Our MD, James Forrester, chooses his top 10 bars in Manchester
We all know that Manchester is packed to the rafters with young professionals and students and we all know that when they’re not working all hours or studying, they do like to go out for a drink. So, we thought we would ask our MD, James Forrester, a man where socialising is a key part of his job, what he thought were the best places to have a beverage in Manchester, has he happens to be there so often! This is what James had to say:
“It’s true that I do spend a lot of time in Manchester visiting the various property developments that we are involved with and it’s also true that I’m frequently wining and dining with clients. I have had the pleasure of frequenting many of Manchester’s fine establishments and I list below 10 of my favourites. They’re not in any particular order, they’re all pretty great.”
Mojo – if you like an American-style vibe to your bars then Mojo is pretty cool. This shabby chic New York bar based on Bridge Street just off Deansgate is a great venue for listening to some old school rock n’roll and partaking in some fine liquors. The food menu’s pretty good as well and I really rate the bar staff there – they know their drinks menu from back to front and I always appreciate that with my serving staff!
Mr. Coopers House and Garden – if you’re in the mood for a few cocktails then you can’t go far wrong with this bar, located in the world famous Midland Hotel. This bar has a nice mix of old and new when it comes to the décor and there is a real sense of history to the place. Mr. Thomas Cooper was a famous figure in Manchester’s local history and the bar occupies the space where is home and gardens were located back in 1819. Today, everybody comes to this bar for its fantastic cocktails and huge variety of spirits and beers.
Kosmonaut – this laid back bar in the Northern Quarter is a good venue to while away a few hours. Located in a former cotton warehouse, I love the way that they’ve managed to maintain an industrial feel to the place and it’s also a great advert for upcycling as the place is filled with reclaimed fixtures and fittings. There’s a really nice bohemian feel to this bar and there’s always something going on such as comedy nights, art exhibitions and so on. Check out their range of craft beers….very nice.
Epernay – this chic champagne and cocktail bar is a nice place to go to for a bit of a celebration and it’s also a good venue for entertaining clients. I’ve been there a few times with clients and with over a hundred champagnes to choose from at prices that won’t break the bank, it’s a good place to seal the deal in an elegant setting. Based in the Petersfield district, Epernay is a hidden gem that’s definitely worth seeking out for that special night out.
Revolucion de Cuba – if you’re looking for a bit of a lively night in Manchester this is the place to go. I’ve ended up in this bar a few times and never failed to have a good time. There’s live music every night, more premium rums than you can shake a stick at, and the late opening hours means that you can plan your whole evening there. Located next to Manchester Opera House, The Bridgewater Hall and Palace Theatre, it’s a perfect place for a pre or post theatre drink and the cantina menu’s not bad either.
The Briton’s Protection – this fabulous old-style boozer with a contemporary twist occupies the corner of Great Bridgewater Street and Lower Moseley Street and has done so since 1806. If you like your whisky this is the place to go. They’ve got over 200 different varieties to choose from and they act as the perfect chaser for the many real ales that they also boast. This pub has been voted the best in Manchester a couple of times in its recent history and I’m not surprised. It’s got everything you want in a pub – a great booze selection, ambient atmosphere, a sense of history and even a beer garden for the summer to enjoy. Check it out.
Tib Street Tavern – as a proud Newcastle United fan this is a bar that I’ve ended up in a few times when we’ve been playing away to Man City. Located close to the Etihad stadium, this no gimmicks pub is the perfect antidote to themed bars. It’s full of authentic charm, there’s a great atmosphere and there’s live sport on their TV screens – what more do you want? The interior décor has had a smart update but it hasn’t lost the appeal of a traditional boozer – perfect for pre-match drinks and post-match commiserations and soul searching!
The Liquor Store – if ever a bar had Manchester stamped through it like a stick of rock then it’s The Liquor Store. Hidden away in Deansgate, this bar is definitely worth seeking out. It’s the perfect place to have a few cocktails, beers and spirits with a Manchester soundtrack running in the background. It may have been based on American bar culture but the bar has Manchester at its core and there is a whole wall dedicated to some of Manchester’s finest exports including Oasis, The Stone Roses and Morrissey. If you’re spending some time in Manchester, seek this place out…it’s worth it.
Cloud 23 – for great views of Manchester then Cloud 23 is pretty hard to beat. Located on the 23rd floor of the famous Beetham Tower, this sophisticated bar affords great views of the city and with floor-to-ceiling windows, it’s the perfect spot for chilling out on a fine Manchester evening. Furnished and decorated to a high standard, this is a great venue for business meetings or a stylish night out.
Hold Fast Bar – this is an interesting place to have a beer. Based in the Northern Quarter, this former bowler hat factory would you believe, is based under the Hatters Hostel and occupies a fabulous Victorian building. Full of unique curiosities and unusual décor, the place is usually full of backpackers and there’s a really enjoyable international atmosphere in the place. A good venue for a swift half.
So there you have it. It’s a fairly eclectic mix and I think there’s something for everyone in it. Next time you’re in Manchester add a couple to your itinerary.