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Manchester Bar News - The Artisan opens
Manchester Bar News
~ 2016 News ~

Soul Festival - Manchester Soul Festival - Manchester
The Printworks Is Set To Bring A Whole Lotta Soul To Manchester

The Manchester Soul Festival is back bigger and better for its second year! Following a successful first year in 2015, raising over £22,500 for The Christie, The Manchester Soul Festival will be back once again

Taking place in various venues within The Printworks, as well as its very own pumpyard, the festival of Soul and Motown bands, artists and DJs, will be running from noon until late on Sunday 28th August. Though the full line up is yet to be announced, the acts gracing the main stage will be lucky enough to be performing on the ‘Frank Byrne stage,’ named in memory of the Manchester legend who worked tirelessly to get the festival started and to make it a success
Fred Booth, Centre Director for The Printworks, said “The aim this year is to put on even more of a show for visitors, make even more money for The Christie, and to do Frank Byrne proud. We’ve got a great line up in the pipeline already and a host of great offers from our tenants for throughout the day, so it promises to be a great day for all the family.”
Daniel Poole, Community Manager for The Christie, said “The Manchester Soul Festival is set to be bigger and better than last year and we are very grateful to The Printworks for hosting this fantastic event for the second year.  The money raised at the festival will go towards supporting vital services here at the Christie in Manchester.”
To purchase a wristband it is asked that you please make a minimum donation of £5 per band to the Just Giving page, where all proceeds will then go to The Christie.
Various offers will be available throughout the day to those with a wristband: 

Bierkeller - 25% off main food menu, Corona, Budweiser & Desperados only £2, Pint of Carlsberg (draught) or glass of house wine (175ml) only £2.50
The Birdcage - Happy Hour from 12-3pm including double and a mixer £3.50, £2.50 for bottle of Peroni or glass of house wine
Chiquito - 25 % off main food menu
Frankie and Benny’s - 20% off main food menu
Hard Rock Cafe - 15% off main food menu
Harvester - 20% off food on a £25 minimum spend (excluding meal deals)
Nandos - Three free chicken wings when you buy a combo meal
Peachy Keens - 20% off food and BOGOF cocktails
Tiger Tiger - 50% off food and drink all day
Walkabout -  Pint of Strongbow or Fosters only £2, Mixers only £2, Bottle of Coca Cola only £1

Details on how to buy this wristband/make a donation will be on the Just Giving page here.
~ June 2016 ~

The Red Door - Manchester The Red Door - Manchester
The Printworks to offer discount to military personnel for the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme

The Printworks will be recognising the Centenary of the Battle of the Somme with discount at each venue for military personnel, on Friday 1st July. To claim the discount individuals simply need to show their military ID

The following featured venues on Restaurants of Manchester will be offering discounts to military personnel: 

Tiger Tiger- 50%
Bierkeller- 25%
Peachy Keens- 20%
Busaba- 20%
Hard Rock Cafe- 15%

The Somme Remembrance service to be held on the 1st July at Manchester Cathedral to observe, think, respect, and remember the 119 Manchester people who gave their lives for their country in the Great War. The Printworks pay tribute to those affected with two rolls of honour on their walls. One is for the staff of  E. Hulton and Co. Ltd, featuring the names of staff from their Manchester offices as well as London, Halifax and Preston. The other is for the staff of Kemsley Newspapers Ltd.
~ June 2016 ~

The Red Door - Manchester The Red Door - Manchester
A Modern Makeover for Chalk Bar & Grill

Chalk Bar & Grill has launched an impressive new cocktail menu, bursting with flavour and offering creative twists on contemporary classics. Stylish, modern and creative is the theme running through the new cocktail and food menus, along with a new-look interior to offer a more casual drinking and dining experience.

Independent hospitality group, M.A.D Ltd, who own a portfolio of popular bars and restaurants in the Northern Quarter and Didsbury, including The Fitzgerald, Rosylee and Hula, recently purchased Chalk and have used their expertise to develop the new cocktail-lead offering.

Jonathan Hawkins, Director at MAD, says “Chalk is a hugely popular bar and restaurant in Didsbury and we purchased it knowing we wouldn’t need to change very much. However we wanted to bring our expertise in the art of cocktail making to Didsbury, and offer customers something a little different.We have introduced a really exciting new cocktail menu to compliment the rest of the food and drink offering, and allow customers to enjoy great drinks in a stylish, yet relaxed environment"

Chalk’s Twisted Classics are contemporary cocktails with a ‘modern twist’ - a mixture of long and short favourites that have been modernised and served with a little Chalk magic. Cocktails include the Acai Cosmopolitan made with Absolut Berry Acai, the Singapore Sunset with Cherry Heering and San Pellegrino Blood Orange and the Siberian Margarita owing its electric blue colour to the addition of Blue Curacao. Each is guaranteed to delight the senses, and all Twisted Classics are 2 for 1 every day between 5pm and 8pm - so even more reason to give them a try.
Fabulous Fizzes cater for the growing number of Prosecco fans, and again give a modern twist on classics. The Rhubarb Royale mixes Portobello Road gin with Rhubarb, Rosehip and Vanilla foam. While Pornstar Martini fans will love the Pair of Absolut Pornstars, two Pornstar Martinis served with a mini bottle of Prosecco on the side to share.
For the more discerning drinker, there is a great selection of inventive cocktails – exclusively developed by Chalk’s in-house mixology team, to offer an experience in creative flair as well as taste. These include the Watermelon and Candy Floss Caipirinha, the Aviatrix (2 people to share) served up in a stylish suitcase with a mysterious violet fog, and the Chalk Iced Tea (4 to share), a Hendricks’s based punch, which is served in a vintage teapot complete with teacups and saucers
Gin fans will love the new Gin Copa menu, a large measure of quality gin garnished with fruits and botanicals to enhance the natural flavours and served with a perfectly matched premium tonic. Along with new cocktails, the food menu has been refreshed by our talented Executive Chef Jason Latham and new Head Chef, Clement Oaihimire, who has previously worked for The Delaunay in London, and most recently Infamous Diner.
New skewers, grills and lighter summery dishes are the stars of the show and the introduction of a lunch and early evening set menu means diners can enjoy the most popular dishes at 2 courses for £11.95 and 3 courses for £14.95. An extensive new bar snack menu means there’s plenty to nibble on in the newly designed bar areas, whilst enjoying the array of new cocktails. Staying faithful to sourcing and using only the best of local, British ingredients, the menu has been made more accessible with many of the new dishes focussed around the grill, as well as introducing another British classic – Afternoon Tea.
Mark Andrew, Managing Director at MAD says, “Chalk’s stylish surrounds, casual drinking and dining offer and late opening hours, seven day a week, make it a venue that’s accessible to all – and that’s exactly what we want it to be. Chalk is about original cocktails, good, quality food and a great atmosphere, and I hope the new drinks and dishes are welcomed and enjoyed by customers old and new.”
The new cocktail menu is available right now. Ask one of the knowledgeable bartenders for their recommendations.
~ June 2016 ~

Forever Manchester Week - Manchester Forever Manchester Week - Manchester

Forever Manchester Week (Friday 10 June to Friday 17 June 2016) is one week of fundraising to celebrate and support community activity across Greater Manchester. Forever Manchester Week provides a fantastic opportunity for people across Greater Manchester to get involved, come together and raise a fat pile of cash for the communities where we all love, live, work and play.

Through generous contributions from individuals and businesses, Forever Manchester funds and supports community activity across Greater Manchester. Over the last 26 years they have awarded £36M to community projects, benefitting over 1.3 million people across the region. They strengthen communities and enrich local life by inspiring local people to do extraordinary things together, but above all they believe that everyone should have the opportunity to be happy. From kid’s football teams to allotment groups, older people’s clubs to disability projects, you name it, Forever Manchester has funded it.

DECASKTHLON - The DeCASKthlon is like a decathlon, but with pubs, pints and, well, more pints!  The aim is to make it to all 10 pubs in the NQ for some ‘charitable drinking!’ Each of these pubs will be taking part in Manchester Beer Week, where Forever Manchester is the charity partner. Some of these will also be serving Forever Manchester's '10 Boroughs Pale Ale', which raises money for Forever Manchester, so be sure to try it! Sunday 12th June from 1pm – 6pm. Click here for more information

GIN TASTING WITH DRINKS ENTHUSIAST AT THE PEN PENCIL - Mad men inspired bar, The Pen and Pencil NQ has teamed up with Manchester’s very own Drinks Enthusiast, Dave Marsland, to host a night of gin education and tasting with Warner Edwards. Guests will delve into the history of the Northamptonshire-based spirit and learn all about gin from the experts. Tickets cost £10, with all funds going to Forever Manchester, and include a G&T on arrival, tasting of 4 expressions of Warner Edwards gin, and the bar’s signature Warner Edwards based cocktail, ‘Alexander’s Best Friend.’ Tuesday 14th June from 7.30pm – 9pm Click here for more information
CRAZY PEDRO’S THE CURRY MILE PIZZA - Late night pizza joint, Crazy Pedro’s has masterminded its new creation, The Curry Mile, purely for Forever Manchester! The crazy creation is topped with Chicken Tikka, Poppadoms, Onion Bhajis and Mint Yoghurt. The 16” pizza costs £15, and 50p of each sale will be donated to Forever Manchester. On sale during forever manchester week, friday 10th – friday 17th June
TATTU DOES TIPPLES AND 10% - The modern Chinese restaurant Tattu, has an exclusive offer for Forever Manchester week, with a free bottle of prosecco and an extra discount available! Book a table for drinks any time before 8pm between Monday 6th June and Friday 10th June, get a seat in the famous Tattu rose garden and enjoy your drinks knowing that 10% of your final bill will be going to Forever Manchester.  To book simply call 0161 819 2060 and quote FMWeek Please note all final bills must be a minimum of £20. Offer available from Monday 6th June 12pm – Friday 10th June  11.59pm
THURSDAY NIGHT LIVE  - The best value comedy night in the country! Five comedians from the national and international comedy circuit, including one top compere, one top opener, two of the countries best new acts and one of the best headliners around will take to the Frog and Bucket stage.  For £10 a ticket, MC Barry Dodds will take you through the night, with Jonny Awsum opening, followed by George Zach, Clayton Jones and finally Daliso Chaponda to close. A real riot of laughs. Thursday 16th June from 7pm – 10pm
VAPIANO- A vote to find out who is our favourite Manc! Using donations and a ballot style ensemble, Italian casual dining restaurant, Vapiano will encourage customers to vote, with all donations going to Forever Manchester. Following a social media vote, 4 finalists were chosen and will now battle it out to be Top Manc, as Vapiano customers will be encouraged to put any donation they can afford into a box representing their favourite. Will it be Noel Gallagher, Sir Ian Mckellen, Tony Wilson or Paul Scholes? During Forever Manchester Week, Friday 10th - Friday 17th June. Any donations welcome
BIG FOREVER MANCHESTER QUIZ OF THE YEAR- Pit your wits against your peers across quiz topics as original as music, sport, general knowledge, legendary animals, knitwear and maths - with a special round dedicated to Forever Manchester and its brilliant work. Team entry for a maximum of 6 people costs £45, or £60 with food and drink included. Proceeds will be going to help the wonderful causes Forever Manchester supports throughout Greater Manchester. There will also be a raffle on the night with some VERY EXCITING prizes donated by local businesses. Wednesday 15th June, 6:30pm 10:00pm at Dive NQ

BLACK DOG BALLROOM NQ STONE ROSES COCKTAIL - A lemon based cocktail in homage to the Stone Roses’ triumphant return to Manchester this month! Easy Peasy…Lemon Squeezy’ is a specially created cocktail made with Finlandia vodka, raspberry puree, pineapple and soda. A donation of 50p will be donated from the sale of each drink. The cocktail will be on sale throughout Forever Manchester Week - Friday 10th – Friday 17th June

MANCUNIAN RAVIOLI - A specially created Manc-style ravioli dish will be on sale for the week, at Manchester’s longest standing Italian restaurant, Don Giovanni. The dish will be a Best of Mancunian beer based ravioli filled with Lancashire cheese and Cheshire venison served with an asparagus & mint sauce, priced at £14.95.  A donation of £1 from each dish sold will go to Forever Manchester week. Friday 10th – Friday 17th June
BAYNAN GIN EVENT - A fun and interactive evening of gin tasting in the name of charity! £15 per ticket including welcome drink, gin masterclass & canapes. £5 from each ticket goes to Forever Manchester. Monday 13 June, 5.30 - 8pm

Not only that, but we have supplied an easy way for busy venues to take part in Forever Manchester week, and that’s by giving the option to add and donate a pound when customers are paying the bill. Those taking part are: Tampopo (Albert Square and Corn Exchange restaurants)

Forever Manchester is inviting businesses, schools, community groups and individuals to create an amazing week of fundraising mayhem and request that you are as ‘daft, Manc and creative and you damn well like’.  So whether you want to host a ‘Manchester’s Got Talent Day’, a ‘Manc Walk around the office’, a Manchester related Food and Drink Day, a Manchester related Quiz, or organise a street party, click here for more information.
~ June 2016 ~


Friday the 3rd of June will see Neighbourhood re-open its doors after a major £1m refurbishment.

The new look all-day eatery and bar will have interiors designed by Edwin Pickett, the aficionado behind famed local restaurants ‘Australasia’ and ‘Tattu’, and of course, our original design.

Oak panels, sumptuous leather booths, marble table tops and soft lighting will offer a more comfortable, accessible venue for our guests, whilst our artwork, specially commissioned by local MCR artist Davo Howarth will provide the subtle splashes of colour and eccentricity that Neighbourhood has never been afraid of shouting about.

Neighbourhood melds a brasserie atmosphere with European and new American cuisine, offering accessible, refined all-day dining for local residents, shoppers, businesses and tourists alike.
The menu is all-encompassing, including lunch, afternoon teas, weekend brunch, cocktails, light snacks and dinner. The new menu will showcase dishes such as short rib tacos with crunchy Asian slaw, rosemary and garlic crusted lamb cutlets served with spiced olive jus and creamed mash and their classic chicken dinner with creamed mash, honey butter and white gravy.
Under the careful stewardship of our Operations Director, Ciaran Hogg, formally General Manager of Manchester House, Neighbourhood will continue its legendary status, ensuring it has something for everybody.
~ June 2016 ~

The Red Door - Manchester The Red Door - Manchester
Mystery Behind The Red Door Doon To Be Revealed….

The countdown to the opening of Red Door Manchester has commenced.  Bringing a new and exciting bar and live music venue to Deansgate, Red Door will open to the public on Monday 6th June. Those who discover what is behind the Red Door will experience the handcrafted, signature cocktails for which the bar is renowned; made with premium ingredients and a dash of theatre and served with a flourish.

Occupying 2800 sq ft with a capacity of 250, Red Door will be open 5pm-2am Sun-Thurs and 5pm-3am Fri & Sat with an eclectic range of live music and DJ sets.

The opening of Red Door Manchester will be very poignant following the tragic passing of leisure icon Tim Bacon (Chairman of Living Ventures) on the 29th April.  Tim was especially excited about this opening, having fond memories as it was formerly the location of JW Johnsons, the legendary restaurant, bar and basement club which he owned with entrepreneur, Dave Hinds, in the 90’s.

The venue was loved by a wide variety of people and Red Door, opening in the same basement space (underneath The Botanist), is sure to emulate this.  Tim had once again joined forces, independently, with Dave Hinds and former Living Ventures bar expert, Lee Lynch, to bring Red Door to Manchester.
Joining the Red Door family which comprises bars in Liverpool and Chester, the stylish ambience is sure to be a hit on the Manchester bar scene, with low lighting, an intimate feel and strong musical focus, just some of the elements which contribute to the rounded Red Door experience.
~ June 2016 ~

Crazy Pedros Crazy Pedro's Manchester

Manchester loved The Dreggs, The Dirty Northerner and the one with the Cadbury’s Creme Egg on, but now the pizza chefs at Crazy Pedro’s have gone for something truly Mancunian - a good old Rusholme inspired curry pizza!

What’s more, it’s all in the name of charity, as the maestros of the dough have teamed up with Forever Manchester to help the charity raise money for Forever Manchester Week which runs from June 10th ‘til 17th!

The Curry Mile, which is topped with chicken tikka, onion bhajis, poppadoms and mint yoghurt, is available throughout June and 50p from every sale will go to the charity.

Available as a special throughout June, The Curry Mile is just £3 a slice or £15 for a whole 16-inch pizza. Of course the pizza joint also be continuing to offer its infamous Happy Hour deal. From 5pm to 9pm customers can enjoy two-for-one cocktails, 16” pizzas for £10 and single slices for just £2 (Sunday-Friday)..

Lyndon Higginson, Executive Director of Crazy Pedro’s, The Liars Club and Cane & Grain says: “As proud Mancunians we always strive to do our very best for our great city and when we heard about Forever Manchester Week we knew we had just the right pizza to help raise as much cash as possible. It’s your two favourite takeaways in one damn good dish - try it, you won’t be disappointed.”

Last month’s special - The Dreggs - saw Manchester’s pizza lovers chow down on a cheeky concoction of sausage rolls, tomato sauce, mozzarella, baked beans and brown sauce. 

Crazy Pedro’s Part Time Pizza Parlour is open daily from Midday ’til 4am.
~ June 2016 ~

Emporia Brands Launch National Provence Cocktail Day

Spirits innovator Emporia Brands is working in collaboration with its award-winning Distilleries et Domaines de Provence range to bring to the UK for the first time National Provence Cocktail Day.

Set to be this coming Friday 3rd June 2016, a number of bars and restaurants across the UK have joined the campaign to show off their cocktail creations using either the peach vermouth of Rinquinquin, the first legal absinthe since the ban of 1914 in Absente, and the thyme flavour of Farigoule, culminating in a hub of recipes to be featured on upon Provence Cocktails.

No region of France is as incredibly blessed as Provence with the range of raw materials for original flavours to create wondrous liqueurs and vermouths. From orchards of peaches to hillsides of wormwood, Distilleries et Domaines de Provence have a glorious palette of flavours to work from, to create spirits, liqueurs and vermouths to inspire bartenders nationally.

National Provence Cocktail Day celebrates the innovation of such, showcasing the talent and creations from a wide variety of concepts, both on and off trade, across the UK.
Highlights across the UK include The Blackbird in Edinburgh showing off Provence Cocktails in the ‘Garden Shed’(Thursday 2nd to Sunday 5th June), whilst their Beer Garden will be taken over with an exclusive cocktail menu of 4 Provence delights
Bistro Provence, also in Edinburgh, are running a week of Provence Cocktails, recommending their creations with food pairings, whilst The Tippling House in Aberdeen have produced five Provence Cocktails for the weekend
In London, Gaucho Smithfields are launching a Provence Cocktail Day menu as part of their Aperitivo terrace, including the Rinquinquin based Peach Frappe.
The Midlands see’s the likes of The Edgbaston and 40st Pauls from Birmingham and Hockley Arts Club, World Social and Annies Burger Shack (all located in Nottingham) embracing Farigoule, Absente and Rinquinquin within their trademark cocktails, whilst the North East sees an in-store tasting at Fenwicks in Newcastle from 12-6pm and a Provence Cocktail Showcase on the 2nd June at BonBar with exclusive invites to local industry figures
On the South Coast, the General Wine Company and their Liphook and Petersfield branches will be running Absente Absinthe tastings over the weekend, with the in-store tastings also running to Amathus Knightsbridge with a look at Rinquinquin
The North of England will see El Gato Negro creating several Rinquinquin serves, whilst Cottonopolis have for you a specialised cocktail menu with Rinquinquin and Farigoule as well as food pairings. To continue the Manchester theme, Dusk Til Pawn have been utilising Farigoule for their Provence Cocktail specials, whilst it will also be the venue for a city-wide Provence Cocktail Day competition to show off the creativity of the city

Speakeasy venue Riddles Bar in Altrincham are serving up Absente creations following the success of National Absinthe Day back in March, whilst Leeds and Backroom Bar have a Farigoule and Casco Viejo tequila creation on offer.

To cap off the Provence Cocktail Day activity, Pollen Street Social in London are joining forces with Emporia Brands and Distilleries et Domaines de Provence on the 5th June as part of Social Sunday 2016 For Hospitality Action
A 5-course tasting menu prepared by Chef owner Jason Atherton, Sat Bains, Tom Kerridge and Claude Bosi is available, whilst across the street at Little Social, Greg Marchand from Frenchie, will be cooking his own tasting menu
Also getting in on the food pairings are La Petite Mort in Edinburgh who are running a week long pop-up menu of four cocktails which will have recommended food pairings, culminating in a hosted 3 course dinner with paired Provence Cocktails on the 7th June.
~ June 2016 ~

Tim Bacon
Alchemist Artistry Soon To Arrive in Alderley Edge

The Alchemist Bar & Restaurant expansion continues apace as this popular restaurant and cocktail bar opens in Alderley Edge, on the site where Grill on the Edge is currently situated.

Grill on the Edge will close its doors on Tuesday 31st May and work will commence on an extensive refurbishment. The restaurant will be updated with new interior furnishings and design, creating a bright and beautiful Alchemist Bar and Restaurant, somewhere that will immediately offer a feeling of familiarity.  The relaxed and welcoming vibe making guests feel as if they’re already regulars.

Simon Potts, Managing Director of The Alchemist said:  “We’re delighted to be creating a suburban vision of The Alchemist and feel that Alderley Edge, a village we’ve known and loved at Living Ventures for many years, will be the perfect place to continue our exciting expansion plans. We believe that the casual all day restaurant element of the business; serving brunch, lunch and dinner alongside our beautifully crafted cocktails, will be a perfect fit for the village and look forward to welcoming guests later this summer.”

The Alchemist in Manchester’s Spinningfields was the first of Living Ventures’ inventive cocktail bars with a focus on molecular and scientific concoctions. Today over five years later, their mixologists are renowned across the city and beyond and still pushing the boundaries. Mixing unexpected ingredients with unconventional equipment and remarkable craftsmanship, has led to the creation of cocktail concoctions worthy of a true alchemist.  Drinks such as the Smokey Old Fashioned and the sharing cocktail The Mad Hatter’s Tea Party have become firm favourites. But it doesn’t stop there, the team are constantly looking to add different twists and new ingredients for both the drinks and the food menu, to ensure that element of surprise always remains at The Alchemist
The Alchemist today is a stand-alone business under the Living Ventures’ umbrella.  It has five sites nationwide (two in Manchester, two in Leeds and one in London) with a turnover of £11million in the last financial year, and employing over 250 people.  Liverpool is set to open in June.
~ June 2016 ~

Black Dog Ballroom Black Dog Ballroom NQ

Mrs Boon’s Tea Party and Reform Radio are set to take over Black Dog Ballroom NQ’s new dance and live space. This Summer Black Dog Ballroom is proud to announce the launch of two new and exciting regular weekend events in its brand new dance and live space, The Bunker.

Following the success of the Northern Quarter bar’s Fizz Face Fridays with BBC Manchester and Radio X DJ Clint Boon, the Black Dog team has decided to invite his wife to venue for a Sunday afternoon tea party takeover. Mrs Boon’s Tea party is set to launch on Saturday 21st May.

Every Saturday from 1pm – 4pm, the Boon family will be setting up home in The Bunker. Mrs Boon will be baking up a storm with her fabulous homemade cakes, Mr Clint Boon will be spinning the records and Black Dog Ballroom regulars can expect a varied amount of special guests over the coming weeks. In the past guests have included the likes of Franz Ferdinand, Maximo Park and The Enemy so the bar team can’t wait to see who will be gracing the stage this time round. All the family are welcome too.

As if that wasn’t good enough, the party doesn’t stop there. Sundays in The Bunker are set to be equally exciting as the fun continues with a Reform Radio DJ takeover taking place every Sunday from 5pm – 10pm.  Launching on Sunday 22nd May, each week during the takeover different DJs from Reform Radio will be showcasing exclusive sets and shows across various genres from some of Manchester’s most respected talents.

Station owner at Reform Radio, Sam Oliveira, commented: “We're really pleased that the team behind The Bunker has recognised the talents of our amazing DJs and will be choosing from them on a weekly basis to provide the perfect Sunday soundtrack.”

Currently broadcasting the best in music, arts and culture live from the historic Old Granada Studios in Manchester, with 24/7 radio playing out on Reform Radio, the Reform DJs will be providing the same sort of eclectic sounds you'll find on the station.

Ticket entry to Mrs Boon’s Tea Party will cost £4 for adults and will be free for under 14s, but they must be accompanied by an adult. Entry to the Reform Radio takeover will be free and all are welcome. For more information visit Black Dog Ballroom NQ!
~ May 2016 ~

Tim Bacon
Tim Bacon Loses Battle With Cancer

Tim Bacon; chairman and co-founder of Living Ventures died on Saturday April 30th, 2016  at the age of 52 following more than a decade long battle with cancer.  Tim had been fighting lymphoma for 14 years, and more recently in 2014 was diagnosed with advanced melanoma.

The Australian born businessman, who started his working life at a young age as a child actor in the popular Australian soap Sons & Daughters, came to the UK in 1986 and started working in the Hospitality industry as a TGI Fridays employee.  After rising through the ranks he left to set up on his own, with his knowledge and experience culminating in him becoming the co-founder of popular and cutting edge casual restaurant and bar group Living Ventures.

Living Ventures operates a number of venues throughout the North West including The Alchemist, Artisan, Australasia, Black House Grill, The Botanist, Gusto, Manchester House and The Oast House.

An open memorial service is being held at The Albert Hall on Peter Street in Manchester on Monday, 16 May at 1pm.
~ May 2016 ~

Emprorio Brands - Cinco De Mayo Emprorio Brands - Cinco De Mayo
Cinco de Mayo Celebrated Across the UK with Tequila Casco Viejo and El Ron Prohibido

The annual Cinco de Mayo is upon us once again, and here at Emporia Brands, they’ve put together a series of events across the UK involving the award-winning Tequila Casco Viejo, and the unique El Ron Prohibido rum. Get ready for an action-packed 5th of May!

In Nottingham, Four Hundred Rabbits will be hosting a Tequila Masterclass with Samuel David Boulton from Emporia Brands at 3pm. Enjoy not only Casco Viejo, but also Don Agustin and Maracame, making it three superb brands from the famous Camarena Brothers! In the evening we'll be partying the night away with live music from the awesome Blue Brazil providing amazing Samba & Bosa Nova Latin grooves, plus special Tequila Casco Viejo cocktails.

If you’re in Manchester, Lust, Luck, Liquor and Burn will be the venue for a similar Casco Viejo masterclass, this time hosted by Tom Gedney-Higham of Emporia Brands from 2pm. In Leeds though, you’d need to head down to premier tequila bar Neon Cactus where you can find some Margarita Madness with Casco Viejo fresh fruit Margarita’s! Backroom are also hosting a Casco Viejo cocktail special, with your chance to win a tequila masterclass!

Cardiff is the home of our 2016 UK cocktail competition winner from earlier in the year, Alexander Taylor of 10 Feet Tall. His winning cocktail, Don Agustin’s Daisy, combines Casco Viejo Reposado with Amaretto, Gentian Wine, Yellow Bell Pepper and Citrus and will be on special for the duration of Cinco de Mayo.

Newcastle upon Tyne are also getting in on the action as Alvino’s are showing off the Mexican rum styles of El Ron Prohibido and Casco Viejo with some specially made cocktail serves, plus Popolo have for you a Casco Viejo Margarita ready and waiting for you!

If rum is your tipple, El Ron Prohibido can be found to be the go-to spirit at Riddles in Altrincham for a twist on an Old Fashioned, whilst Topolabamba in Glasgow are on hand to show off their Strawberry Daiquiri using this ‘forbidden’ Mexican brand.

Speaking of Scotland, Treacle in Edinburgh is the perfect venue to enjoy an El Ron Prohibido cocktail, whilst London offer to you the likes of Old Bengal Bar and Blessings Bar for their take on some Mexican cocktail classics!
If you fancy picking a bottle up yourself, you can purchase El Ron Prohibido at Astons of Manchester, The Dram Shop in Sheffield, John’s Wine and Spirits in Cornwall and Gerry’s in London. Similarly, Casco Viejo can also be found at Gerry’s as well as all Wine Rack stores across the UK.
~ May 2016 ~

Crazy Pedros Crazy Pedro's Manchester

Crazy Pedro’s Announces New Pizza Topping - It’s How They Sausage Roll!

This is not a drill. Crazy Pedro’s has created a sausage roll pizza and it’s all you’ve ever wanted and more. The popular pizza joint has gained a cult following for its seeing-is-believing bonkers creations but its latest one might just top the lot. Taking inspiration from a northern delicacy, the sausage roll, the new addition is like a Greggs lunch has exploded on a pizza and we like it. A lot.

The ‘Dirty Northerner’ pizza hit headlines earlier in the year with its outrageous chips, cheese and gravy topping and the newest recruit is a worthy successor. Dreggs is a cheeky concoction of sausage rolls, mozzarella, baked beans and brown sauce.

Available as a special throughout May, it is priced at £3 a slice or £15 for a whole 16-inch pizza. Of course the pizza joint also be continuing to offer its infamous Happy Hour deal. From 5pm to 9pm customers can enjoy two-for-one cocktails, 16” pizzas for £10 and single slices for just £2 (Sunday-Friday).

Lyndon Higginson, Executive Director of Crazy Pedro’s, The Liars Club and Cane & Grain says: “Manchester loves its sausage rolls so we thought let’s put them on a pizza and smother it in baked beans and brown sauce?! Dreggs is like the Dirty Northerner’s Manc cousin - we’re hoping everyone comes in to grab a slice!”

The Dreggs pizza is available now and throughout May at Crazy Pedro’s.

Crazy Pedro’s Part Time Pizza Parlour is open daily from Midday ’til 4am.
~ May 2016 ~

Arcane - Manchester
Arcane Cocktail Bar Opening April 2016

After much deliberation and renovation work, ARCANE Cocktail Bar is set to open its doors to the public in mid to late April 2016.

The venue is located at 2 South King Street, a bustling, up and coming area of bars & restaurants, and is the brainchild of owners Mark Taylor and Gary Kilroy.

The word ARCANE is defined as meaning “hidden, mysterious and understood by few”. The location and design of the venue goes a long way in describing what the owners were looking for and it takes a bold step away from the areas many concept bars.

The demise is found in the basement of the historic Queens Chambers building and boasts Grade II Listed features throughout, which the owners wanted to retain wherever possible. “The building is very old and the brickwork needed an awful lot of restoration to bring it back to life,” said co owner Mark, “this was key for us in our idea to develop a relaxed, unpretentious atmosphere where we can concentrate on our concoctions, products and service, and allow our guests to really enjoy themselves."
Work began in the former bookmaker’s in late December 2015 and the first job was to rip out the old MDF panelling that completely covered the walls throughout the venue. This revealed walls and tiles that date back to Victorian times and were in desperate need of some extensive TLC. Almost 5 months later, ARCANE is ready to open its doors.
For the owners, who have been friends for nigh on 30 years, this has been a lifelong ambition in the making. “It’s something Mark and I have talked about since I can remember,” said co owner Gary “so for us to be doing this is literally a dream come true! We’ve both worked in and around Manchester City Centre for about 15 years, so we know the area very well and feel that we can offer some extra qualities to Manchester’s bar frequenters. Great products and fantastic service go a long way and in an age where concept bars are rife, what’s wrong with just being a great bar?”
~ April 2016 ~

The Pen & Pencil - Manchester

Lazy Sundays in Manchester’s Northern Quarter just got hip hop, thanks to the new weekly Hip Hop Swap Shop launching at The Liars Lounge in Cane & Grain on Sunday 1st May.

Every Sunday from 2 ’til 7pm the top floor Tiki lounge of Cane & Grain is set to be transformed into a hip hop emporium with a variety of goodies available for Manchester’s most fashionable residents to buy from some of the city’s best second hand and artisan traders. Plus shoppers can enjoy great music, workshops and treats from Cane & Grain’s meaty menu.

Each weekly event will have a different theme and for the first event on 1 May there will be a special ‘Clothes Swap’ session as The Liars Lounge becomes a trading ground for Manchester locals to swap their threads for some fresh swag.

The process is simple, shoppers are urged to dig out their unwanted clothes and accessories and bring them along to the bar from 2-3pm. All items must be in a clean and wearable condition and there can be no more than 15 items per person. Entry to the bar is free, but there will be a £2 door tax for those who wish to participate in the swap shop. Assistants will be on hand to sort through items for viewing purpose and shoppers will be given tokens for each item of clothing they bring. The clothes swapping will then begin at 3pm and shoppers can exchange their tokens for the items they want to take home.
Anyone who doesn’t have clothes to offer is still welcome to come and grab something to take home: tokens will be available to purchase from the Clothes Swap Assistants at a price of £1 per token, and each token can be swapped for one item.  Items accepted include: ladies & mens clothing, as well as shoes and accessories.
Hip Hop Swap Shoppers can - of course - enjoy a bit of hip hop whilst they browse alongside some cracking food and drinks offers. The bar will be serving a special ‘Hip Hop Swap Shop £5 Menu’, with a choice of  1/2 Baby Back Ribs,  a Boneless Roll, Single Bacon Cheeseburger or a Mexican Bean Burger (v) - all served with fries or salad.
Lyndon Higginson, co-owner of Cane & Grain said: “The Northern Quarter is undoubtedly the city’s creative hub and we love hip hop so it made sense to throw all of this together and show our support to the independent retailers in the area. We hope the Hip Hop Shop will give Manchester locals something fun and different to do on a Sunday afternoon.”
The Hip Hop Swap Shop with music, fashion, gifts & workshops will take place in The Liars Lounge on the top floor at Cane & Grain, every Sunday from 2pm ’til late, starting on Sunday 1 May with the Clothes Swap Special.
~ April 2016 ~

The Red Door - Manchester The Red Door - Manchester

Property Developers Call Time at Elixir Tonics & Treats. Popular deansgate Cocktail Bar Elixir released the below statment confrimg the venue is set to close.

To all our valued, loyal and supportive customers… "Everything for a reason, a time and a season”.

It's with a little heartache that we share our news with you today. It seems the inevitable has happened and our story at the little house on Deansgate is coming to an abrupt end. Very recently we received news that our red brick building is to be flattened to make way for a new development, something modern, something befitting of the location. We’ve never argued the fact that we are an ugly duckling architecturally. And so it’s come to light that our lease won’t be renewed, in fact we have a few short months to vacate our beloved home at 123 Deansgate. The building will be quashed and with it goes Elixir, one of the last remaining independent businesses on Deansgate. The corporate jungle is relentless and we are powerless to its brute force.

The news came as a shock to our team and with much sadness, a little panic, disbelief and confusion but quite quickly followed with a quiet understanding that everything has to end, nothing lasts forever, change is inevitable and evolution takes many forms. We shouldn’t fight it when it’s beyond our control, we will ride the wave and hope there’s something great for us on the horizon. We will, in the meantime of course, suck the marrow dry and leave no thirst unquenched.
Our vison just over two years ago was to bring something soulful to Manchester, a sanctuary away from pretence, something real. A place where cocktails were the key to unlocking a door in ourselves and our customers, all we had to do was push. Behind the door we hoped there was a room, without inhibition or exclusion, somewhere that ignited fun, imagination and conversation. What a joy it’s been for us to watch magical nights unfold, faces light up, memories made and troubles forgotten.
It has been a pleasure to be embraced by this great city, a place where an independent, owner operated, small and indistinct cocktail bar can seemingly appear so big and shine so bright, only in Manchester!
To all those customers who’ve joined us for drinks, to the people who voted us “Best Cocktail Bar” in Manchester to the unique and wonderful staff who’ve passed through our doors and shared in the magic, we thank you!
There are many practical questions that we welcome in the coming days and safe to say we’ll be having one big-ass closing party. We are open as usual, we hope to remain open up to and including the 25th June 2016 so please join us for Tonics and Treats and help send us off with a bang! Any questions relating to our closure or bookings that post date 25th June please contact elixir and we can discuss with you personally and assist where possible
At this time we don’t have any new premises to move to, we aren’t sure what the future holds. Words cannot begin to express what Elixir means to our team
We are authentic, we have heart… we hope you could taste it. Elixir.
~ April 2016 ~

The Pen & Pencil - Manchester

The Pen and Pencil has joined forces with Mad Men artist Dyna Moe to launch its new drinks menu.

Manchester folk can now enjoy a taste of the Manhattan spirit as Northern Quarter bar and eatery, The Pen and Pencil, launches its new drinks list, with cocktails served with a ‘Mad Men’ twist.

Taking its name and inspiration from the infamous mid-twentieth century New York bar which was popular with newspaper journalists and ad men (the original ‘Mad Men’), The Pen and Pencil has decided to make this legacy the focal point for its new drinks menu.  As a result, tipplers can play ‘spot the Mad Men reference’ as they pick a drink from the new cocktail list which includes a choice of ‘Benton’s Old Fashioned’ and ‘Next Stop Smalls’, amongst many more.

Mancunians will still have a cheeky reminder of where they are though, thanks to one particular cocktail: ‘A Manchester Minute’. Set to be a favourite of Northern Quarter regulars, it’s made with Del Maguey Vida mezcal, Cocchi Torino vermouth, maraschino liqueur, bubblegum syrup and orange bitters. Be warned, this one is not for the faint-hearted and has a real Mancunian kick to it.
Other favourites include the ‘Tomorrowland’, made with Aylesbury Duck Vodka, Licor 43, Mozart Gold Chocolate Liqueur and mint chocolate chip ice cream, The Long Pink Stick, with Portobello Road gin, elderflower cordial, raspberry syrup and Fentiman’s Rose Lemonade, and ‘The Fixer Upper’ made with Pistachio shell infused Aylesbury Duck vodka, Amandine liqueur, cardamom syrup and espresso
The bar invited the public to get involved in the design of the new drinks menu by launching a Twitter poll so people could vote for their favourite iconic Manchester advert to be featured in the menu. New York based artist Dyna Moe was then tasked with putting her expert, Mad Men spin on the adverts. Specialising in all things Mad Men, Dyna Moe is the the creator of the AMC’s very own Mad Men Yourself avatar app and Mad Men: The Illustrated World book, so she was the perfect person to help with the new menu look. Designs featured in the new menu include famous ads from Boddingtons, Harvey Nichols, Manchester Art Gallery and Johnnie Walker, all done in a slick 1950’s Mad Men style
Open seven days a week, The Pen & Pencil offers the perfect place for the NQ’s creative locals to chill, think, meet and enjoy great food and drink.
~ April 2016 ~

Vermilion Manchester

Vermilion is proud to announce their most exciting news since they opened their doors in 2007.

Over the last few years Vermilion has been busy creating a vast space for grand weddings and corporate events of Manchester. This new space will be located on same premises and will be able to accommodate up to 800 guests. As always with the Vermilion team, it will not be any ordinary Event Hall, this will be one of the North West's most opulent halls, with eye to detail and luxurious atmosphere. Coupled with Vermilion's renowned service, management and food, set to be one of the most exciting projects from Vermilion.

They are very excited to announce the first phase of the Hall will be complete this July and accommodate 200 guests. The second and final phase (600 guest accommodation) will be completed in December. Altogether a massive 800 people capacity.

For more information or reservations please contact 0161 202 0055.

~ April 2016 ~

The Red Door - Manchester The Red Door - Manchester
Find Out What’s Behind The Red Door In Manchester….

The team who brought legendary split-level venue JW Johnsons to Manchester have reunited to bring Red Door to the exact location on Deansgate in Manchester, underneath The Botanist.  Leisure icon Tim Bacon has joined forces once again, with Chester based entrepreneur Dave Hinds and former Living Ventures bar expert, Lee Lynch, to bring this stylish and fun bar to the heart of the city.

A return to this site will trigger a lot of reminiscing for anyone involved with JW Johnsons.  The vibrant restaurant and bar was located on the ground floor, but it was the basement club where the happiest and possibly haziest memories were formed.  It was a melting pot of people from all walks of life (TV personalities, musicians, sports stars, journalists and office-workers) who all had a common bond, a love of good music, live music, and a zest for dancing and forming lasting friendships.

Tim and Dave’s business relationship stretches back to the early 90’s when they set up JW Johnsons, followed  by Via Vita and Life Café across the UK, at which time they were joined by business partner Jeremy Roberts.  Together, the trio spearheaded a revival of the dining scene in Manchester city centre.  Those venues were sold to Whitbread in 1999 after which Dave Hinds decided to concentrate on his property interests, leaving Tim Bacon and Jeremy Roberts to establish Living Ventures.

The subterranean Red Door will undergo a major overhaul costing £350k and is set to open in June 2016.   Occupying 2800 sq ft with a capacity of 250,  it will create 20 jobs.  Opening times will be 8pm-2am 7 days a week.  Red Door, 78 Deansgate, Manchester M3 2FW.
 Managing Director, Lee Lynch, who has worked with Tim Bacon and Dave Hinds since 1998 and is a partner in Red Door said “Following the huge success of our venues in Chester and Liverpool, we are delighted to bring Red Door to Manchester, our intention is to make it one of the best bars around, with highly trained bar-tenders and live music.   It will hopefully make a significant contribution to the return of a positive and thriving bar scene at that end of Deansgate".
~ April 2016 ~

Other Manchester Bar News...
The Whiskey Jar Manchester
The Alchemist Manchester
Oddest Bar Chorlton
Tib Street Tavern Manchester
Bakerie Tasting Store Manchester

The team behind Dockyard have announced new plans for their latest site The Gasworks Brewbar which is set to open on First Street in August. The craft beer specialists will be adding 6 barrels to the bar for their very own in house micro brewery.  The micro brewery will be set up behind the bar allowing customers to witness the brewing process in full flow. The bar will also be supporting local favourite brewers with Brightside and Shindigger also available on site _ June 2016

Grafene is the latest restaurant to find a home on King Street and will be neighbour to El Gato Negro.  The new modern British fine dining restaurant set up by Paul and Kathryn Roden who are behind the Orangery at Losehill House in the Peak District will open its doors in mid July _ June 2016

Taurus bar on Canal Street which had been part of the Gay Village scene for more than two decades has closed and opened under a new guise - Bandit, Mugger & Thief.  Stripping back to its industrial roots, and still very much at the heart of the Village community,  BMT offera a drinking and dining experience, uniting the vibrancy of Manchester’s Northern Quarter with the classic charm of Canal Street _ May 2016

Australian themed bar, Walkabout, has joined forces with the Street Pastors in the Manchester City Centre to help keep Mancunians safe on the streets during busy late nights in the city. The national street safety scheme ran by the Street Pastors already patrols the hotspots of Manchester, and now The Printworks will be included within that. In return, Walkabout has offered Street Pastors a space in their venue as storage, and will be donating bottles of water every week _ May 2016

Drake & Morgan has lined up two in sites to open in Manchester which are scheduled to open over the next 12 months. As part of Drake & Morgan’s strategy to expand The Refinery brand regionally, the first will open in Spinningfields Manchester this Autumn. The second bar and restaurant will be located at One St Peter’s Square. _ May 2016

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Disclaimer: All information correct 1/05/2013. can not be held responsible for any differences experienced at the premises listed. All images and information © 2002-15 Pride Of Manchester