David Parkin loses the taste for eating out, sporting heroes and champagne charlies

David Parkin loses the taste for eating out, sporting heroes and champagne charlies

LEEDS Law Society is to move from its historic home of almost a century on Albion Place. And while the lawyers settle into their new base in a modern office building on Wellington Street in the city centre, their old home, a Grade II listed building, will be converted into a restaurant run by a chain called Bill’s which offers “contemporary European food”. I’ve never heard of Bill’s, they might serve great meals, but surely “contemporary European food” is what most of us eat or cook every day. The phrase means nothing. I hope their food is less wishy-washy than their description of it. Whether it is or it isn’t, I’d suggest that the last thing that Leeds needs is another national chain restaurant. I’m amazed by the number which continue to open and which are welcomed as if we’ve never experienced burgers, South American steak, pasta, pizza or oriental cuisine before. The queues outside the restaurants in the Trinity shopping centre in the city on a Saturday lunchtime show that diners have about as much imagination as the chains they frequent. In the meantime cities like Manchester and Birmingham are seeing fantastic individually-owned and run restaurants opening and thriving. ::: THAT modern day philosopher John Terry has been giving his views on the subject of players trying to influence decisions by referees. The Chelsea captain’s playing style and influential performances on the pitch epitomise the determination associated with the best English footballers. But he is anything but an example of the great Corinthian spirit. His reaction to Chelsea’s Champions League defeat to Paris St-Germain last week was telling....
David Parkin on moribund Morrisons, the wisdom of entrepreneurs and rats in parliament

David Parkin on moribund Morrisons, the wisdom of entrepreneurs and rats in parliament

YOU’D think Morrisons announcing annual losses of £800m would be a complete disaster. But I heard enough from chairman Andrew Higginson in his press interviews yesterday to believe that at least he understands where the moribund supermarket has been going wrong. Whether he, and new chief executive David Potts – who starts on Monday – can put it right is the big question. But what Higginson has accepted is the mistakes at Morrisons, something former CEO Dalton Phillips either refused to accept or couldn’t see. Canning the roll out of the M Local convenience stores is a good start. It has stalled the expansion of the chain and will shut 23 of the 153 shops that are under performing. If you’ve ever been in an M Local you’ll understand why they are failing to deliver. Down at heel with an odd range of products, they make Spar seem like Fortnum & Mason. After attending a few drinks events one evening recently, I wandered into the M Local on Infirmary Street in Leeds and despite having an alcohol-induced hunger, wandered around with an empty basket for ages before settling for a stuffed crust pizza that I later had to check was actually stuffed with cheese and not cement. The new chairman, who only arrived earlier this year, has already identified Morrisons’ core values of great quality fresh food at low prices and its unique offer of butchers, bakers and fishmongers in its stores. What Higginson and Potts have to do is to combine the tried, tested and trusted philosophy of former chairman Sir Ken Morrison with some of the demands...