Pubs of Manchester

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

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Café Royal, Peter Street

Cafe Royal, Peter Street. (c) Manchester Local Image Collection. Click here to view full image.

Café Royal was another early gay bar, though whether it was so back in the 1930s, is doubtful.  The ugly facade, unusual for pre-war times, was still evident in the '70s.  It is described in the '50s in Tony Warren's Behind Closed Doors [1], "cigarette smoke and chatter and music were drifting up... it was a long narrow room with a curving thirties counter undulating down the left-hand side.  The pianist was tucked away in the corner; he had several glasses of gin, each one accompanied by a little bottle of tonic, lined up on the top of the grand piano.  Behind the pianist, opposite the counter, was a wall full of alcoves.  The alcoves were full of fairly posh-looking couples - men and women. Another quick glance round the whole cocktail bar and the ground rules were straight.  They were a bit like life itself: queer people were standing warily on their feet while normal ones were sitting down [2]."  It was situated at the Central Library end of Peter Street, the building housing a Subway having replaced it some decades ago.


Former location of Cafe Royal, Peter Street. (c) Google 2010. View Larger Map.

1. Behind Closed Doors, Tony Warren (1996).
2. www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk.

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