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Tried to get in on 28th October 2011. I am a regular at the ..
Had lunch with some work collegues on a Friday and we were all ..
Ye Olde Cock Inn
Absolutely amazing place! Staff so friendly and helpful. My ..
this place is a dump! staff very rude and full of wanabe gangsters! ..
Matt and Phreds Jazz Club
Great place, a welcomed change from the over stylized hair cuts ..
342 reviews written in the last 30 days.
You searched for: Bars - Modern
111 Portland Street
Possibly the strangest bar you will ever go to, the Fab Caf? on Portland Street is a sci-fi theme pub that's cluttered with memorabilia and trinkets. A bar this unique demands an equally unique music policy so your likely to hear the strangest collection of tunes in here. This doesn't stop a fiercely loyal set of regulars from busting a move on the dance floor and on a Friday and Saturday there's constant battle between the dancers and the sitters. As with any good niche bar, the Fab Caf? regularly puts on sci-fi themed events - in the past they've even had Neil & Christine Hamilton on their UK tour (!). Definitely worth a look, but only for those with a sense of humour and fun?
158 Burton Road
M20 is as M20 does. It?s a new upstart compared to the MET and four in hand, and other such bastions on Didsbury drinking but my god is it a refreshing change. Not just for the no nonsense party crowd who go there, spurred on my delicious cocktails and well chosen foreign beers but because the place is soooo 80?s it hurts, and it hurts in a good way. Ok to say so 80?s is a little harsh, but other drinking holes in Didsbury are painfully original and seem to lack soul and heart. They are bland and have no brand, M20, even if a little on the dark side, oozes someone?s personality, someone?s dream, you can tell someone somewhere wanted a bar. Bought one and is very happy about it. And well they might be ? the place has smashed it. The drinks aren?t cheap, with bottles of beer at a price around ?3.20 and cocktails (which are great to be fair) at ?7.95 but the queue to get in after only just gone 11 shows most people of Didsbury don?t care. The drinks are well mixed and well served by two legends in the area, the RnR boys, with rumors that they might well move and start their own bar somewhere in town! Hurrah! You see the problem with M20 is that the place is so small it might as well be down a back street in Granada or in a funkier part of Lisbon. It?s so very small but this can add to the vibe of the place, as you have to squish past people and be very unbritish about touching, and get involved when getting served. It also has an tiny built for couples area behind the bar which is so dark that it?s almost a place ripe for un noticed unplanned under the table affection (those of you who know about dark rooms, alas for you, this is not one of them, shame thou) The crowd seems younger than Didsbury is used to but this could be the fact that everyone is enjoying themselves and the drinks are flowing and you cant hear the over loud talking about share prices and skiing holidays booked for next year?thank God. There are more than a few attractive ladies who vie for attention and dance for fun in the space where there are no tables, I would say dance floor but this isn?t true. However, this is a rarity, according to one regular there are usually many more men than women that go in there, and I believe her she goes there 3 times a week. A don?t know if its sad or genius to be fair, The music policy is simple but affective. Get people dancing, play what they love and mix it well enough for people to notice, but not to scratch their chins about. It?s a lively, no messing about vibe, drinking and dancing but with a VMSA feel to the place (very much strings attached, including past relationship near marriages and broken dreams of the late 20?s early 30?s career people) However to balance this out nicely there are more than a few couples, no bad thing at their / my age. However, this party vibe maybe changing, rumors of revolution is in the air, a change of guard of the staff means RIP Rich and Rob (who almost ran the place for a while, especially with the faithful followers) and so maybe M20 maybe MT
20 Tariff Street
Tucked away in the Northern Quarter, Moonlight is part of the Jacksons Warehouse residential building, and sits next to the Picadilly Basin. Part restaurant, part bar, it's not exactly the busiest of venues, but that's down to the 'off the beaten track' location. As bars go it's not a bad one, and it's relatively relax and offers a good range of cocktails.
Another new opening that sees the Northern Quarter trendy zone stretching further east to Stevenson Square. We?ve heard a lot about Noho, from the origins of its name (some area in New York) to its drinks policy (no draught ? although policy is perhaps the wrong word as they?re, apparently, unable to store it due to the building?s listed status). So we went down to see what it was like, take a few photos and generally be able to report back to our lovely readers about what it?s like here but...we couldn?t find it. I know, embarrassing but true enough. In our defence it was day time, so no neon lights to seek out, and cold, and raining, and...err...that?s it. We?ll give it another go soon...watch this space.
27 Sackville Street
A larger gayer version of the Baa Bar on Deansgate Locks, which in itself was quite a gay place to hang out a the best of times! Just like the original location, there are mirrored walls (which really confuse you), but there is also an amazing 70s style dance room in the basement. Clearly designed by someone who has never drank in their lives, the lighting and mirrors in this room are somewhat disturbing to the stomach. Nether-the-less, this place offers something different from all the other village locations, and can be an intimate place to spend time during the week. The drinks are also well priced.
Barbirolli Square, Lower Mosley Street
***Updated again, February 2010*** Barbirolli held a little low key open evening the other week, to which we were fortunate enough to be invited. On a Friday night at 6pm, it gave us a good idea of what the place is like. First impressions were of surprise – it was packed. Not with invited guests (there was a little area reserved for that) but with smart revellers. Not bad for a bar in its infancy. The decor is clean and modern but with a comfortable feel, the cocktails are ‘bloody lovely’ (according to those accompanying me for the evening), the beer cold and served in proper glasses and the live music unobtrusive but entertaining – just what you need at that time of night, post work on a Friday. Their aim of providing a sophisticated live music venue appears to have been realised and we look forward to going back there again soon to see the place in full ‘gig-mode’. If the preview was anything to go by, it’ll soon be something of a destination in an area that traditionally didn’t offer much in the way of nightlife. ***Updated February 2010*** We’ve finally received some more info from the people behind Barbirolli – it’s pitching itself as a sort of upmarket Matt and Phreds. That seems to be the idea anyway - “stylish, sophisticated and upmarket live music venue,” is how they put it. Positioned well for such an aim, right next to Bridgewater Hall and GMEX (sorry, Manchester Central), it’s an area of town that is more likely to attract the ‘stylish and sophisticated’ crowd than, say, the Northern Quarter, or even Deansgate, which seems to be turning into the new Peter Street. With two bars, a stage for live music (think jazz, blues and acoustic sessions) as well as cocktails and both bar meals and a la carte dining, Barbirolli looks to be carving itself a new niche in Manchester’s nightlife. _________________________________________________________ This bar has been rumoured for a while and Barbirolli, on Barbirolli Square, opened just in time for New Year’s Eve 2009/2010. Handy for the Bridgewater Hall and Manchester Central, it’s set itself up as a classy, up market joint. We’ve yet to have the pleasure and only have the attached ‘artists impressions;’ to go on so far, but we’ll be sure to get down to Barbirolli soon to check it out.
Tib Street, Northern Quarter
***Updated 13 July 2010*** Unassuming from the outside, Barcelona, on the corner of Tib Street and Hilton/Thomas Street, certainly makes up for it on the inside. Completely refurbished before opening, the inside is a simple, stylish effort with plenty of dark wood and strategic lighting. More importantly, the bar-top offerings are refreshingly obscure, at least compared with most other bars in the locale – three or four decent European lagers (mostly Spanish), as well as cocktails and all the rest. Food offerings come in the form of authentic tapas dishes, which you can pick from the glass-fronted counter. If you were getting a little tired of the Northern Quarter staple vibe of ‘independent, quirky British bar’, Barcelona may just be worth a go. Relaxed, unpretentious, spacious and with decent priced food and drink, you’ll wonder how the Northern Quarter ever functioned without it.
43 Port Street
Cuban through and through, the Cuba Caf? provides drinks in a revolutionary environment as well as regular salsa dance lessons (Every Tuesday, Wednesday and Friday). Well worth a visit - a great selection of drinks and authentic interiors.
33-35 Oxford Street
The Paramount sits at the confusing place where Oxford Road turns into Oxford Street. We have no idea why it does this, but if you look on any map you'll see a tiny piece of Oxford Road is actually labelled as Oxford Street. Ignore me, let's talk about the bar. The Paramount is a huge pub run by JD Wetherspoon - which means three things. 1) No Music. 2) Cheap Drinks 3) Cheap Food. The Living room this ain't, but truth be told it's a nice enough little boozer to start off your night and it doesn't hammer your pocket. On an early evening it's also a great place to grab some food. It's central location means you can nip the nearby Music Box for a dance, or if you're looking for somewhere slightly more upmarket to eat then there's a Mcdonalds just across the road.
The Gin Club
310 Wilmslow Road
New for Fallowfield's student population, a place whose mission statement is a simple 'Music and Liquor', The Gin Club brings a touch of city centre elegance to the 'cheap pints and shots' offerings of the area's other nightspots. An interesting idea - let's see how the students take to cocktails and decor over beer and benches.
478 Wilbraham Road
Under new management this bar is now part of the expanding family owned Lounge Ventures group. They also own Abode on Wilbraham road and soon one more to add to the collection ? which WHLN has exclusive news on. The place is much larger than you expect when you first walk in. Keep walking on down to the refurbished back room with its great leather sofas and nice lighting for social and chilled chats and beers. You can tell there is new management, and a ladies touch in the place as the whole vibe is much less ?chav wanna be gangsta? than before. Candles now make sense and lower lightening with more appropriate music. This much needed change is added to by the addition of a decent bar menu there. Finally, catering for people with good old fashioned taste and not all ?bling bling? and frozen turkey twisters. Home good comfort food, classic fayre, which is on all day, great pies and pastas, a steak and the works for ?7, Chorlton quality but at a fine price point beautifully cooked by the ex head chef from the LIVING ROOM. Foreign beers and a good selection of drinks all round, but not at the Northern Quarter price point. Erdigner, Leffe, Negra modello (my favorite) along side polish beers with names I just can?t remember. But what I can remember is the great idea they have about catering for the night after the night before crowd with classic hangover cures ranging from eggs Benedict to properly made Bloody Marys as well as fresh fruit salads for the healthy (we are still in Chorlton remember) Saying this, aligned with Chorlton?s socialism we have Wednesday nights where people can bring in their own tunes and they have a local bands night which apparently goes down a storm. Whilst they are finally sorting out the weekend with new DJ?s and a meet and great scheme on the door to vet people and have the 21 year old+ people inside the Lounge know they are going to have a ?safe? time (manc pun weakly intended) Average age: 28 but with a strangely high number of attractive women for Chorlton Verdict: With the new management and security and style conscious measures in place (along with the new food menu) this Lounge will be one WHLN will definitely chill out in, in 2007. See you there for hangover cures and an all dayer sometime in the summer.
All Bar One
73-79 King Street
King Street home of the national chain, All Bar One have a self-styled reputation as the stylish choice of chain bar. All Bar One are your classic modern chain bar – modern pub grub, versatile drinks selection, a leather sofa or two and a bit of a chic, minimalist finish to the place. It’s well placed to catch shoppers with tired feet, nestled on King Street, a stone’s throw from Market Street and on many well trodden routes between Deansgate, Kendals, The Arndale and Selfridges. Popular for after work socialising too...and evening drinks.
Blue Parrot Bar and Grill
The Blue Parrot Cafe Bar opened towards the end of 2009 and is proving to be a popular replacement for what used to be Che Bar, on Portland Street. Offering a full menu with everything from salads and sandwiches to platters and grill dishes, the Blue Parrot is setting itself up as a decent place for eating and drinking in the Piccadilly area. Late opening on Thursday, Friday and Saturday (2am) means it will also compete with its neighbours for the weekend crowds.
7-9 New Wakefield Street
***Updated July 2010*** We spent a Friday night in Font recently and can thoroughly recommend it for a decent place to warm up for a night out. They’ve got a huge range of drinks – from real ales to a choice of gin to plenty of lager, and it’s all reasonably priced. The place has the air of an organised but friendly independent bar, which is kind of what it is (it’s one of a small chain of three – two in Manchester, on in Liverpool), with decent food and very accommodating staff – we asked if we could reserve a small area for 7pm on Friday night and were able to do so no problem. The top end of Oxford Road is becoming increasingly popular and prosperous as a drinking destination (Jilly’s/Music Box notwithstanding), and Font is definitely one of the venues of choice for us. _________________________________________________________ The Font has been around for ages now, and its combination of drinks offers, playstations and table football has worked well for them. They're also one of the few venues that lets you hire the place out for free. Each weekend the DJs will play anything from hip hop to house music, and its location - tucked away down Wakefield Street (just off Oxford Road) - means that it's visited by those who are heading to the Music Box (Jillys/Electric Chair) or the Attic (Kindergarten et al). The Font is equally good for food, as it's cheap and quick. The fry ups are particularly good (£3) or the burgers for a mere £3.80.
258 Wilmslow Road
Glass is a Fallowfield institution, and after undergoing a substantial refit, the three floored venue has become hugely popular again. There's nothing particularly outstanding about Glass (which, by the way, consists mostly of Glass and steel) but the combination of decent looking d?cor, well designed internals and cheap drinks seems to make everyone happy. The outside balcony is perhaps its best feature, and often overlooked by those visiting the area, as you can sit and watch the busy junction as you sip your drinks. Now firmly entrenched in the 'pre club' drinking minds of everyone in the area, its well worth a visit. A number of smaller club nights take place here and are equally worthy of your support.
54 Bloom Street
The Manhattan showbar is located in the heart of the Gay Village and prides itself on being loud, proud and full of drag queens. If the more serious side of the Village gets too much then head here for some light relief.
1 Lapwing Lane
One lounge: the place on the corner, which I am sure was much smaller before. It was, the owner informs me, a former hairdressers that has been extended, and didn?t they do well. What once was a clothing store, for the very strange and then a video store, for the slightly less strange, is now a bar, for the very non- strange and I mean this in a good way. The one lounge with its leather fashioned seats and its stylish but plain d?cor is the kind of place, where normal people go for a drink, its not somewhere like odder, but this isn?t the southern, northern or for that matter any quarter of town, this is Didsbury darling where things are done a little differently. Its not got the pretentiousness of the MET with its library and fake books and extraordinary high prices, but its not got the coolness and party vibe of the M20 with its retro look and people wearing sunglasses and neon lights. It?s not a cocktail bar and it?s not a place you would take your retired parents to either. It?s the 3rd way, the middle ground, but one that I think it lives in well. Beer is on draught (most of the flavors) and so not just bottled beers which I can find insulting on the wallet midst of a really good blowout. But they do, do cocktails and champagne cocktails (or sparkling wine) but good ones at that, which the youngish crowd of attractive lawyers and accountants, seem to enjoy no end as their male counterparts vie for a more traditional approach to their inebriation. The seats are comfortable (a prerequisites at my age) and movable, and changeable to you can create large groups with intermingling and social horseplay. The place is flexible and so is it music policy which they seem to have spot on, without the conversation inhibiting nature of the some of more music driven bars, but the place still has a lot of party atmosphere. Often allowed and wished for by the owners who help out of the bar and get involved in the spirit of things. The place like the security is warm and friendly and a prefect place to take someone for a second date, just after stopping by the assembly to show that ?you really aren?t that type of person and were checking to see if they were?. The one lounge is the one place in Didsbury, (Westside) you can have a pint and still wear a jacket without thinking you stand out, it?s young and modern but as the jacket of our metaphor, it needs something a little crazier to really stand out, the attaching of a tape measure perhaps or an attractive polish waitress, ok the One lounge bar has one of these without the twatty pretensions of the other. With nice toilets, nice staff and nice music the One Lounge is a nice place to go to: the question is can they make it a little more than that, and do we want just nice? I don?t have all the answers but it?s a question which needs one. 4 / 5
5-7 Wilbraham Road
Robinskis is open Monday to Friday 3pm-2am, Sat and Sun 11am-2am. Sunday: Service - Selected drinks from £1 chart/pop/cheese Monday: Free entry - late bar available for private hire for any occasion Tuesday: Legendary - Vodbull £2 Double Vodka Redbull Wednesday: Free entry - late bar available for private Hire Thursday: Quids in - all drinks are a pound till 2am Friday: Big night out - open till 2am Electro/house Saturday: Big night out - till 2am Electro/ House
TriBeCa and BED
50 Sackville Street
Situated on the edge of the Gay Village, Tribeca is a New York themed cocktail bar that has proven to be a huge hit with both gay and straight revellers. Named after an area of Manhattan (Tribeca stands for TRIangle Below Canal) the bar is decorated in leather and wood, with a double vaulted ceiling in the main bar area. At the back is a raised seating area that can be hired out for private parties and above the main entranceway is the Purple Lounge, which is a 25 capacity area that can be reserved as well. The drinks prices can be a little on the expensive side, but you can grab a good-sized cocktail pitcher for ?12. BED is located downstairs, and unsurprisingly it has very few seats and lots of comfy beds to lounge around on. Despite a positive launch it hasn't captured the imagination of the Manchester public despite being a decent enough 150 capacity bar. The d?cor is well executed and its well worth a visit, although if it's busy it can be annoying waiting for a bed to become clear - or just jump on a bed with some strangers!
Another historically significant venue, for no reason other than the Hacienda heads used to go here a lot and Tony Wilson always raved about this place. Atlas has undergone a number of refits and repaints over the years and it still doesn?t seem happy with itself. Understandable as what the venue really needs is a good gutting. In its present form it's a nice pre-bar or a good place to soak up the sun (especially in the large patio at the rear) but the layout and design is abnormal to the point of annoyance. For one, the DJ booth is reached by climbing up a vertical metal ladder?hard enough when DJs tend to be on the heavier side but even more impossible with a bag full of twelve inchers. Ignoring these tiny criticisms Atlas is a good hangout that's a stones throw from the Locks, it's just it struggles to stands out from the crowd and that's a necessity in Manchester. A number of smaller nights have been put on here, some with great success.
The hard working Comedy store on Deansgate Locks provides a full packed line-up of comedic events, featuring local and national figures as well as great shows. Inside the venue is well designed, with a couple of bars, the main theatre and some adaptable club space which they use for a disco on weekends (if your into that kind of thing!). Well worth a visit, with the midweek events cheaper than the weekends.
Formerly Falcon, a butch mens bar that had a bit of a 'reputation', new owner Nigel Martin Smith has rebranded the club as Glam, both in the name and in the style. The leather and fetish lovers have been banished, and pink is in.
27 Withy Grove, The Printworks units 11/12
A new concept for Manchester and perhaps the whole of the country – Illusions is a magic-themed bar, with acts performing every night. Recently opened in The Printworks, Illusions put on live magic every night of the week with no entrance charge – you just have to get yourself a drink at the bar and then relax and enjoy the magical goings on around the venue. There’s also live music every Friday and Saturday night with resident musicians joined by local artists to add to the entertainment on offer. Illusions, who also have a bar in Bristol as well as their newly opened Manchester branch, were awarded the 2009 Best Entertainment Pub award.
Arches 3a - 5, Deansgate Locks
Loaf is very much like one of the Hollyoaks starlets that pass through its doors on a Friday or Saturday night ? overrated and easily forgettable. Going back seven years, Manchester was still in the grip of post-bomb construction, with a lot of fantastic plans but nothing to show for it yet. Some bright spark had the idea of turning a number of disused railway arches at the bottom of Deansgate into a series of bars (plus a bathroom and flower shop that, quite rightly, died). Little did they know exactly how much Deansgate Locks would affect Manchester nightlife, both in a positive and negative fashion, and the expansive Loaf was built at the far left of the strip. Occupying huge arches, this venue was initially loved the uber-glam Cheshire brigade (its proximity to Deansgate station, and their inability to walk for more than five minutes really helped this Loaf) but that was back in 2000 and that's a lifetime ago in the life of a bar. The venue itself isn't all that bad ? upstairs houses a bar area that holds approximately three hundred, and a restaurant that can seat a touch over one hundred. Downstairs is a bar-cum-vip area that is normally rather busy, and a ?proper? club space (as well as the toilets and cloakroom). The decor was pretty fresh for Manchester until everyone else copied it, but its still more than passable in terms of looks, for the time being at least. Over the years the crowd has changed, and now it's a bit more ?down to earth? (a.k.a. rougher) at weekends at least. Its saving grace is the events it puts on during the week ? the infamous Hideous Kinky has moved here on Thursdays and Eye Candy was the place to be on a Monday, giving this venue a new lease of life ? the crowds on these nights are much more like they used to be. Overall you may feel we're being a bit harsh on Loaf, after all this was initially built as a test project by one of the big breweries, but its hard watching a venue like this go downhill at weekends. A rebranding is definitely needed soon, and no doubt they will polish this huge bar/club/restaurant into something special, but for the time being I can't honestly say that this place is somewhere I want to visit for that long.
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