chicken?
A shot southwards down Wilmslow Road from the 70s
Cau sits on an ancient Burial Ground. Here was briefly parked Zinc, some gangster-inspired Japanese disaster with bling that died a death, The Clocktower and a growing Orange Tree.
I couldn’t go in the Orange Tree. It’s townie focused glitz replaced The Old Grey Horse, a legendary hangout full of edge, promise and most of my friends. Legend has it that it’s predecessor, The Cavalcade (whose signage I can still picture) was more avant than an Edemame Milshake.
Trees don’t do that well here, as The Pear Tree folk will tell you. Bourbon & Black was no Didsbury Tapas. In fact it was no Kansas Fried Chicken. But who else remembers when Didsbury had its own KFC? Before that became the Ho Wah and now The Laughing Buddha.
On the block with KFC was Sykes’ Records, where Terry introduced a generation of Didsbury kids to Top of the Pops, Namaste Village and round the corner, Razma Reads.
Razma was a lovely concept. Think of Dot’s cafe in the park with a bookshop. The rise of Amazon killed it.
And no troll through the dead diners of Didsbury Village could forget Pizza Hut, so hip when it opened in the mid 80s, Chalk – whose staff were kitten hipped but whose speciality was… was… no idea and finally.
The greatest tax right-off/failure of them all, Nido – where each customer had their own waiter.
** no actual books, websites, people or anything else was researched during the writing of this blog.