Connect with us


Manchester’s AO Arena opens new exclusive luxury bar & restaurant

This members only experience is exclusive to the AO Arena

Avatar photo



Manchester's Finest Group

The AO Arena has officially opened its new premium experience bar & restaurant The Mezz.

On Tuesday night (March 5th), guests headed to AO Arena for the star-studded red carpet launch of brand new VIP bar and restaurant experience The Mezz – part of the venue’s £50m redevelopment.

The Mezz marks a world-first for arenas and is now officially open and set to transform the in-venue hospitality experience. Brian McFadden, Jorgie Porter, Rachel Lugo & Peter Hook were in attendance and amongst the first to experience it for themselves.

At The Mezz’s bar and restaurant, guests can expect the very best modern British cuisine, champagne, fine wines, signature cocktails and post-show entertainment.

Manchester’s Finest Group

At this members only space, guests can enjoy a stylish dining experience before stepping out to the best seats in the house, you’re guaranteed the ultimate VIP experience from arrival to encore.

ASM Global has joined forces with award-winning Chef Simon Rogan MBE and UMBEL Restaurant Group alongside Chef Tom Barnes, embarking on this new and exclusive culinary partnership. The menu features two dishes designed by the team, including a main dish by Rogan and dessert by Barnes.

Simon’s opening dish Roast Rump of Herdwick Lamb, Roscoff Whey Onions, Split Pea and Fennel Vinegar is the highlight of the main menu, with Tom’s Lightly Set Jasmine Cream with White Chocolate and Rose completing the dessert menu. Members of The Mezz also enjoy priority reservation allocation across the UMBEL restaurant portfolio.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Guests can expect an unrivalled pre-show experience that takes them above and beyond the show as they take in the impressive panoramic views of the stage and a premium hospitality service, in the heart of the action.

Located close to your seats for comfort and convenience, guests will reap the benefits of having premium seats with the best views of the stage for the ultimate experience.

Whether you’re entertaining clients, networking or celebrating, The Mezz promises the perfect venue to help make your evening out a memorable one.

Manchester’s Finest Group

Member perks include guaranteed attendance for all shows at AO Arena, direct access to the arena bowl, early access via dedicated VIP entrance, dedicated parking, all-inclusive food and drink, private cocktail bar, a private dedicated table in the restaurant and personalised service including a cloakroom boasting the latest in venue technology, members app and portal, and dedicated host service.

Chris Bray, President of ASM Global Europe, said: “We are truly so excited to be launching this innovative concept and partnership with UMBEL. 

“There’s nothing like this in UK arenas right now, so we’re incredibly proud to be setting the standard in F&B innovation, alongside some of the UK’s most exciting fine dining experts. 

“We believe our customers deserve the best, and we’re always exploring new ways to do just that, reimagining what live entertainment experiences look like, including the food and beverage that’s available.”

Manchester’s Finest Group

“As the AO Arena looks to a milestone year, opening The Mezz in March, this new partnership with Simon, Tom and UMBEL Restaurant Group will no doubt take it to the next level,” he added.

Simon Rogan MBE, Chef and Owner of UMBEL Restaurant Group, said: “UMBEL is excited to embark on this partnership and to work alongside ASM by means of elevating its premium F&B offering at Mezz. 

“Working alongside Tom Barnes, who has been a key part of my team for many years, we are looking forward to introducing special seasonal menus which champion natural ingredients and sustainability, whilst using ingredients from my farm in the Lake District.”

Manchester’s Finest Group

Tom Barnes said: “Our involvement with ASM and The Mezz enables us to share the UMBEL philosophy with a wider audience. 

“Manchester is my favourite city in the UK, and now my new home as I also prepare to open Skof in the N.O.M.A district of the city in the springtime, so I am proud to be a part of the city’s exciting food and drink scene in more ways than one.”

To become a member or find out more, click HERE.


Man arrested after mum pushing pram stabbed and killed in broad daylight

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder

Avatar photo



West Yorkshire Police

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man wanted for the fatal stabbing of a woman while she was pushing her baby in a pram in Bradford.

Police have arrested a suspect, following the murder of Kulsuma Akter, 27. Akter was stabbed several times in the Westgate area of Bradford city centre on Saturday afternoon. 

The mother was rushed to hospital, where despite the best efforts of medics, she sadly succumbed to her injuries. Her baby was unharmed in the incident.

It has also emerged that suspect, Habibur Masum, was on bail for assaulting and threatening to kill her at the time of the attack.

West Yorkshire Police

Masum was conditionally bailed by Manchester Magistrates’ Court in November, despite prosecutors objecting to his release, it is understood.

Court documents show Masum, whose address was listed as Oldham, Greater Manchester, was charged with assaulting Ms Akter on November 23rd and threatening to kill her on November 24th.

Both incidents are alleged to have happened in Greater Manchester. Police had previously confirmed the couple were known to each other but have not confirmed their relationship. 

Masum attended a hearing on November, 27th 2023, where he pleaded not guilty to both offences and was ordered not to contact Ms Akter, it is understood.

West Yorkshire Police

His bail conditions also prevented him from contacting a second person, or visiting a particular address.

Greater Manchester Police has said it is supporting West Yorkshire Police with the ongoing murder investigation.

Both forces have referred themselves to the Independent Office for Police Conduct watchdog over previous contact with Masum and Ms Akter.

Detective Superintendent Jude Holmes, from GMP Oldham district, said: “We share the shock and concern that our communities feel in the wake of this tragic incident, and our thoughts are with Kulsuma Akter’s family at this truly distressing time.

“Habibur Masum is wanted by West Yorkshire Police on suspicion of murder. Due to his links to Greater Manchester, we have our specialist officers following several lines of enquiry to locate him.

“I urge members of the public to remain vigilant, and if you have any information on his whereabouts, call 999 as a matter of urgency.

“Due to previous police contact with Habibur Masum and Kulsuma Akter, Greater Manchester Police has made a referral to the Independent Office for Police Conduct.”

Police have arrested a 25-year-old man on suspicion of murder. A 23-year-old man was also arrested in Cheshire on suspicion of assisting an offender.

Continue Reading


Hunt for murder suspect after mum pushing pram killed in broad daylight

It is not clear whether is Masum is armed as police warn not to approach him

Avatar photo



West Yorkshire Police

Police are searching for a man from Oldham after a mum was stabbed to death in Bradford while pushing her baby in a pram.

Habibur Masum, 25, is wanted over the attack which took place in the Westgate area of Bradford at 3.21pm on Saturday (April 6th).

The victim, a 27-year-old woman, suffered multiple stab wounds and was taken to hospital where she sadly died of her injuries, West Yorkshire Police said.

West Yorkshire Police

The force also confirmed the baby was not harmed in the attack as the public is warned not to approach Masum.

It is understood Masum was known to the victim although police have not confirmed their relationship at this time. A knife was found at the scene but it is unclear if he is armed.

Masum was pictured on CCTV wearing a grey hooded, zip-up coat with three large horizontal lines of grey, white and black on it, grey tracksuit bottoms with a black logo and burgundy trainers. 

West Yorkshire Police

A witness also reported seeing him wearing a grey hoodie with the hood up shortly after the incident on Westgate, at the junction with Drewton Road.

Masum is from Oldham and is believed to have links to Burnley and Chester. He is described as an Asian man, of slim build.

Detective Chief Inspector Stacey Atkinson said: “We have had significant resources following up a number of lines of inquiry to locate Habibur Masum but at this time his whereabouts are unknown.

“I would urge anyone who does see him not to approach him but to call 999 immediately.”

Google Maps

She said the death of such a young woman in the ‘most awful circumstances’ will ‘understandably cause concern in the local community’.

Detective Chief Inspector Atkinson Added: “I would like to reassure the wider public that we are working tirelessly to investigate this horrendous crime and bring the person responsible to justice.

“To help us with this we are urging anyone who was in the area who may have dashcam footage or seen or heard something, however small it may seem, to please come forward.

“A scene remains in place which includes some road closures and I thank the public for their patience while we conduct our enquiries.”

Continue Reading


Man arrested in murder investigation after human torso found in Salford nature reserve

A man in his 20s is being questioned by police

Avatar photo



@gmpolice / X

A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder after a human torso was found wrapped in plastic in a nature reserve in Salford.

As detectives continue to investigate the discovery of human remains found by a passerby on Thursday, April 4th, a man in his 20s from Salford was taken into custody on Saturday evening for questioning, Greater Manchester Police say.

DNA testing is being carried out to determine the identity of the victim, who is believed to be a male ‘likely to be aged older than 40’ and ‘has only been deceased for a matter of days’, officers say.

@gmpolice / X

GMP says it is conducting a thorough search of the area by utilising local officers and specialist branches including search dogs and assistance from underwater search teams, to help comb the site.

The force says although it has ‘not found anything else that is of interest to the investigation’, ‘work will not stop’ until it is certain the area has been thoroughly searched.

Chief Superintendent Tony Creely, of GMP’s Salford district, said: “The arrest we made yesterday evening is an important step for our investigation, but we must keep an open mind and a big part of this is speaking to anyone who may have crucial information.

“As we continue to work in the area, I would like to take this opportunity to thank the public for their concern and cooperation so far, and we are mindful this is a disturbing incident for the local community, but I can assure you that since we were made aware, we’ve been pursuing every single line of enquiry to help us find out what has happened.

“I cannot stress the importance of people contacting us with information if they know anything at all. You may have information that you don’t feel is of importance, but it could be to us, please pass it on, it could be the key piece of information we need to progress this investigation.”

Anyone who thinks they may have witnessed something suspicious in the Kersal Dale area over the last few days is urged to call GMP on 101 and quoting log number 2695 of April, 4th 2024.

A dedicated portal for anyone to submit images or video footage which could help police can be found HERE.


Continue Reading

Receive our latest news, events & unique stories

Privacy and data policy

We may earn a commission when you use one of our links to make a purchase

Copyright © 2024 Manchester's Finest Group