Pubs of Manchester

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

Wednesday, 17 February 2010

Gaumont Long Bar / Trafford Bar / New Concert Inn, Oxford Street

Gaumont Long Bar, Oxford Street. (c) Christopher Porter at www.in70mm.com.

The Manchester Hippodrome on Oxford Street was built in 1904, designed by Frank Matcham who also design the Buxton Opera House and the nearby Ardwick Empire.  However, it didn't last long was was pulled down in 1935 to make way for the Gaumont Theatre (resulting in the Ardwick Empire being refurbished and renamed the Manchester Hippodrome itself) [1].

Manchester Hippodrome. (c) Manchesterhistory.net.

Situated in the basement of the magnificent Gaumont Cinema, the Gaumont Long Bar in the basement was said to have the biggest bar in the world at the time.  It was popular with American Servicemen who frequented town in the early '60s during the Cold War, being based at nearby Burtonwood Airbase, then Europe's largest airfield.  The presence of these servicemen is acknowledged as being partly responsible for the rise in popularity of black American music in the North West.


Gaumont Cinema, Oxford Street. (c) Christopher Porter at www.in70mm.com.

Inside the Gaumont Long Bar was a set of double doors that led to another bar, the Trafford Bar.  This gay and drag queen's bar was a world away from the the Long Bar and its cinema-going clientele - patrons of the Trafford Bar used a separate entrance rather then walk through the Long Bar [2].  The venue went on to house Romanoff's nightclub briefly, and for years was Rotters, as shown below from the '80s.

Gaumont / Rotters, Oxford Street. (c) Ian Grundy / stagedoor at flickr.

A similar shot shows that the Long Bar did indeed become another pub for a time.  Whilst it's tough to make out the sign, a reader has kindly confirmed its was called the Place Next Door for a time in the '80s.

Former Gaumont Long Bar, Oxford Street. (c) woody1969 at flickr.

The building was eventually demolished and has been replaced with this multi-storey car park and Tai Wu Cantonese restaurant.  Perhaps the tram expansion to the leafy suburbs of south Manchester and the slighly less-leafier north will eventually reduce the number of car parks that blight our city centre.

NCP car park, Oxford Street. (c) Google 2010. View Larger Map.

Way before any of the above, there did exist an older pub on this corner, the New Concert Inn.  The 1849 map shows the pub, run by Thomas Lee, as having its main door on Great Bridgewater Street, this before even the public toilets that eventually became the Temple were built [3].

1. http://manchesterhistory.net/manchester/goneforever.html.
2.
www.manchesterconfidential.co.uk/Out-in-the-past-part-two_1907.asp,
3. Manchester (Oxford Street & Gaythorn) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2010).

2 comments:

  1. It was called The Place Next Door in the late eighties. I only ever went there once and I'm really not sure why...

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  2. I ran the long bar in the 80's and had happy and sad memories of the two bars. Mostly happy, l met my first true love there his name was Peter and he came from Bolton. I enjoyed dinner with his family. My email address is stageplay01@gmail if Peter wants into touch. Mind you l would not blame if he did'nt. Mike

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