Black Dog Ballroom, Oldham Street. (c) www.blackdogballroom.co.uk
Although an Oldham Street address, this basement bar, formerly Isobar, Club North, Hole In The Wall, Stairwells and the Spread Eagle, is accessed on the corner of Tib Street and Church Street, beneath Afflecks Palace. As with so many Northern Quarter bars, Black Dog Ballroom is a classy looking place and always busy but fails badly when it comes to pricing and offering much resembling decent beer. Their range of ale consisted of two 350 ml bottles of Sierra Nevada Pale Ale which at £4 each caused us to almost fall off our fancy seats, and indeed places Black Dog Ballroom at No.1 in the most expensive bar in Manchester competition, outdoing Trof. To be fair, this was ale all the way from America rather than Trof's which was from Accrington!
Black Dog Ballroom, blank hand pump. (c) Pubs of Manchester.
Even more disappointing was the blank hand pump which shows that at least they could offer real ale but choose not to. The Guinness, which some of us went for, was served in dimpled pints pots, which although hardly traditional, was a welcoming surprise. The main attractions of this speak-easy style bar are the 4am licence and four American pool tables, which are priced reasonably at £5 per hour. So, a trendy and rather exclusive addition to the Northern Quarter but don't expect much in the way of ale.