Clandestine cocktails, cute crumble, craft beer and copious coffee
Enough talk about things coming home and people staying home. This summer is going to be all about going out.
There are plenty of outdoor drinking and dining spaces to continue to enjoy - and many people will still want to keep their distance from others, wear masks and exercise a bit of caution. But whatever your thoughts on "freedom day" and beyond, your restaurants and bars want to welcome you, feed and water you and enjoy your company.
Here are fourteen new places that are opening in the city centre this summer and beyond:
Where: Printworks, 27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
When: Open now
If your idea of a good time is depicted in that famous Manchester on New Years Eve picture that has been memed within an inch of its life, Cargo might be up your alley. This newest addition to The Printworks is all pornstar martinis, hard seltzer and happy hours. It also offers a Scandinavian tasting menu inspired by Noma - only joking. Self-styled as “Manchester’s hottest new bar” the focus here is on getting absolutely leathered with your mates and fair play to you if that’s your jam - as opposed to slowly imbibing half a bottle of wine in your jim-jams in front of the telly on weekends. With live performers on Fridays, this one is loud and proud and definitely aimed at a particular crowd.
Where: 1 Spinningfields Square, Manchester, M3 3AP
When: Open now
One to be filed under the whatever will they think of next? category, Crumbled is a homemade crumble (yes, that dessert you have with custard) pop-up that has set up shop at Wolf in Spinningfields. Made from 100% British ingredients and with a sugary, toppings-heavy approach that is very in keeping with its pastel aesthetics. Crumbled is open Wednesdays to Saturdays, 12.00-4.30pm (or until they sell out which they often do early). An ever-changing menu that includes vegan and gluten-free options is built upon a choice of three crumble types: peach, rhubarb and strawberry or classic apple with plenty of turbo-charged toppings to put your nan’s Sunday version to shame.
What: The Coffee Hive
Where: 3 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2BN
When: Open now
If there’s only one thing Manchester has more of than pizza places, it has to be coffee shops. Just like any self-respecting beer drinker has no business in Wetherspoons (*fake spits on the ground*), no self-respecting coffee drinker would bother with the likes of Starbucks and Costa - especially when the indies are so good. The Coffee Hive is a new little coffee shop just a bumble from Piccadilly Station. The creative team has gone with a novel bee theme for the decor and sells jars of Piccadilly Place honey harvested from local rooftop hives. It’s a coffee shop with a big heart though. Profits from the honey go to the We Love Manchester charity and its sustainably farmed Peruvian coffee beans are roasted in the world’s first Carbon Neutral Gold Standard roastery in the UK. Working with One Carbon World, it offsets the emissions through a tree-planting project in Uruguay and a wind energy project in India. If you’re after a snack or sarnie with your coffee there’s a menu to suit all diets too. The Coffee Hive is open 8:00am-2.30pm every Monday-Friday. Customers are encouraged to download The Coffee Hive’s app to receive 10% off on their first visit.
What: Dust Dogs and Dive
Where: 10-11 Church Street, Manchester, M4 1AH
NQ toastie trader Northern Soul Grilled Cheese is hoping to be crowned "best in show" with its new dive into the world of (hot)dogs. You might have noticed that the original Church Street venue near the Arndale has been closed for a while now, but a new fit-out has happened over the past few months and the opening of Dust Dogs and Dive is taking shape. Daubed with an exclusive paint job by street art master Krek, and with a distinctive NYC subway mood board all over Instagram, we can’t wait to see the finished place. Now all we need are some pics of your wieners, boys.
What: The Firehouse
Where: 40 Swan Street, Manchester M4 5JG
When: 30 July
Ramona has well and truly bedded into the city now. Its Detroit-style pizza is the perfect accompaniment to a very pleasing margarita. But while we’ve been happily getting stuck into whole burrata-topped slabs, a spark has been flickering in the great big Firehouse just next door. The Firehouse promises, among other things, “Slow. Wild. Days”. With room for 250 people and inspired by sun-soaked adventures in Ibiza and California, the converted MOT station on Swan street looks like it will be something very special indeed. Open fire, BBQ-blistered small plates, agavé cocktails, disco, brunch, champagne, coffee, a wall of wine - where do we sign up?
Where: Unit 3 Mansion House, New Islington, Manchester, M4 6HF
Perennial supper club pop up Higher Ground won us over immediately when it started life at Kampus. We were further endeared by Higher Ground chef Joe’s meal kits during lockdown and the team are now doing a roaring trade in supper clubs again, this time over at Mackie Mayor. Always with a passion for low intervention wines, the team will soon open its new natural wine bar and bottle shop in the trendy terroir of New Islington Marina. The goods will come from small-scale, low intervention wine farmers and craft breweries from around the UK and Europe. There will be food too in the form of those perfect wine pals cheese and charcuterie (from @curingrebels) and locally grown produce from partner farm Cinderwood Market Garden. Nat’s the way to do it.
What: Fountain House
Where: The Memorial Hall, Albert Square, Manchester M2 5PF
The opening of The Fountain House is somewhat bittersweet. Taking over the historic grade-II listed, 155-year-old site of the former Albert Square Chop House, the new opening heralds the quiet closure of the newest of the Chop House group’s three locations. Especially unfortunate as Sam’s Chop House remains temporarily closed due to ongoing building works.
The Fountain House will be the first gastropub venture north of the Watford gap for upmarket pub operator, The Metropolitan Pub Company (the premium wing of the Greene King brand). The site will be closed over summer for renovation with an opening set for September where three of the building’s five floors will be open to the public. Expect upmarket seasonal pub grub, craft beer and wine and a function space for meetings and weddings. We’re intrigued to see which direction they take it. The group's London pub line-up is diverse, mixing small upmarket neighbourhood live sports and dartboard pubs with the more exclusive West London AA Rosette foodie pubs with 21+ age limits and RHS-level outdoor flower displays. Either way, you can trust them to clean the lines at the very least.
Where: 58 Peter Street, Manchester, M2 3NQ
When: Open now
Ghosting in somewhat under the radar in late June, Haunt is a new café and bar on the corner of Mount Street and Peter Street near the Midland Hotel. Interiors mix grand European-style café bar vibes - think monochrome tiling and checkerboard floors - with a sprinkling of Scandi coffee shop practicality. There are plenty of plug sockets for freelancers escaping their work-from-home setups and outdoor bench tables ideal for people watching on the St Peter’s Square runoff. The menu itself is still a work in progress currently limited to sourdough sandwiches and cheese and meat sharing platters, but we hear additions are on their way. The bar serves cocktails, aperitifs and wines into the evening.
Where: King St, Manchester M2 4LQ
When: August, fingers crossed
The “best pizza in the world” (second-best according to this travel site's top ten pizzas) is coming to Manchester this summer with the opening of L'Antica Pizzeria Da Michele in the former Zizzi spot on King Street. This will be the third location in the UK for the world-famous pizza chain alongside other locations at Soho and Baker Street in London.
Hailing from the “sacred temple of pizza” in Naples, the achingly authentic pizzeria has been perfecting its pies to the same exacting standards for five generations - and is now coming for Manchester’s crusty crown. It cites its use of natural ingredients and traditional way of leavening dough as the secret to its enduring success. With so much pizza perfection in our city already, it'll be interesting to see how it fares.
Have your say in our Manchester’s best pizza poll on Twitter.
What: Lazerian SPACE
Where: 24-26 King Street, Manchester, M2 7AT
When: Open now (weekends)
King Street is now a meeting point of art and food with the opening of Lazerian SPACE - a gallery space, coffee shop and bar all rolled into one. Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t the sort of art gallery café you sit down in at the end of a mooch around a new exhibition, at Lazerian SPACE you’re very much a part of the art whether you’re having coffee and cake during the day or something a little stronger in the evening. The brainchild of Denton artist Liam Hopkins, the space features futuristic lit-up pods and colourful upholstery interiors. Beers and cocktails come courtesy of Manchester Union and Rockstar spirits in the evening. Bookings are available in hour slots and the space is currently open weekends only.
What: Lono Cove
Where: 14 Thomas Street, Manchester, M4 1AH
Lono Cove's "contemporary tiki bar" brand has already been well-established in Chester since 2018 and has won a handful of industry awards. Branching out from what owner Luke Edge calls its "prototype site" in the city of Chester, Manchester’s Northern Quarter is now set for the real deal. Taking over from Apotheca on Thomas Street, and promising exceptional rum cocktails - including its best-selling flaming zombie - the bar will have all the tropes of a trademark tiki bar. Think bamboo seating pods, treasure chest sharing cocktails, and plants, lots of plants.
What: Man With The Fish
Where: 78-88 High St, Manchester M4 1ES
When: 19 July
If you love the MEAT! FIRE! BEER! Of NQ BBQ gaff Quarterhouse, then this new one from the same team might hook you. Man With The Fish (named by the owner’s daughter) is a new bar influenced by America’s southern saloons moving into the spot formerly occupied by NQ OG Walrus. There will be a menu of Tex-Mex food (with help from BBQ boffin Jason Latham) to provide a solid foundation for all that beer. That’s a lot of beer, by the way, with 17 different brews on tap as well as bottles and cans. Lots of men then, probably, but curiously no fish.
What: Movement Bar
Where: 84 Tib Street, Manchester M4 1LG
When: Open now
Good news for music fans, a new craft beer and wine bar that sells records has popped up in the Northern Quarter. Movement, on Tib Street, is a new bar venture from the owners of Manchester record label Small Moves Records (co-owned by Jez Kerr of A Certain Ratio fame) and akin to Factory Records’ production numbers, Movement Bar is their fourth release. Drinkers can expect a European craft beer selection with the likes of Paulaner, Siren and House Party on tap alongside bottles from further afield, including Omnipollo’s 11% NOA Pecan Mud Cake. Spirits, including Japanese whiskies, and a diverse wine selection are also on offer. Expect live DJs, a Sunday record club where you can bring your own vinyl and lots of people holding records up to their face for a selfie when they’re pissed.
What: Red Light MCR
Where: A secret location in The Village
“Tired of trashy music and teenagers?” asks the Instagram account of the mysterious new Red Light cocktail bar, “Join us in the Den!” it says. Ooh err. Adults-only entertainment under a red light, eh?
This place might be a little too discreet. The only deets they're revealing are that it'll be: “a queer space coming soon to shake Manchester’s gay village up”. From the people behind street food vendor Slurp Crackle & Pop who did some time over at Hatch, Red Light is on the QT for now, but we’re keeping our eyes very much peeled.
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