Branagans, Royal Exchange Arcade. (c) Neil T at flickr.
Not to be confused with the chain disco pub on Peter Street, Branagans in its time was one of the most popular cellar bars in Manchester. A small entrance in the walk through at the Royal Exchange led to stairs which took you down into a large pub space below. The most imposing feature of the pub was its huge, long bar, which meant you could always stand at it whilst trying to get served, although at busy times, it also meant you could easily get overlooked.
Former Branagans, Royal Exchange Arcade, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.
This pub was mainly popular with the younger crowd, and also football fans early on a Saturday night. Later on the back room would also open where a disco was on every Friday and Saturday night and attracted plenty of the females of the species. In the late 1980s Branagans was something of a real ale place, with Tetley, Theaskstons Best, Old Peculiar, Websters Bitter and Choice, and Wilsons .
Branagans shut down in the 1990s and there is now little evidence that it ever existed (would have been just on the right as you entered from Corporation Street). However, I would expect that most of the fixtures and fittings will still be intact down there for when someone wishes to give it a go again.
1. Ale of Two Cities, CAMRA (1989).