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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 ..
72 reviews written in the last 30 days.
You searched for: Bars - Modern
Baa Bar Deansgate Locks
Baa Bar has been around since the conception of Deansgate Locks (a strip of bars and clubs built into railway arches and sat alongside a canal) and its still one of the busiest venues on that block despite the size. Combining cheap drinks and shooters will always mean a messy affair, but after a recent refit they're removed the giant mirror balls and side mirrors so ultimately reducing the chances of vomiting. Their speciality is definitely shooters, of which there are far too many varieties to mention. They're lethal but a lot of fun and ultra cheap. On weekends the bar can get far too busy, resulting in long waits at the bar and very little room to move. Good thing that there are more bars and clubs nearby as you can wander down the Locks and grab a drink somewhere else.
34 Canal Street
This tiny little basement bar is located at the junction of Canal Street and Sackville Street and the recent refit has improved upon what was a great venue - although very very small. In fact the only bar in Manchester that's smaller is the nearby Temple of Convenience on Oxford Street, and that used to be a public toilet. Down the stairs you've got a swish looking bar, seating at the back and some rather large toilet cubicles. For liquid refreshment this is one of the best stocked bars in the village, with a huge range of spirits and wines. Take a full wallet and empty stomach - the cocktails are equally good, and the only downside to visiting Bar Below is that it can fill or empty within minutes. Not really an issue, unless you have a phobia of mass people movement.
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.
40 Chorlton Street
Formerly Prague V, View is a two floored bar that's really more of a nightclub. There's seating upstairs for a good hundred or so, and a large dancefloor next to the basement bar.
Hardman Square, Spinningfields
A new project from Black House, the people behind a number of restaurants and bars throughout the country, known in Manchester for their Grill on the Alley restaurant. Alchemy will apparently be “an old English pub done in a US-style bar feel”. It’s a while off yet – the company haven’t officially acquired the space yet, but we hope to see it later in 2010.
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.
47 Peter Street
Baby Grand was the new boy on Peter Street, and the bar lends some much needed sophistication to the area. Formerly Soft, which had heavy leanings towards rnb and hip hop, the new venture doesn?t stray too far away from that genre but has undergone a much needed facelift and improvement in service. Operating a more select door policy has allowed Baby Grand to keep the undesirables out. Inside you'll find a plush venue with table service and plenty of space to hide away from the paparazzi (or a past conquest). This is one of the city centre venues that successfully bridges the gap between bar and club - well worth a visit. Opposite the giant M-Two nightclub, Peter Street is fast becoming the mass-market area of Manchester. Down the road is the huge Bar 38, the recently opened Chicago Rock Cafe, the defunct Teasers and the scary Squares Bar. If you like drinking, but don't like walking, then this area will provide.
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.
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.
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.
78 Sackville St
Situated at the crossroads between studentville and the gay village, and built into an NCP car park, the Retro bar was never going to be an ordinary establishment. In fact the bar could barely hold 100 ultra skinny students/queens but it makes the most of the space and slams home some ultra cheap drinks to boot. City centre dwellers have slowly cottoned on to this place, and the Retro Bar is a hub of activity for pre-club drinking - the food menu is cheap as well for a post club session. Underneath the bar is a clubroom that plays host to eclectic nights and rock bands. It's not going to blow Loaf out of the water in terms of d?cor, and the jukebox - though well stocked - isn't banging, but we still love this little place.
The North Pole Bar
Next to Urbis
The north Pole Bar is back for 2009 and this time it’s in Spinningfields, next to the ice rink. Hot cocktails, views of the ice, food (pizza) takeaway deals with nearby Strada and a general feeling of festive cosiness. Erected by Manchester-based events company Ear to the Ground, The North Pole Bar will be in the city centre for just eight weeks this winter. Promising to be a wintry haven from the stress of increasingly testing shopping trips, the bar serves up some specially designed, winter cocktails as well as a selection of warming stews. Striking in appearance, the large white point of the tent looms to the side of Urbis; a pathway lined with Christmas trees takes you to the entrance of what is essentially a big tent. Inside the North Pole theme becomes apparent, with various accoutrements pertaining to the magnetic location. It?s sparse inside to be truthful, with little more than the bar and a few chairs and tables dotted around, but they are promising some big party nights with DJs and live bands. Find out what we thought of the North Pole opening night here.
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.
Another trendy hangout adding itself to the Northern Quarter list, Apotheca is linked to neighbour and 'sister' restaurant Dough, both opening in November 2008.
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.
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.
6-8 Barlows Croft
Brand new for 2009, Corridor opens in January a stones throw across the river from Deansgate (and technically in Salford). Coming from the famed, and award winning, brains behind Socio Rehab, Ian Morgan, one would expect nothing less than cocktail opulence. And that, it seems, is what you get. Initial information suggests a minimal, sleek interior, heavy on a moody red colour scheme, and a drinks list that errs on the trendy cocktail side, rather than the bag of peanuts and a quiet pint side of things. Classics will of course be offered (Mojito, Margarita, Martini) alongside ?Corridor Specials?, which seem to be slightly different versions of the classics (Corridor Mojito, Corridor Margarita, Corridor Martini). Interesting idea but surely a Mojito that contains pineapple and coconut is just a different drink altogether? Anyway, we?ll go and check it out once it?s had time to warm its cocktail shakers up, so check back to see what we thought!
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.
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.
Kro Old Abbey Inn
Manchester Science Park
Another of the Kro family housed in the clinical surroundings of Manchester Science Park and within walking distance of Kro and Kro 2 on Oxford Road. The Old Abbey Inn is miles away from Oxford Road in feel if not distance, however, surrounded by modern office warehouses and car parks full of Audis, the clean roads and pavements see little traffic during the day and only the odd leather sole of a Science Park worker?s shoe at lunch time. It?s a nice place though, small and cosy inside and quiet enough to be pleasant outside when the weather?s good, although you don?t get the people watching facility that you do at the brother and sister bars on Oxford Road. A decent, well priced menu and country pub feel make it worth seeking out if you?re in the area and don?t fancy going to a sticky-floored student favourite.
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
Moon under Water
The Moon under Water could once claim to be the largest pub in Europe, and it's still a mammoth drinking hole that's now owned by Wetherspoons. Inside it's all about cheap food and drink - if you're after a light bite for under ?5 then this is the place for you, and despite being surrounded by trendy bars the Moon under Water is a popular place.
Revolution Parsonage Gardens
St Marys Gate
This is the fourth opening by vodka bar supremo's Revolution in Manchester, the others being on Deansgate Locks, Oxford Road and in Fallowfield, but their new baby in Parsonage Gardens is altogether more grown up than the rest. Whereas the Fallowfield and Oxford Road venues are clearly aimed at students, and the Deansgate Locks bar has a target market of alcopop fuelled locals, the Parsonage Gardens venue is a much nicer place. Understandable really, since the neighbours include the uber-swanky Living Room, Label, Cocoa Rooms and Prohibition. The new bar is spacious, with a raised seating area at the back and second bar for service during busy times. Tucked away on the right hand side is a snug (smaller room) and even the toilets seem a little oversized. The main bar covers one of the four walls, and has a huge selection of spirits, wines, beers and everything in between. Prices are good, with plenty of offers on to keep the price down, whilst the DJ booth is getting used more and more. The midweek clubnights here do especially well.
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.
A brand new drinking hole in Piccadilly, the refit B-lounge has recently opened and it's a decent looking place with live music and meal deals.
5 Arundel Street
A small, but lively, bar on Ellesmere Street in Castefield. Built beneath the Moho building, part of the area that has almost entirely been taken over by Urban Splash developments, this is the second license premises in the area, and the time seems (almost) right for a venue of this calibre. Four years ago a private members bar opened up beneath Timber Wharf, but with barely 600 people living in 'nu' Castlefield, the sliver of land between the real Castlefield and Hulme, the venture didn't last long. Now the area is much different, with the redeveloped St Georges Church, the award winning Moho and Burton Place, plus the nearby developments by Dandara, there's quite a community building up. Binary hope to capitalise on all the youngsters who live nearby, and they've bagged themselves a reasonably late license (11am Mon to Wed, midnight on Thur, Fri and Sat). Food served until 9pm, sandwiches, soups, sharing platters, fresh pizzas (also available for takeaway) Happy hour available, selected beers and cocktails, 2 for 1, Mon-Thu & Sat, 5-9, Fri, 4:30-9, All Day Sunday free wifi, Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii Large screen TV for Sky Sports and Setanta Quiz nights on Tuesdays
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.
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.
21 Ashley Road
It may be situated out in Altrincham but Odyssey deserves a mention in our guide. After all, 'Alty' is just a twenty minute tram ride out of the city centre, and provides a different drinking atmosphere than hanging around in the City Centre.
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