Pubs of Manchester

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

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Blackbird Café, Tib Street

The Blackbird Café is shown here in May 1959 on the east side of Tib Street off Market Street.  Its name doesn't suggest a public house but 'codger' at the Man Mates forum (a forum for Mancunians who remember Manchester in the 1950s, '60s and '70s) recalls the Blackbird Café at the back of Litttlewoods for a crafty drink on a Sunday afternoon.



  1. The Blackbird cafe was a huge basement canteen style cafe serving pies peas veg gravy etc and proper cups of tea .A bit like a military canteen. You had a job hearing over the sheer rattling of plates and cutlery.All the women staff wore cream coloured "pinnies" like a scene from a fifties b movie in black and white.I dont recall the front entrance but you entered the cafe down some very steep stairs down the side st near the back of c and a.

  2. I well remember the Blackbird as my aunty, May Wright was the manager there. Her sister Lily also worked in the kitchens. George Dennis was the owner and May later married him. In the late 60s I worked there as a Saturday job although not very often as I wasn't allowed to do the jobs I liked ie. making milk shakes or using the till! Also think I was only tolerated there because I was family.I preferred to work at Littlewoods. There was an upstairs flat there which was very posh where George lived mostly. I never saw any alcohol myself but it does not surprise me if there was drinking as said, Other than that it is well described and was always very busy. We still have parts of one of the formica topped cafe tables from down there which we used as a kitchen table for years. George and May also took on the Cafe Royal Restaurant which was opposite the Free Trade Hall. I think I only went there once on their opening night. Not sure if that venture lasted very long. I do have one of the original ashtrays from there though which is a lovely thick red glass with bubbles in. Think they were such nice objects that they were always being pinches.

  3. A great accurate description....Opposite C and A