Opened in 1965 as part of the hideous Piccadilly Plaza complex, opposite the Boardroom pub, the Portland Bars was an Ind Coope house as pictured above in the 1970s. It played host to some local bands, and judging from the below 1980 photo, the decor was horrific. Paul Ryder, guitarist with the Happy Mondays, claims "In 1979-1980 Portland Bars was the Boardwalk of the day, with all kinds of unknown bands"  (the Boardwalk was a famous an indie venue on Little Peter Street).
Portland Bars, Portland Street, 1980. (c) Big Block 454 at Manchester District Music Archive.
I'm pretty sure we did venture in the Portland Bars few times as under-age drinkers - and it did do a good pint of cask ale by all accounts, even towards the end. In seen here in on the corner of York Street in 1970, five years after opening, it was an Ind Coope house. The 1849 map shows that before the Plaza was built, this stretch of Portland Street was just a row of terraced premises, with the one on the corner of Portland Street and York Street one being the Mosley Arms .
Former location of Portland Bars, Portland Street. (c) Google 2013. View Larger Map.
1. The North Will Rise Again: Manchester Music City 1976-1996. John Robb (2009).
2. Manchester (Piccadilly) 1849, Alan Godfrey Maps (2009).