Pubs of Manchester

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

Thursday, 1 April 2010

Bodega / Top of the Town, Cross Street


Bodega, Cross Street. (c) Manchester Beat.

The Bodega was a basement club opposite the Royal Exchange with an upstairs bar, the Red Barn. It had its heyday as a jazz and beat club in the late 1950s and '60s, but by the '70s was a clothes shop, according to Beryl Coyne on Manchester Beat [1], a great site celebrating the '60s Manchester music scene. As the jazz club initially it is remembered by Rod Smith: "You went down some stairs and you were in the world of 1950s trad jazz - Dixieland some called it. It was a large room full of tables and chairs, with the proverbial bar of course. On Saturday nights the Bodega was so full of smoke the place looks liked a typical Manchester smog [2]". George Roberts remembers selling Long Life tinned beer in the Bodega for his brother Don who managed the place in the '60s. Later in the decade it became the Top of the Town, where the fellas would wear brown or green mohair suits, or Sherman shirts with Slazenger V-necks; the girls also in mohair with short feathered hear like Julie Driscoll, according to Warren Taylor. He also mentions the Red Barn upstairs with its long room and bar at the far end. It later became Sounds, and maybe even Granby Bar. The description of its location suggests it may have been here, opposite the Royal Exchange:

Possible location of Bodega, Cross Street. (c) googlemaps.

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