Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 29 March 2010

046. Bridge / Bridge Street Tavern / Goblets / Pack Horse, Bridge Street

Bridge, Bridge Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

The Bridge is a small pub set 100 yards down Bridge Street in a block of other shops.  Originally a bit of a rough and ready style pub, the Bridge has reinvented itself as a gastro-ish type (via the tenure of Robert Owen-Brown who left here for the Angel/Beerhouse and now is in the Mark Addy).  It has a terrible "B Lounge" tag like its sister pub, the Brunswick on Piccadilly.  I suppose with the area in which it's situated, it's trying to grab a slice of the Spinningfields action, but you get the feeling that it is neither a traditional pub nor a posh yuppie bar and has fallen somewhere in between.  On the plus side however, it does have good beer on, albeit not cheap.  But you don't mind paying extra for a well-kept pint, and this place certainly does it - there were three choices on during our last visit, and the food menu looks varied enough.  The premises is one main room, divided into various alcoves, with a small beer garden yard to the back and a function room upstairs.

Bridge, Bridge Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

The back of the Bridge actually backs on the original Salford and Manchester Street Childrens Mission (Founded by Alfred Alsop in 1869) as can be seen in the photo, the offices of which are still there to this day.  This noble charity, known as the Wood Street Mission, was originally sited in the myriad of streets in the area that Central Station / GMEX / Manchester Central now covers.  In 1873 it moved to Wood Street which runs parallel to Bridge Street, and even today this organisation provides Manchester's underprivileged kids with clothing, food, toys and Christmas presents.  The Bridge Street Tavern, as it was previously known until quite recently, was originally the Pack Horse, licensed in 1808, with its name coming from the pack horse drivers from the nearby tannery that supped in here [1].

Bridge, Bridge Street, 2010. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

In the 1970s and '80s this place was known as Goblets Wine Bar, a late addition to the 1975 Manchester Pub Guide in place of the closed Pack Horse .  Goblets is described as thus:  "The long thin interior has been equipped with dark wood panelling, cane hatstands and chairs.  Wine-quaffing literati may appreciate the provision of bookshelves with real books.  The clientèle sip their wine by candle-light and apparently have a good time.  A restaurant in the back of the pub offers specialties such as jugged hare, when in season, together with the more usual steak and scampi.  It seems to be enthusiastically supported and run establishment, though obviously not to every pub buff's taste (for one thing they don't sell beer)."

2. The Manchester Pub Guide, Manchester & Salford City Centres (1975).


  1. Was this the Bridge Street Tavern then?

  2. It was indeed, one of its many name changes