Have you noticed the hordes of hidden bars opening in and around Manchester?
Perhaps not, as some are nestled down quiet alleyways or hiding behind unassuming facades. If you didn’t know they were there, you’d be none the wiser.
Offering a more exciting drinking experience for those bored with traditional dens, these prohibition-inspired speakeasies are the perfect innovative-retro hideouts.
1. The Washhouse
This one is such a well-kept secret that we’re going to play along and keep the location a surprise…
You’ll have to book a ‘machine’ before you turn up, and then wander the streets around Shudehill searching for a humble looking laundrette. If you didn’t know it was there, you’d simply wander past wondering why so many people were doing their laundry late at night. Once you’ve passed through the tiny laundrette (through a large door-shaped washing machine), you’ll find yourself in a small, dimly-lit speakeasy serving delectable cocktails to the clientele seated in leather booths.
Of all Manchester’s hidden bars, The Washhouse is the place that you’ll feel most smug to have discovered.
Phone for reservations and to check varying opening hours.
2. Dusk Til Pawn
Another Northern Quarter drinking den that’s hidden behind a façade, Dusk Til Pawn appears at first glance like a run of the mill pawn shop with its neon ‘Buy/Sell’ signage flashing in windows filled with retro electricals.
The difference here is that anyone can pop in, despite the small size of the bar inside, so if you’re walking past on a Friday or Saturday night, drop in for one of their signature ‘Pawn Star Martinis’.
Their cocktail list is extensive and the excellent juke box satisfies most musical tastes.
Open Monday – Thursday 4pm-1am; Friday and Saturday 4pm-3am and Sunday 6pm-1am.
— Dusktilpawn (@dusktilpawn) October 30, 2016
3. Science & Industry
If you’re walking down Thomas Street, you can’t miss Cane & Grain, but did you know that there’s a secret upstairs bar hidden behind an unmarked door?
Dubbed ‘Science & Industry’, this bar differs from the more popular bar downstairs in that it shies away from advertising itself and allows clientele in-the-know to stumble upon the doorway or sneak through it discreetly.
Upstairs, the wood-panelled walls, copper bar and bee print wallpaper provide a snug setting for sipping some of the best cocktails in the city, whipped up in the back-room ‘cocktail laboratory.’
Open 12pm – 2am 7 days a week
4. The Convenience Store
Try slipping through the Northern Quarter’s barrage of bars and seek out its newest best-kept secret.
Despite its name, this is all about the booze and less about the milk and eggs – so don’t be fooled by its exterior.
Again, a range of cocktails are available and the ambiance is way more laid back than in some of the other bars on our list.
Open until late
5. The Fitzgerald
Tucked away above Rosylee Tea Rooms on Stevenson Square lurks The Fitzgerald – enter via a discreet doorway just around the corner of the tea rooms. The upstairs 1920’s-style drinking den is perfectly in-fitting with the prohibition theme.
Even the staff dress to complement it, and if you’re lucky you’ll time your visit to coincide with decade-appropriate jazz nights. The cocktails are some of the best in the city, experimenting with smoke, scents and flavours from their signature art deco glasses.
Open Wednesday – Saturday until late
— The Fitzgerald (@TheFitzgeraldNQ) October 29, 2016