MANY people, including the Evening Standard, The Metro and the M.E.N, fell for the Gravy Bar hoax.
The idea was just ridiculous enough for the city’s Northern Quarter – which already boasts a cat café, but it turned out, disappointingly, to be a massive lie.
The Gravy Bar, which was advertised as an ‘homage to the finest part of the Sunday Roast was a horrifically-mean April fools hoax.
Personally, I was gutted – what would be better than a nice jug of ‘Founders Reserve gravy after a couple of grapefruit IPAs?
— Gravy Bar MCR (@gravybarmcr) March 22, 2017
Perhaps it was too Northern to be true, but the bar promised at least six different gravies, and a generous ‘bring your own pie’ policy
My personal favourite highlight was the the “Lost Incan Gravy”.
Described as: “A recipe so ancient and secretive only the high gravy priest really knows what’s in it. Thick with mysterious onions.”
On reflection, the hoax should have been pretty obvious …
Curious about what we have to offer? Well, things are looking Gravy! Our menu is now available on our website… https://t.co/bK9dorGmcG
— Gravy Bar MCR (@gravybarmcr) March 25, 2017
If anyone was wondering, “Sovsebar” is the Danish for Gravy Bar …
— Gravy Bar MCR (@gravybarmcr) March 28, 2017
So what about those behind the elaborate hoax?
Nikki Roberts (if that is her real name …), spoke to me on behalf of the group of gravy grifters, and was very cagey about revealing any identities.
When asked about how many were involved in the elaborate conspiracy, she said :”We’ve counted up and we think there’s two, if you count both of us.
Unsurprisingly though, Nikki did say that wherever the saucy swindlers were holed-up was both lonely and dark.
On being uncovered, Nikki said: “We don’t think the non-real aspect of the restaurant “got out” as such, so much as Manchester Confidential and the “i” having the audacity to actually read the menu and point out it’s plausibility deficiencies.”
After something sweet? Make Gravy fabulous again! pic.twitter.com/y9eVyHQrho
— Gravy Bar MCR (@gravybarmcr) March 30, 2017
Later however, she did let slip that the group didn’t necessarily set out to trick anyone: “We weren’t aware that this was a hoax until the morning of April 1st when we discovered to our horror that we’d made the whole thing up and didn’t even have a location.”
Nikki said that she and her partner in crime felt “betreyed” after finding out about the hoax they had created.
She said: “We were surprised by the international success the idea had, particularly in France, The Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.”
We open VERY SOON… Our Gravysmiths have their hands full… pic.twitter.com/4zAvTPV7rB
— Gravy Bar MCR (@gravybarmcr) March 31, 2017
With their fifteen minutes of fame now gone, Nikki said: “After our success in restaurant promotion, we are now retiring to the Seychelles to distill fine gravies in a small beach cabin for the rest of our lives.”
In homage, I suggest we all raise our gravy boats and salute this cheeky pair for having most of us fooled!