Tributes are pouring in following the death of Mark Cain, a successful businessman and highly popular figure in Manchester’s gay village – who is believed to have hanged himself this weekend.
Mr Cain, who passed away at the weekend, was co-owner of Velvet, a popular hotel, bar and restaurant located on Canal Street in the heart of the LGBT district.
He was named in the top 50 Northern Restaurant and Bar (NRB) owners last year and was held in high regard by many people in the city.
Velvet’s boutique hotel was ranked first out of 120 hotels in Manchester by TripAdvisor, whilst his restaurant earned plaudits from Top Table Diners.
Well-known figures took to Twitter to pay their respects to the entrepreneur, including Coronation Street actor Antony Cotton.
Yet more tragic news. So sad that I’ll not see your face again Mark. A Manchester legend, an outrageous gossip and so much fun. Devastated.
— Antony Cotton (@antonycotton) January 25, 2015
Shocked to hear of Mark Cain’s death. Thoughts are with Sunny and the Velvet family. Mark was one of Mcr’s great operators.
— Jon Drape (@jondrape) January 26, 2015
Will Sadly miss Mark Cain.Such a nice chap worked well for Mcr & gave us the venue for free when we put on our productions. Top Man !!!
— City Waiters MCR (@CityWaiters) January 26, 2015
Mr Cain’s plans to build a 20-room hotel above his restaurant nearly failed to materialise in 2010, when a neighbouring bar owner collected a 3,000-name petition against his £3.5million project.
But it finally got the green light after he received backing from the Village Business Association and 10 letters of support.
Along with his thriving Canal Street business, Cain also opened a second restaurant two years ago – Velvet Central – which is located near Albert Square.
Popular Manchester DJ Dave Haslam said: “Shocking news that Mark Cain of Velvet and Velvet Hotel has died. He did great things. Love to his family and friends.”
Oliver East, a former employee at Velvet said; “I worked at Velvet for two years, 15 years ago. Mark was a force. Loved that place.”
Bernadette Kelly, director of Manchester-based marketing firm said: “Still trying to wrap my head around the loss of my beloved Mark Cain. He will be sorely missed by so many. And I’ll miss that cheeky smile.”
Chris Grimes, Director at Bitten Magazine, also paid his respects to the Velvet co-owner. He said: “Such sad news, Manchester has lost one of its characters.”
Shocked to hear the sad news about Mark Cain – love him or loathe him, he was a character that will be missed in Manchester & Canal St. RIP
— Adam (@adamwasere) January 26, 2015