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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 ..
28 reviews written in the last 30 days.
You searched for: Bars - Modern
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
The large, impressive building on Spring Gardens that currently houses Athenaeum is due to be taken over by Browns in late 2010. The magnificent space has long been thought to be undermined by the cheap and not so cheerful feel of Athenaeum, so the news that Browns are to arrive is very welcome. For the uninitiated, Browns is a chain, but a slightly upmarket one with select venues throughout the UK serving a large choice of food and drinks, with a steering towards mid-priced quality rather than cheap and cheerful. A huge range of cocktails, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic, as well as an extensive wine list and champagne selection accompanies a full menu at their other venues so we are assuming Browns in Manchester will follow a similar format. If it all goes ahead this should be a good addition to what is developing into a little clutch of decent places to eat and drink – Rosso, Room, All Bar One.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Unit G31 Hardman Street
Rumoured to be a project from the Living Ventures company (see also Gusto and Black House bar/restaurant chains), Jump will be the latest addition to Manchester’s Spinningfields sometime in early 2010.
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.
2 Lapwing Lane
The classic MET, like the MET of police fame, 20 years ago, full of corruption and criminals and cocaine, when it was the Midlands, but then something changed, the MET got invested in, got cash to spend, new management, and the place changed. Now you are more likely to be bumped into by a Porsche Cayenne (god I hate those monstrosities) rather than bumped off by a gangster. No bad thing, but just as deadly, but for there credit the met pub does have a traffic controller. Now the home of the wealthy non Manchester types of Didsbury and the surrounding villages the MET is the shining beacon of contemporized Clapham style drinking, accountants and lawyers talk about shares whilst the complete lack of music allows them to wallow in their overly loud conversations of rugger scores and house prices, both happily increasing (see blog Manchester?..london) Drinks prices like the height of the clientele steadily rising ever year on the year end (so very Didsbury) and now towering above the reality of the rest of the world, with Guinness at 3.40 you do wonder who pays these prices. The answer is the nova riche and under, in there thousands?. The more they increase the prices so I am told the more people want to drink there. But they do have champagne at ?5.50 a glass so they have some sensibilities to their own kind. Their own kind as well are particularly healthy, with the smoking area (not the non smoking area) now taking up 75% of the available drinking place, not ideal if you are a smoker, or have friends who do, as you suddenly realize why they might be bringing this law in after all as you enter the smoke clogged smog of the place the hardcore people hang out. Everywhere else the bar staff don?t have to tell the smoking few about such restrictions, which is a good job as they are understaffed as it is, as every new confirmed converted none smoker, in that way only the drunken posh can get away with, tell you ?if you don?t mind that the smoking area is over there, not over here? with a glaring eye and a healthy lack of coolness, back in the days of the midlands people would have killed for less. Age wise the MET is similar to is police type, around mid 30?s and doing well for it, and like the police not too many blacks and Asians (more the pity, but I stand out and look good so no worries there) but unlike the police there are a fair number of women here too. Mainly the ? length coat and scarf wearing fitness of the office variety, but slightly more stuck up and according to several men in there mainly gold diggers, which I found very hard to believe, one lad from Liverpool joked the girls were like the plants in there, kinda fake and with no talking points. Three conversations later, when the only questions had been ?so what do you do then? and amazingly ?what do you drive? I had to agree with him. With so many Porsches outside I can now see why. We went on St Burns night and thanks to Ross I learned that Tam O Shanter was actually a poem about being wasted and a lie to his Mrs. at the time. Very apt for the MET I feel. (3.5)
Another trendy hangout adding itself to the Northern Quarter list, Apotheca is linked to neighbour and 'sister' restaurant Dough, both opening in November 2008.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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