Pubs of Manchester

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

Monday, 27 January 2014

Maxwells / Maxwells Piano Bar, Deansgate

Maxwells Piano Bar (left), Deansgate, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr [1].

The former Maxwells or Maxwells Piano Bar on Deansgate is better known these days the Fantasy Bar, one of Manchester's oldest gentleman's bars (i.e. strip clubs).  I ended up in here one hazy night in the mid-1990s but recall little of it, or its predecessor.  Maxwells opened in former gas board offices, buildings which can be dated back to 1885.  Paul Dean, who provided the advert below, remembers Maxwells being small and full of mirrors, giving the impression that bar was bigger than in reality.

Maxwells Piano Bar, Deansgate. (c) Paul Dean with permission.

Maxwells was one of the first Manchester nightclubs of the 1980s era, described as a 'boisterous carnival of entertainment, music and liquor', starting a 'new tradition for underground revelry and show-stopping entertainment on Deansgate' [2].  Shown here as Maxwells Piano Bar, it's next door to Sawyers Arms, Manchester's joint oldest pub.  The Fantasy Bar claims to have opened in about 1987 although the top image here is from 1990, and Maxwells' owner was listed as bankrupt in 1991 [3].

Fantasy Bar, former Maxwells, Deansgate. (c) robert wade at flickr under Creative Commons.

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