Piccadilly Station, opposite the restaurant and bar, was originally named Store Street when it opened in 1842, before it become London Road Station, and finally Manchester Piccadilly.
Now the story of Store Street is to be reborn, as we celebrate it's heritage by digging deep into the history of this fascinating and important part of the city.
From fields and scandal through fire, industry, rail and canal and via famous sportswear and traditional pubs, this is one area of Manchester city centre, that's seen it all...
Teddy Wells, The Fighting Pooch
In a pub now long gone from London Road there was once a celebrity dog. He was a Manchester Terrier and a natty dresser. He would sport a sharp little cap secured under his jaw, sit on a stool at the end of the bar and sip beer from an ashtray. He was a celebrity ratter, his fame being denoted by the honour of a first and second name. This dog was called Teddy Wells.
Before satellite TV and sports on the screen one pub pastime was to release a sack of live rats in the pub yard and time a dog on how long it took to kill a given amount of the rodents. In the 1890s Teddy Wells killed 30 rats in 26.5 seconds, which was deemed a national record.
Money CAN Buy You Love
The two principal streets behind the Store Street Exchange are named Aytoun and Minshull. They are named after Barbara Minshull and Roger Aytoun. Aytoun came to Manchester from Scotland in 1769, was 6ft 4", handsome and in full military uniform even though he wasn't in the army.
At Kersal Races in Salford he wooed Barbara Minshull, one of the wealthiest people in the North West, owning much of the land in Manchester, including the Doubletree by Hilton site. Three weeks later they married. It was a scandal. Aytoun was in his twenties, Minshull was 65. She survived another 14 years. During this time, and subsequently, Aytoun squandered Minshull's fortune on wine, women and recruitment.
Finally his military aspirations were met when he raised a Manchester volunteer regiment which fought at Gibraltar in the wars with Napoleon. One of Aytoun's recruitment methods was brawling in pubs. If the fight was won the loser had to join his regiment. Aytoun gained a nickname from this, 'Spanking Roger'.