Rod McPhee: Urbanites' best bar, gone?

People. Do you know the trouble with people? They want everything and are prepared to do nothing to keep it. They'll complain about losing something, but they won't actually support it.

They want to maintain discipline in schools but faint at the thought of a teacher so much as touching a pupil. They demand a top quality NHS but don't want to pay higher taxes to fund it.

They want lovely, traditional things like milk rounds and red phone boxes, while one hand picks up a four-pint of Cravendale from the supermarket and the other hand clasps an omnipresent mobile.

They want local chippies, local cinemas, local bus services, independent shops, but never use them when they have them.

People, I've concluded, are plain nuts.

Take the residents of Chapel Allerton. Since they reside in arguably the most fashionable suburb in the city you'd think they'd count their blessings.

But Ged Feltham knows different. He's boss of Angel's Share bar and restaurant in Chapel Allerton which, for some time now, has been the neighbourhood's top socialising spot for the last five years.

It isn't the only bar on the block but, with three floors and a prominent location, it's arguably something of a flagship.

And yet Angel's Share isn't doing terribly well for itself – a bad omen for urbanites because if a bar as good as this can't make it there, it probably can't make it anywhere.

It seems they just aren't getting the punters through the doors, and now they're on the cusp of closing those doors.

In fact, that's just what they did last week, temporarily at least. Then locals and part-time punters got in touch pleading them not to drop the axe.

And, generously, they gave the place a stay of execution.

Trouble is, that leaves Feltham and the team at Angel's Share with a quandary – do they run a business that's struggling, or quit while they're ahead and disappoint their regulars?

They've taken a gamble and hope people realise what they stand to lose, and I hope their neighbours do realise it.

Because it's not just one bar, it's THE bar in Chap A, and one which could set in motion a chain of closures sullying the area's image.

Which is curious because you'd expect, even in such turbulent financial times, something as new as out-of-city socialising would have a longer shelf life than this.

And unlike with chippies, cinemas and nice little independent shops you'd imagine you wouldn't need to repeat the obvious mantra of use it, or lose it.

Tssk, people eh?

Why Linfoot was right all along

IT'S probably a bit much to characterise him as some kind of latter day Cassandra, but not so very long ago the godfather of Leeds city living warned that demand for developments would soon outstrip supply.

As far back as five years ago – before anyone had even heard of a credit crunch – Kevin Linfoot said this day would come. Agencies around the city now maintain that, far from hundreds of flats being left unoccupied, they simply can't get enough.

Bridgewater Place, Clarence Dock, City Island – they are all, to all intents and purposes, full.

Yet when Linfoot tried to build the doomed Lumiere twin towers, carpers complained that Leeds was being swamped with hundreds of apartments nobody wanted. The opposite is now true.

Agencies are highly frustrated by the fact that no new projects are coming online any time soon – as are the hundreds of people who want to live in the heart of Leeds but now can't.

So, when the recovery comes, building work resumes and Linfoot will no doubt make a reappearance, hopefully we'll all be a little less cynical.

One direction: downwards

THERE are no words to describe the elation felt when One Direction were knocked out of The X Factor final last week – so elated I actually didn't care who won in the end.

In fact, I have to confess to whooping and cheering out loud when the pretty-boy band got the chop, which is a bit tragic when you're pushing 36 and should be concerning yourself with less trivial things.

But they were just so loathsome and contrived – and they absolutely sucked.

Individually they could sing. A bit. But together they sounded like whiny toddlers struggling to utter their first words.

In fact, when they brought on the freaky rejects from the audition rounds (which, can I just say for the record, I thought was sick) you could close your eyes and think One Direction were still on stage.

"You haven't heard the last from these boys," warned Cowell, firing up the auto-tuner ready for their first and only album.

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