Pubs of Manchester

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

Wednesday 12 January 2011

Brannigans, Peter Street

Brannigans, Peter Street, 2006. (c) Faye Greenway at flickr.

News has just reached us that the venue known as Brannigans on Peter Street has closed as their parent company, Cougar Leisure Ltd., has gone into receivership [1].  Not to be confused with our other entry for the far superior lost venue Branagans in the Royal Exchange Arcade, this place will be lost to no-one except the scallies and chavs that blight our city's low-quality drinking areas.  Brannigans opened in the 1990s and at the time was part of the whole Peter Street revolution as the area sought to establish itself as the place to eat drink and be seen within the city centre.  Sadly for them (and their many chain-bar neighbours), it didn't really ever quite pan out this way, as first Castlefield and Deansgate Locks fought back,  Deansgate itself improved and finally the Northern Quarter really established itself as the place for the affluent 20- and 30-somethings looking for a night out.

Brannigans, inside. (c) manchestervipcard.

Whilst a bar during the day, it was more of a club type place at night, frequented generally by out-of-towners, confused foreign visitors and stag and hen nights.  Loud music, over-priced fizz, no real ale, and fights over scantily clad, rough women was the normal course of any night.  A large dancefloor in the middle and numerous poorly stocked bars surrounding it was the order of the day.  The closure of boring and badly-thought out chain bars like this are no loss to anyone if I'm honest, and it joins the growing list of rubbish chain bars that have failed along the cursed Peter Street-Quay Street length - Chicago Café, Squares, Teasers, Sports Bar, etc.  No doubt it'll end up as a Wetherspoons or something similar at some point when the recession stops biting.

Brannigans, Peter Street. (c) paranormaldatabase.

In its dying days Brannigans featured on low-brow TV's "Most Haunted" with her off Blue Peter and the former Liverpool footballer and all-round barmpot, Derek Acora.  They claimed that there is a restless spirit in the place that meddles behind the bar and tries to push staff down the stairs - are they sure that wasn't just just pissed up Irishman over for their once-a-year pilgrimage to Old Trafford?

Albert Hall, Peter Street. (c) Tony at MDMA.

There is some history about the place though; the Albert Hall in which the bar sits was built in 1910, ironically by the Manchester and Salford Wesleyan Mission, a temperance movement, and above Brannigans today is the huge space that was used as a Methodist church, as seen in this 1960s photo.  This one from 1960 shows the Albert Hall sign and the car showroom that used to be on the ground floor.

Albert Hall, Peter Street. (c) Faye Greenway at flickr.



  1. My favourite review of it:
    "Like the smell of urine? Enjoy the company of early morning drinkers? Like the sweet sting of a slapped arse or broken nose? Brannigan's is the place for you."

  2. Think I successfully avoided this one over the years. That's not to say I escaped Brannigans... sad to say we were semi-regulars in the Leeds branch in the mid-'90s, for shame

  3. Bloody hell glad you don't do a review of pubs and bars in Manchester as a job. Brannigans was the only place in the 90's I didn't see a fight break out. Oviously the person who put the place that "out of towners frequented was from Liverpool! As for the ghosts in the top floor👻

  4. Plenty of Ghosts in that place

  5. What a load of shit-I used to go here every week and it was ok. I never saw any fights, and there were MUCH worse bars than this like Idols....