It's Sterling work from the fabulous bartending brothers

Here at Confidentials, we have a lot of time for a classic hotel bar. Panelled wood, discreet corners and a fastidious obsession with ice cubes all adds up to a perfect afternoon escape - or late-night escapade. We've written before about the slew of new hotels opening in the city, and with them what promises to be a sparkling line-up of sophisticated bars.

Now the city's hotel bar scene is about to get another sterling addition, thanks to a collaboration between Manchester cocktail royalty and a footballing/hotelier empire. 

Brothers Joe and Daniel Schofield, alongside leading wine expert James Brandwood, will take over the lower ground floor (previously known as The Vault) at Manchester’s Stock Exchange Hotel with their new bar, Sterling. 

The hotel is owned by another famous brother - Gary Neville - and is housed in Manchester's former stock exchange. It is also home to Tom Kerridge's Bull & Bear restaurant, which is located on the former trading floor.

The Stock Exchange Hotel is a particularly meaningful venue for us

Between them, the team behind Sterling have a CV that sounds like the bartending world's greatest hits compilation. Joe Schofield won International Bartender of the Year and both Joe and Daniel have worked in some of the world’s most lauded bars, including Little Red Door, The American Bar at the Savoy, Singapore’s Tippling Club and Rockpool Bar & Grill, Sydney. Schofields' was also placed 16 in the list of the Top 50 Cocktail Bars, along with Manchester's Speak in Code.

Neil Sowerby was taken with Schofields' "near-perfect negroni", while their signature cocktails often trouble our best things to drink lists.

The brothers will be joined by Paola Mariotti as general manager. Paola has spent years working at some of the world’s most renowned five-star hotels including The American Bar at the Savoy and The Blue Bar at The Berkeley in London.

Schofields Bar Manchester Coc Martini
A martini at Schofield's Bar Image: Schofield's Bar

Classic cocktails and a Lush bar menu 

Joe Schofield said: “We have been planning this new concept for a long time and now it’s nearing completion. Stock Exchange Hotel is a particularly meaningful venue for us as our mother used to work at the Stock Exchange. Our grandmother also learnt to swim in the old pool at the basement in our original Schofield's Bar location. As we continue to evolve our operations in Manchester, it’s warming to have a connection to the past, as that very much reflects our approach to our offering.”

Sterling will be housed in the 2,400 sq ft space and will have a capacity of just over 100 covers, and will be open five days a week. While the Schofields have developed some very experimental cocktails in their time - see the Rain cocktail, with notes of Kaolin clay and beetroot, all garnished with an edible raincloud - the drinks menu at Sterling will be based on solid cocktail classics with the refined yet meticulous sensibility Schofield's Bar is known for. 

There will be a bar snack menu developed by Tom Kerridge and delivered by his event catering company, Lush Hospitality, founded and built on the values of the chef's two Michelin-starred restaurant The Hand and Flowers. 

The Vault already offers private wine tastings but the addition of Brandwood's expertise is bound to dial things up a notch as the wine offer relaunches.

Lush By Tom Kerridge Team Credit Lush
The Lush by Tom Kerridge team will develop the bar menu Image: Lush by Tom Kerridge

Jacqui Griffiths, General Manager of Stock Exchange Hotel added: “We are really looking forward to bringing Sterling to Stock Exchange Hotel. Joe, Daniel and James have a wealth of experience in the hospitality industry which will add to the current offering with three world-class brands housed under one roof.”

Gary Neville, owner of Stock Exchange Hotel and occasional Twitter pundit, said: “From the moment I walked into Schofield's Bar some eight or nine months ago and met Joe and Daniel I felt like I was walking into an international quality destination but with a local feel and an understanding of the spirit of Manchester. We spoke about how we had grown up in Bury and the times we had there! I genuinely can’t wait now for Sterling to open in Stock Exchange Hotel and develop this partnership with the Schofield brothers.”

Sterling is at the Stock Exchange Hotel, 4 Norfolk Street, Manchester M2 1DW. Follow @sterlingbarmcr for updates.

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