But all is not what it seems...
It’s tough being a bar in the Northern Quarter.
One week you’re cock of the walk, punters with pockets full of cash flocking from miles around to down your signature shots of flaming mouthwash, sample obscure schooners of American stouts and admire your shelf dedicated solely to gins distilled in a washing machine in Harpurhey.
Come next week and everybody on your street is doing the same thing… but wait - they’re also offering fancy Nocellara olives and small plates of octopus. And now the punters are gone, chasing the next shiny object.
So what do you do? Stick a beer pong table in the basement? Offer 2-4-1 WKDs and pray for some Printworks overspill? Order a shit load of gerbils and charge morons £15 an hour to stroke them?
No. You reinvent. You’re Madonna. You refuse to be left behind, to be forgotten. You’re coming back, baby - full metal Kaballah.
So it is at Keko Moku, opened on High Street in 2009, the city’s first tiki bar (rum, totems, bad shirts) - from which sprang Almost Famous, Home Sweet Home and Luck Lust Liquor & Burn - will finally lay down the lei on Saturday 16 November.
Co-owner Beau Myers tells us the dinky ‘Kinky Monkey’ will make way for a new project, a convenience store (of sorts), inspired by a love of sugar-laden snacks, artificial colouring and 80s Americana.
“In these days of Brexit uncertainty, where the future of the high street looks bleak, we’re fighting back,” says Myers, “we’re indulging our eighties childhood nostalgia, letting our Stranger Things-loving spirit animal out to play with sugar-pumped, artificial-additive-smacking, Street Fighter-bashing fun.”
So, it’s a store, no, a bar… a store with a bar?
“Can you drink in the shop? Yes, if you’re working,” says Myers. “But will you also be able to buy branded t-shirts? Yes. Will we unlock phones? Maybe. Will there be tacos and a squishy machine? Definitely.”
Will they charge 5p for carrier bags?
“This isn’t f**king Tesco Express fam.”
To celebrate the launch of the Convenience Store (that’s a bar) on Thursday 30 November, Myers and co. are offering someone the chance to win a £1000 tab to share with their pals – simply sign-up here.
100 High Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester M4 1HP. Tel: 0161 244 9422