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The Circus TavernManchester

Bar type: Quiet and Old

The Circus Tavern review

The Circus Tavern manchester photoManchesters second smallest boozer, with room for approximately twenty people including the feisty bar maid. The kind of venue where the music would stop when you walked in - that's if they had room for speakers - but within half an hour you'd be on first name terms with the regulars.

Not exactly a vast array of cocktails (This is more for the beer drinkers and G&T lovers) this is a bar that you hope will stay in Manchester for ever. In fact it's central location, on the busy Portland Street near Manchesters china town, makes it even more surprising that this hasn't been turned into apartments.

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Find out what everyone else in is saying about this bar. 14 reviews below

Your reviews for The Circus Tavern

I was introduced to this pub about 6 months ago and have always found it to be an excellent, warm friendly place for a few drinks without the hassle or blaring music usually associated with city centre Manchester. Sometimes the door is closed - which I took to be a sign that the place is full - so entry isn't always guaranteed.
I generally go to The Circus for a few drinks on my way home from work on Fridays. The lovely waitress remembers me every time, knows what I'm drinking and brings it to where I'm sitting. Fantastic!
Recently I had the pleasure of meeting the landlord George. As usual on a Friday at about 8 o'clock I arrived at the door to The Circus. The door was closed but a couple in front of me had knocked on. The landlord opened the door, welcomed in his 'spanish friends' and shouted to the waitress to get them a drink on the house. I hadn't met the man up to now although I'd seen him around the pub a few times so I introduced myself and asked if it's ok if I come in for a pint. He shook my hand and I came in and was shown to a seat by the lovely waitress who knew what I was drinking. Unfortunately, as I was waiting for my drink the landlord decided for some unknown reason that he didn't want me there anymore. I hadn't done anything to upset anyone as far as I could see and I tried to explain that I do frequent the place, I haven't just stumbled in from the street. The man didn't want to hear and simply said "nonononono". Fair enough, it's within his rights I guess. But I will forever wonder what the reason could have been for his change of mind. Apparently, the closed door isn't a sign of full capacity, it means that tonight it's friends of the landlord only and if your face doesn't fit then goodbye. A shame that such a great place is so exclusive. I have a sneaking suspicion that it's perhaps because at 25 I'm too young to fit into the decor (Although in the time I've been going I've met some great people from 30 to 85 and gotten along famously). This however would be discrimination on the grounds of age which was rendered unlawful by parliament at the end of last year so of course I wouldn't suggest it for a second.
I've rated this a 6. it would have got a 9 as I really do think it's a lovely place but if I can't get inside to drink then it renders the place obsolete to me. I probably won't be returning but I would recommend this pub to people as a fantastic pub full of life and energy from rugby teams singing heartily to guitarists playing all the old greats!

Jaybone says...
2 people agree, 2 people disagree with this review

Jaybone, there must be something about you or something you did, because George is a charming host and this is the best - and I mean the best - pub in central Manchester. When in tow, I never miss it.

The Blade says...

thelast timei was in the circus it was owned by terry cawless is terry still around as i intend going to manchester for a few days in feb any info anyone????

Ben Delaney says...

FRANCES says...

Not that I can see. Like I say, shook his hand on the way in, asked if it was ok to have a drink. No problem until I sat down and took off my coat. I wasn't scruffily dressed - I work in an office - didn't speak to anyone except the waitress who looked as confused as me that I was being asked to leave as she'd been serving me every Friday for months.

Like I say, face doesn't fit, you're out. Maybe at 26 I'm just too young to be drinking with the old men (Even though the clientelle have never had any problem having a chuckle with me). I've taken my friends in The Circus, I've taken my girlfriend in The Circus I've taken my dad in The Circus! Great place except for this one incident. All it takes is one, I've never been back and if friends are going in, I'll have one at The Old Monkey and wait for them. So much so that my friends have stopped bothering now too.

Anyway, I've found somewhere better. I now drink at Mother Mac's just off Lever St - Famed for it's friendly, come one come all policy. Just what I've been looking for, a friendly place to have a drink in peace and random conversations with interesting people! Great guest ales too!

Jaybone says...

Unfortunately chinese hooker barmaid poached my bloke!Not planning to re visit soon!

Anonymous says...
1 person disagrees with this review

Hi, I'm 36 man from East-Hungary, M?t?szalka town.
I's in Manchester at 2006 May, as a little TV-station's manager. We made a short video about Circus.
Yes, this pub is the better in Manchester.
Video about Circus Tavern pub see our site:
ManUTD, ManUTD...

Anonymous says...

George has his moments, but he gives the place the life and soul. Its a great drinkers pub and a chance to meet and talk to folk over a beer. I have been going for many years and it attracts all the spices of Manchester life which makes the pub unique to Manchester. THANK YOU GEORGE.

Anonymous says...
1 person disagrees with this review

terry corless has retired and so has gerard. ged lives on the wirral after spending may years in london. terry now lives in chadderton with cath his wife

Anonymous says...
1 person disagrees with this review

I loved this pub years ago,I used to pop in with my husband. a new couple have taken over, he seems ok, friendly smiley chap, not sure if the woman is his wife but she could have been friendlier. Ive not been in for years and decided on a little visit after I read that it might close. Glad to see its stayed open.

Anonymous says...

The Circus is a charming pub which has been taken over by a smashing couple, Jan and Barry, I believe after Greek George retired just a few months ago. Nevertheless things are still the same friendly style and as the place holds about 30 - 40 people you will always find people to chat and have a laugh with,its a definite yes place to visit when in Manchester and I for one wouldnt ever miss a visit here,see for yourselves its brilliant.

Anonymous says...

I found this pub last night. Was supposed to be going in the monkey (next door),but at the last second walked in here. WHAT a find 1 pint soon turned into 4 . Spent a good hour chatting next to the bar with newfound friends.
Cannot wait to call in again. The landlord Barry never stopped making sure people were being quickly served.

Rory says...
1 person agrees with this review

Top Class boozer we always visit when were on out way to old trafford.
George Was a gentleman to deal with and the new landlord Barry is of the same mould

george mc donagh
galway ireland

george mc donagh says...

We were taken to the Circus when we visited the UK recently and met the big bloke whom I gather was Barry who made us very welcome and we spent a lovely3-4 hours sinking a few pints and listening to the"lads" telling jokes and singing rugby songs. We felt right at home although we dont have anything like The Circus here. We just want to say thanks to all the folk for a great time and look forward to seeing you again if we can get back over there.Regards to Alan Jones. (I was the one with the white beard not Elaine)

Elaine and Max says...


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