Pubs of Manchester

All pubs within the city centre and beyond.
A history of Manchester's hundreds of lost pubs.

Sunday, 24 January 2010

Branagans, Royal Exhange Arcade

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 [1].

Royal Exchange Arcade. (c) unknown at flickr.

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).


  1. for me the best pub in mcr,i spent every thurs,fri,sat,sun and monday nite in there i must of been a proper lush...the manager waff was a top bloke and grt staff as well.

  2. I used to go to Branagans for Happy Hour on a Thursday and they used to do SOul nights there. The food was also great-there was another entrance downstairs into the other arcade if I remember correctly. I wonder if it is all stiull there...well spooky! Wish somebody would reopen it!

  3. My shop was next door to the entrance in the basement and most mondays I would open up and the toilets had flooded into my shop :( but yes agree Waff was great and the rest of the staff.Jason Oranges twin brother worked there so all the Take That members and fans were always around.Good times miss them.