Pubs of Manchester

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

Tuesday, 29 March 2011

147. Alibi / Varsity / Barracuda / Springbok - Oxford Street

Alibi, Oxford Street. (c) partyatthepub.

A bar that has been many guises over the years, all to varying levels of success.  It would appear that it becomes the current bar of choice for about six months before lapsing back into a nearly-bar again, picking up the occasional lost stag or hen party, possibly coming in off the train at Oxford Road station.  At times, especially at Christmas it's busy, but its location doesn't really bode well for it to ever be part of the In-Crowd's tour of bars and pubs and as such presumably this is why it trys reinventing itself every couple of years.  Sat next to Paramount Wetherspoons at the top of Oxford Street near the site of the old Banshee, it will never compete on price, but maybe it's more attractive to the female of the species if that's the way you are walking into town.

Alibi, Oxford Street. (c) partyatthepub.

The bar itself has changed little in its many different names, although as Alibi they have now disposed of the booths and it is far lighter and more welcoming than it was.  I recall being turned away from Varsity once because we were too wet... having just been caught in a torrential downpour.  Also remember turning away in disgust at the beer on offer - draught lager and cider only.  However, much to our amazement, Alibi has now started selling real ales, which was a pleasant surprise and shows that even the ponciest (and previously, poorest) of bars are now stocking it as clearly something the public wants.  Though served far too cold (beggars can't be choosers), maybe just maybe, a corner has been turned here and we will continue to see this progression to real ale in more and more bars in the city centre now.

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