Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 8 February 2010

020. City Road Inn, Albion Street

City Road Inn, Albion Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

Maybe it's just us, or maybe the state we arrived in, but following a quick couple in the Britons Protection, it's round the corner to the City Road Inn. Another pub that has been here for donkeys, with a strange but loyal clientele. Quite busy as we arrived, I popped in, established there was no real ale, then stood waiting for two Guinnesses, but alas to no avail. Despite the bar not appearing that busy, there was no sign of any service, so reluctantly left after about five minutes. Like the Peveril, we will try again at a later time!

The pub itself looks grand, seen here in the '60s, but is just one big room and one pool room. It's usually quite quiet, although is clearly benefitting from the popularity of the Deansgate Locks complex opposite. Traditionally a haunt for football fan on a Saturday (it's not that far from Old Trafford), the rest of the times it seems to be a mixed crowd. In the '80s through to the mid-'90s it was often the venue for a few pre-gig pints before clubbers would head over the road to the famous Hacienda. Could do with some real beer, maybe it was just off when we were there, but couldn't see a pump. The brilliant photo below shows the pub in the shadow of the Hilton Tower (the 23rd floor of which contains an exclusive bar which we might well include if only for the excellent views of town that it will offer).

City Road Inn, Albion Street. (c) markydeedrop at skyscrapercity.

Edit: We finally managed to revisit the other night and were this time met with a welcoming barmaid, though the pub itself was virtually empty. There was only the one real ale on (Black Sheep), however there was also Cumberland Ale at other times but was currently off. Worth a visit to this little pub (its outward size which belies its cozy interior), which, I suspect, could do much better with its fantastic location near to some much more popular pubs - Britons Protection, Knott, Deansgate, Cask - and not so great bars - Atlas and all of Deansgate Locks.
A bit of history: the City Road Inn is listed in the Slater's Directory of the mid 1800s, with James Hadfield running the pub.  Interestingly, this extract from the directory is on the reverse of the 1849 map and that map shows the Hawthorn Tavern still standing at this very corner on what used to be Smith Street [1].  The City Road Inn must have been built not long after that.

1. Manchester (Oxford Street & Gaythorn) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2010).

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