The Arch Bar (later Zar Bar) was the troubled but iconic Hulme pub that was based on Stretford Road. Persistent disorder led the bar to be closed by the police and eventually it was torn down and more student flats are currently being built in its place.
Despite problems, local residents were hoping that the building could remain, and used differently, as a café or other community resource, especially as the building had a restrictive covenant on it.
In a recent angry exchange between Mary Murphy and local green activist, Nigel Woodcock, more information came to light.
On the public Hulme-Residents-Online-Group, Nigel argued that the local councillors at the time had removed the ‘restrictive covenant’, which gave the company that wanted to build flats “a green light to destroy the Arch building”.
Surprisingly, as part of her response Councillor Murphy replies “it was I who set up a meeting with our Deputy Chief Executive to discuss the removal of the covenant" … "At time of the removal of the covenant Myself and Nigel (Murphy, another Hulme Labour councillor) were representing our constituents.”
But which constituents? Not the hundreds who campaigned with petitions and direct action to keep the building open.
It was eye-catching and could have been a useful community centre resource for Hulme with a little bit of creative thinking.
Unfortunately, there is a lack of creative thinking from our local councillors. And with the closure and removal of services from Hulme, that is not good the area, not good for me and you.