The lockdown is (nearly) over and a bank holiday is on the horizon – this weekend is going to be huge.
However, though most of us can’t wait for that taste of fun and drunken normality, it is a sad reality that many of Manchester’s bars and restaurants will be chock-a-block this weekend, and that finding a table with or without a reservation might be a challenge.
As for a solution?
Well, it can only be Manchester’s famed hidden bars.
The city centre has an abundance of ‘secret’ or ‘hidden’ establishments that are a little harder to track down than the rest, and here are some of the best ones…
Perhaps one of Manchester’s most ‘unsecret’ secret bars, The Washhouse is famed for its unusual laundrette disguise. You can only enter the premises after ringing the telephone in the laundrette and literally climbing through the washing machine-front door hybrid. Once inside, though, you’ll be able to enjoy an elusive list of cocktails, wines and beers.
It’s table bookings only and you’ll need to track down their phone number to get it organised. Good luck!
19 Shudehill, Manchester M4 2AF
Tucked away down one of the Northern Quarter’s back alleys, The Fitzgerald will transport you back to the roaring 1920s with it’s subtle Great Gatsby theme and decor.
Live jazz and blues can be caught on weekends before the lively bar transforms with DJs playing soul, disco and funk until the early hours. The perfect bank holiday treat, if you ask me.
The Fitzgerald currently operates on a walk-ins only basis, so it’ll be first come first serve.
11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB
Science & Industry
One of the OG secret bars in the city, the ‘eccentric and experimental hideaway’ Science & Industry can be found hidden behind a secret door in the popular Northern Quarter haunt, Cane & Grain.
Once you’ve managed to figure out the trick door, which is blended into the wooden wall, you will find yourself in a vintage and dimly-lit cocktail bar, where a whole array of original and classic drinks will be waited to your table.
Science & Industry accepts both walk-ins and bookings.
49, 51 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Behind Closed Doors
“Sex, rugs & funk ‘n’ soul.”
Subtly placed between a piercing shop and a t-shirt printers, this x-rated establishment could very easily be mistaken for something else entirely. The basement speakeasy features old fashioned decor with a sexy twist – raunchy artwork is dotted around the space, and the small 1970’s televisions play x-rated movies around the clock, so it might not somewhere to take mum and dad for a drink.
But, on a more fun note, each table features a fully functioning vintage rotary telephone that can be used to call up the bar for a cocktail.
BCD is accepting both walk-ins and bookings.
93 Oldham St, Manchester, M4 1LW
Speak in Code
This swish evening establishment might not consider itself as an official ‘secret’ bar, but it’s pretty difficult to locate. Tucked away on Jackson’s Row, this unique establishment brings you vegan eats, craft drinks and hip-hop music five nights of the week.
Speak in Code accepts both walk-ins and bookings.
7 Jackson’s Row, Manchester M2 5ND
One Eight Six
If you’re after both a haircut and a bev this weekend, then this in the venue for you.
A relatively new haunt to the hidden bar scene, One Eight Six is disguised behind an actual, fully-operational barbers shop. The bar doubles up as a music venue, with live acts regularly performing at the cabaret-style venue, which makes it great for dancing on the tables – something that’s actually encouraged by the staff.
One Eight Six is currently accepting bookings for the bank holiday, make sure not to miss out here.
186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
You’ll all be aware of Evelyn’s, one of the Northern Quarter’s most popular eateries, but are you aware of the cocktail bar tucked away beneath it?
The Daisy is located in the basement of the restaurant and serves as a part-co-working space by day, and a private bar by night. During the day, the café and workspace supplies members with coffee from Ozone Coffee Roasters and Rare Tea Company, but in the evening hours, the venue serves up an enticing range of cocktails, wines, beers and live music.
Though it might be worth noting that the venue operates on an exclusive membership basis, which comes with a fee of £100 per year. Prospective members are required to submit their applications to The Daisy’s private Instagram profile.
g18, 44 Tib St, Manchester M4 1LA
Nestled below the popular St. Anne’s Square establishment Sandinistas, Blind Tyger is Manchester’s version of the hidden Leeds haunt. The unique speakeasy-style cocktail bar serves up some of the finest tipples in the area, taking inspiration from the 1st Prohibition era of the 19th Century.
The venue itself features all manner of knick-knacks and trinkets to emulate the feel of old-school tavern culture, alongside flocked wallpaper, dark furniture and ornate glassware. As for what’s inside the glasses, expect some contemporary takes on classic cocktails from Juleps to Negronis.
Blind Tyger is currently accepting both walk-ins and bookings.
2 Old Bank St, Manchester M2 7PF
The best places to treat your dad in Manchester this Father’s Day
Father’s Day? Completed it
Father’s Day is on the horizon, and to say that the nation’s dads are in dire need of some serious pampering would be an understatement.
It’s been one hell of a year, so all those dads and father figures out there definitely deserve the best – but if you’ve left your plans to the very last minute (guilty), worry no more, because I have devised a list of some fantastic Father’s Day ideas to do here in the city.
Let’s start with an obvious one. If your dad loves a good steak and a glass of posh vino (because whose dad doesn’t?), treating him to dinner at one of Manchester’s most popular steakhouses would be a great way to show your appreciation.
The restaurant has also put together an array of Father’s day boxes and gifts so, if you’re unable to leave the house this year, you can enjoy the elusive Hawksmoor experience from the comfort of your own home. They are offering three different gift boxes – a traditional Sunday Roast, a family Feasting Box and a Fillet.
For bookings, prices and more information on their Father’s Day gift box, check out their website.
184, 186 Deansgate, Manchester M3 3WB
0161 836 6980
The Oxford Road staple is pulling out all the stops for Father’s Day this year – not only are they dishing up banging Sunday roasts, they’re also hosting EATMCR’s street food takeover, which will see a whole array of pop-ups and local breweries.
Clampdown Records and Deadstock General Store will also be hosting pop-ups, where you can grab yourself some last minute Father’s Day gifts. There will also be music from the finest local DJs to keep the celebrations going throughout the day.
Visit their website for more information and bookings.
Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
0161 233 5151
TeamSport Go Karting
Fancy thrashing your old man on the race track?
TeamSport are open and taking bookings for all those wanting to celebrate Father’s Day with a bit of good dose of old-fashioned racing rivalry.
At TeamSport Manchester, you’ll get the opportunity to race around a state-of-the-art indoor track on electric karts, and even take part in an award ceremony at the end of each race which will, of course, provide some great bragging opportunities.
TeamSport are taking bookings only for Father’s Day – visit their website for more information.
AO Arena, Victoria Station, Hunts Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester M3 1AR
Dusk Til Pawn
Perfect for all those dad-rock lovers out there, this Northern Quarter icon will act as a great venue for some celebratory cocktails with dad.
With a fantastic jukebox selection and an even more impressive cocktail list, you and your dad can spend some quality time drinking, dancing and putting the world to rights.
Pay their website a visit for more information.
Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DN
0161 236 5355
Let’s face it, all dads love a good game of darts, so what better way to demonstrate how good of a job they did raising you by showing off your skills on the board?
This venue is taking bookings only, and gives each group their own private space to drink, laugh, and land plenty of 180s. Pre-ordered drinks will be ready and waiting upon arrival, and food can be served throughout the booking. Members of staff can be summoned at the touch of a button, too.
Visit their website here to book your own booth.
Ship Canal House, 98 King Street, Manchester, M2 4WU
0161 537 7250
For footie-mad dads (most of them, then), Hotel Football is offering an exclusive package with former Manchester United defender, Wes Brown.
The package includes class of 92-themed toiletries & complimentary retro treats in the mini bar, a Q&A withWes Brown himself in the Stadium Suite, screening of the Portugal v Germany in Heaven, a two course dinner in Café Football with screening of Spain v Poland game and afternoon tea on either the Saturday or the Sunday. Overnight accommodation is also included.
To make a booking or enquire for more information, visit their website and drop an email to email@example.com.
Old Trafford, 99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Manchester M16 0SZ
0161 751 0430
The Lowry Hotel
The Lowry Hotel have launched their Father’s Day @ HOME, a unique afternoon tea perfect for all those dads out there.
The afternoon tea includes the likes of miniature prime beef burgers, BBQ pulled pork, glazed stilton, chicken and bacon pies, three cheese and pancetta scones accompanied by smoky bacon jam and chive sour cream – and two bottles of Morretti to wash it all down.
Click here to make your own booking.
50 Dearmans Pl, Salford, M3 5LH
0161 827 4000
The best places to watch the Euros here in Manchester
You won’t miss any of the action here in Manchester
The Premier League and the Champions League may have concluded for the season, but football fans fear not!
Euro 2020 is finally set to take place after being postponed last year thanks to Covid-19 travel restrictions, and it’s set to be a good one.
The tournament kicks off in Rome this Friday, June 11th, with eleven more countries across the continent set to host matches until its conclusion at Wembley on July 11th.
England will meet Croatia (trigger warning for those who watched the 2018 World Cup) on Sunday, while the Czech Republic and our UK rivals Scotland will also go head-to-head in Group D.
Thanks to ongoing travel restrictions and a limited number of tickets being available, many football fans across the continent will struggle to attend – fans here in Manchester included.
But a bleak month of watching football on your sofa doesn’t have to be the solution – because whether you’re supporting England, Wales, Scotland, or any European teams taking part, there will be plenty of bars, restaurants, and special venues across Manchester showing your match.
Here are your options:
It wouldn’t live up to its name otherwise, would it?
The Trafford Park establishment will be showing all televised games on several large screen TVs while serving up European inspired food, towers of beer, and giving away some brilliant prizes.
Tickets include a six pint beer tower, a six dish food platter, and two hour table time to watch the game. For more information and to buy tickets, you can visit the official Hotel Football website here.
99 Sir Matt Busby Way, Old Trafford, Stretford, Manchester, M16 0SZ
0161 751 0430
Following its merge with Shooters Sports Bar, the Bavarian themed beer hall will be showing all the major games throughout the tournament.
Bierkeller is currently offering a £20 Major Sports Package for England’s game with Croatia on June 13th, which includes guaranteed entry to the venue, a reserved table for the duration of the game in view of the screens and TVs, and two bottles of beer.
Though be quick, tickets are selling out fast! You can make a reservation here.
The Printworks, Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
0161 839 8293
Dive Bar & Grill
All sports bookings include a TV view of the game on ultra 4K HD televisions, comfortable leather seating and table service.
Dive also offers a sports menu, which includes a selection of small plates and sides such as mini cheeseburgers and Dive fried chicken. Their drinks menu lists ice cold buckets of beer and bottles of prosecco – perfect for those post-match celebrations.
They are now taking bookings for June 11th – June 26th, though they have limited availability only, so make sure you’re quick!
Dive Bar & Grill, Tib St, Manchester, M4 1SH
0161 826 3080
Hard Rock Cafe
Manchester’s Hard Rock Cafe is offering a hat-trick of offers during their Euros screenings: Children eat free with a purchase of an adult entrée with Merlin Entertainment Pass & UK Kids Pass, free dessert if you sign up to Rewards, Hard Rock’s membership programme and ‘Lift the cup for Happy Hour’ – Sunday -Thursday 4pm-7pm and Friday – Saturday 9pm till late.
Aneta Jarzmik, General Manager at Hard Rock Cafe Manchester, said: “We’re always the home of great music and food, but with Manchester’s passion for the beautiful game, we decided to also be the home of football for Euro 2020. We’ve created a family-friendly atmosphere and can’t wait to welcome fans.”
Hard Rock Cafe, The Printworks, Manchester, M4 2BS
0161 831 6700
Tucked away in Trafford, SecretCity is the perfect place to enjoy the footy this summer – with the UK’s largest screens on hand to provide an exceptional viewing experience.
Tickets for their Euros screenings vary; guests can book a table for 1 group (up to 6 people) which includes viewing of the match. Their VIP Table for 1 group includes viewing of the match, section tables and queue jump, while their VIP Terrace for 1 person includes viewing of the match, one drink, one food voucher, and access to Q&A and an exclusive bar.
You can make your reservation here.
Phoenix Way, Trafford Park, Stretford, Manchester M41 7TB
Manchester’s Aussie staple will be showing every single Euros match on their giant HD TVs throughout the month – so grab a VB, sit back, and enjoy the match with your finest cork hat.
Walkabout are taking bookings only for their Euros screenings.
27 Withy Grove, Manchester M4 2BS
0161 672 4660
This iconic Castlefield spot has several big screens and a great atmosphere to enjoy where there’s a game on. Inside, guests can expect a stylish bar with plenty of seating, however, outside, expect a huge beer garden – with big screens dotted about so fans can watch the match in the open air.
On busy match days, guests can enjoy food truck style grub while they watch the match, with pizzas, burgers and more on the menu otherwise. Booking is advised if you want to secure a spot!
18 – 25 Castle St, Manchester M3 4LZ
0161 839 8642
The beer gardens and outdoor terraces accepting walk-ins in Manchester
Our city is set for another nice weekend
Hospitality is back open for outdoor service and the weather has been kind to us as we return to beer gardens and outdoor terraces.
If you’ve not booked anywhere ahead of what is forecast to be another sunny weekend, fear not, here’s a handy list of the places offering walk-ins for thirsty Mancunians.
The cocktail bar terrace will be keeping spaces for those just wanting to swing by for a cocktail. Walk-ins will be available every day operating on a first-come, first-served basis.
Almost Famous is back up and running complete with cocktails courtesy of Luck, Lust, Liquor & Burn. It’s operating entirely on a walk-in basis.
Another on the walk-in list is vegan NQ joint, Alvarium. They’re open from 3pm-11pm Tuesday to Thursday and from 12pm-11pm on Friday and Saturday.
The Bay Horse Tavern
Both bookings and walk-ups are available down at Bay Horse so you can tuck into a lovely pie and pint whenever the desire comes over you.
Open seven days a week from 12pm until 3am serving up wings and pints, Bunny Jackson’s is operating on a walk-in basis only. They’ve also got loads more seating than usual as well.
Cane and Grain
Open from midday for walk-ins only, Cane and Grain are serving up all the usual good stuff, like rum, ribs, bourbon and beer. Plus there’s a shiny new cocktail menu too.
Open from 1pm until late, Tuesday through Sunday accompanied by massive Nell’s pizzas. Only walk-ins.
A brand new addition to the Left Bank area of Spinningfields, Clubhouse is serving up cocktails covered in toffees and seriously spicy shots. Walk-ins only.
One of the city’s best pizza joints, Crazy Pedro’s has plenty of space for walk-ins so you can get all your pizza and Hooch needs.
Crown & Kettle
Newly renovated, Crown & Kettle is back with a brand new outdoor seating area open every single day from noon till 10pm. It’s dog-friendly, people-friendly and strictly NO bookings.
Dukes 92’s bookings system filled up pretty quickly but they’ve saved some tables for walk-ins too that are not undercover. They’ll be filling them up on a first come first serve basis weather permitting.
Ancoats pub, Edinburgh Castle will be leaving some tables aside for walk-ins but if you want to get involved with bottomless brunch you’ll have to book.
Open Thursday to Saturday from 2pm until 7pm serving up wine by the glass, bottles and a small selection of plates of oysters, cured meats and cheese. Tables are only available for walk-ins and will be weather dependent. Bookings will be available from 18th May.
Ezra & Gil
Back with a brand new terrace in the corner of Stevenson Square, Ezra & Gil are operating on a walk-in basis only for all your brunch, coffee and evening pasta needs. Open daily from 8am to 8pm.
Outdoor dining is available at Federal NQ where there are no bookings, only walk-ins. You can still grab all the good stuff via Deliveroo from both NQ and Deansgate sites, plus coffee and treats from the cart in Altrincham.
Feel Good Club
No bookings needed to enjoy yourself at Feel Good Club’s new outside addition. They’ve got pints, coffees, crumpets and everything in between – and plenty of smiles!
Two-thirds of the entire space down at Grub has been reserved for walk-ins so you can swing by even if you’ve not got a booking!
Hatch held back 50% off its tables for walk-ins so get yourself down and get involved.
Walk-ins are available during the week and potentially on Sundays at Impossible.
Complete with a brand new expanded outdoor terrace, Lawn Club will be accepting walk-ins.
The craft beer house on Piccadilly approach is doing walk-ins from 1pm most days.
Rudy’s has held back 50% of its tables at both sites (Peter Street and Ancoats) for walk-ins only. Both restaurants tend to get pretty busy so expect to leave your name and head back after a little wait.
Seven Bro7hers Ancoats
There will be some walk-in tables available in Cutting Room square. You’ll still be able to get your hands on take out drinks too.
The Oast House
As one of the city’s biggest beer gardens, The Oast House’s booking system filled up within a matter of days but they have confirmed they’ve reserved space every day for walk-ins.
The legendary Eastern food joint has a great (and sunny) terrace outside in Exchange Square – perfect for slurping some noodles with a beer while watching the world go by.
Operating with strictly walk-ins only tables, Trof is back for all your drink needs. Open from 4pm to 11pm on Friday and from 12pm until 11pm on Saturday and Sunday.
Trove has reopened their outdoor area in Ancoats so you can bob down for coffee and brunch. No bookings.
Wolf at the Door
Complete with a newly revamped outdoor space, Wolf at the Door is back with walk-ins only from 12pm until late every day. They’ve also got £1 tacos and bao buns!
Yard and Coop
The fried chicken restaurant on Edge Street is back and is holding back some tables each day for walk-ins.
Operating with walk-ins only, YES is back with two ground floor beer gardens and roof terrace. Open noon til late every day.