Pubs of Manchester

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

Wednesday, 29 February 2012

1990s Manchester pub crawl

Alan Winfield, generous contributor of a number of great of photos of estate pubs for this blog, has kindly written about his 1990s tour of Manchester pubs.  You can see the many, many pubs around Manchester and beyond he's visited (almost 3,000 and counting) at Pubs Galore.  Alan can also be contacted by email.

Denmark, Moss Lane East, Greenheys. (c) Alan Winfield with generous permission.

I started pub crawling in the early 1980s with two of my mates.  We had a knack of finding pubs and we ended up doing every pub in Nottingham plus most towns to the west of Nottingham.

When it got to the late '80s I became interested in Joseph Holt's brewey and other independent breweries.  So I wrote a letter to Holt's brewery around 1989 and they kindly sent me a list of all their tied house.  This gave me a good starting point for doing pubs in Greater Manchester.  After a while I thought I would like to do every pub in the city of Manchester so to get more information I subscribed to What's Doing (North Manchester CAMRA newsletter) which gave me a lot of pubs to do in North Manchester.  

George & Dragon, Ardwick Green South. (c) Alan Winfield with generous permission.

After a while What's Doing started doing printed A4 sheets of pubs in North Manchester and Salford.  This included all pubs not just real ale pubs, so I was pretty confident about doing all the North Manchester pubs.  However, East Manchester and South Manchester were a lot harder as I had no lists or information to work off.  So it was my usual way of finding new pubs - each pub I went in I asked if there were any other pubs nearby, and as I kept asking I gradually worked my way round Manchester.

I have numerous favourite pubs in Manchester and not surprisingly they are usually old Holt's tied houses with a few different rooms to suit all tastes.  I really liked the White Lion in Eccles which looked like a proper old pub from the outside and was just as nice inside with a few different rooms.  My favourite Manchester Holt's house is probably the Duke of Wellington in Higher Blackley.

Boatmans Home, City Road, Hulme. (c) Alan Winfield with generous permission.
My least favourite pubs are one that seem not too pub-like or seedy pubs.  The ones that spring to mind are the Parkland in Collyhurst, a very seedy place that I didn't like at all.  The other one is the Imperial in Blackley which didn't look like a pub and didn't have a proper pub atmosphere.

I also like going in estate pubs, the rougher the better!  I just like going in those sort of pubs - it gave me a bit of a buzz.  My favourite estate pubs were: 

 -  Iron Duke, Hulme - in such a dire area and looked pretty rough.
 -  Brass Handles, Salford - had a great backdrop of high rise flats.
 -  Clarendon and Queens, Collyhurst - intimidating and dilapidated.

Brass Handles, Edgehill Close, Salford (c) deltrems at flickr.

I think I missed two proper pubs: one in East Manchester, the Fox Tavern on Clayton Lane, Openshaw (even though I'm pretty sure I walked down that road!), and one in South Manchester, the Cotton Tree on Cotton Hill in Withington.  Although I do think I missed a few more in South Manchester, especially around Wythenshawe.

All my pub crawls are listed in notebooks so I still know which order I did these pubs all those years ago.  When I was on a pub crawl round Salford I had a drink in the Carlton in Lower Broughton.  When I left to go to the next pub, which was the Royal Archer, I realised I had left my pub notebook in the Carlton so I had a quick half and went back for it.  I went to where I had sat and my pub book had gone, then a big group of blokes who were sat opposite me said "is this your book?"  When I said yes, they said that couldn't believe how many pubs I had been in on my different pub crawls.  They were very impressed...
(c) Alan Winfield, reproduced here with kind permission.

Star Inn, Bentinck Street, Hulme. (c) Alan Winfield with generous permission.

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

183. Spanking Roger, Sawley Road

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Spanking Roger website.

We rather enjoyed our Saturday noon visit to the Spanking Roger on Sawley Road, Miles Platting, although we got slightly lost walking through the estate from Varley Street and had to be directed to the pub by a friendly local.  Despite walking down Hulme Hall Lane to Oldham Road numerous times post-match, we had somehow never spotted this big estate pub, probably due to it being hidden by leafy trees for most of the year.  Imagine our delight when we spied a Holt's bitter pump clip on the bar - sadly, like the Holt's Smooth, it wasn't on, so we opted for a couple of Guinnesses (surger cans) despite the friendly landlord's valiant efforts to sell us John Smith Smooth!

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Spanking Roger website.

That's enough from us, as we are delighted to feature this guest review from Alan Horrocks (@onedayinwatford) who visited the pub last month.

I love pubs, I love pubs I’ve never been in, I love a good pub name and I love pubs that when I ask questions about them, people look at me with a look of genuine horror on their faces and ask me why the hell on earth would I want to go there.  As far as pub names go, The Spanking Roger is easily up there with the best of them; in fact it’s probably the best.  The fact it’s in the middle of a huge housing estate in the middle of Miles Platting, just off Oldham Road, right on edge of the city centre, had me salivating.  A friend visited it last year but didn’t stay long, he said he felt really on edge and at one point hid in the toilet just to send me a text message.  He likes a smoke of the green stuff so I put his fear down to him having rolled himself a rather large spliff and simply having too much paranoia whirling around his unrestful mind.

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

After repeatedly putting off visiting it I decided to get my arse in gear and get down there, so one Thursday afternoon a couple of weeks ago I gave them a quick call to make sure they were open and then set off down there.  From Shudehill bus station it’s about a 15 minute walk along Oldham Road.  I arrived (via a pint in The Wheatsheaf that was closed the last time I tried to visit it) and was immediately greeted by the landlord.  A big strapping, very welcoming, 6ft black man with a big beaming smile and very firm hand shake.  It was like love at first sight.  As there was no draught lager “until the delivery man has been, in about 30 minutes” I settled on a can of lager (£2.30 but you can get 3 for a fiver). 

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

The pub is very much your standard estate pub, two large rooms separated by the decent sized bar.  Inside and out, it’s not in the best condition, but then Miles Platting is hardly Alderley Edge.  Hot food is available - via the pie heater behind the bar – but there was a sign for Afro-Caribbean food but, presumably, this is only available at weekends or on match days (the pub is about a mile from the Etihad Stadium).  There were 9 or 10 in there, mostly all of them were 70+ and looked to have been in there since opening time.  Because of the perpetual rain at the time of my visit, the gas fire was on and turned up full.  Manny, the landlord, asked me if I was the person who had telephoned earlier to see if the pub was open.  He loved the fact that I’d trudged down in the rain to visit his pub. 

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

I’m not entirely sure where the name of the pub originates but during a bit of brief research I found reference to a wealthy gentleman by the name of Roger Aytoun, who lived in Manchester in the 1700s.  Apparently nicknamed "Spanking Roger" due to his willingness to fight, he sounded quite a character (presumably Mr Aytoun also gave his name to Aytoun Street, which you travel down on the tram in between Piccadilly and Piccadilly Gardens).  Another reference I found was a horse by the name of Spanking Roger, who raced at Kersal Races, also in the latter part of the 1700s.  There was also a final reference a piece of music written by James Nuttall of Rossendale, called "Spanking Roger", but I suspect this was some form of tribute to the race horse.  The Spanking Roger is genuinely one of the best, most welcoming pubs I’ve visited in recent years.  A Manchester classic, get down there whilst it’s still open.  I can’t wait to return.

(c) Alan Horrocks (@onedayinwatford)

Spanking Roger, Sawley Road, Miles Platting. (c) Spanking Roger website.

The Spanking Roger is one of a select group of Manchester pubs immortalised in poem, although rather than romantic prose, Keith Armstrong captures the gritty realism of Manchester inner-city estates wonderfully:

This must be the lowest hour of the low.
I am wet through in the dog-end gutter of a whiplashed Manchester,
Where the rain bolts down and the darkness simply soaks you to the guts of your soul.
I am a lost boy, drenched from the black Pennines;
A stranger drinking a glass of gloom with Thatcher’s underclass.
Here, in the Spanking Roger, Miles Platting,
They are all making a racket, working the rotting system.
You can get touched up for a tanner or spanked, wanked and rogered for a bob.
It’s all in a sodden carrier bag, a greasy spoon;
All in a backstreet cruise,
A sopping blow job, 
A blob for a raindrop:
This Manchester-wet dream.

(c) Keith Armstrong [1].

Spanking Roger website: 


Monday, 27 February 2012

182. Printers Arms, Stockport Road

Printers Arms, Stockport Road, Cheadle, 2008. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

The final pub of our Cheadle crawl was something of a surprise as I have memories of a small, cosy, multi-roomed boozer, typically Robinson's.  What we find in the Printes Arms, however, is the inside ripped out, pine flooring and over obtrusive lighting installed and a newish looking pub that is out of character with the outside.  We are here though for the beer, and as per our previous findings with the other Robbies pubs, it's a decent enough pint, and a nice touch was the large bowl of free pork scratchings which were devoured (and quickly replenished) by us hungry and now slightly grizzled gents.  Final thoughts - the Printers is trying hard to be a modern pub but in doing so has lost its character and it's not the sort of place I'd visit again in a hurry.  A remark I would apply to my old home town, Cheadle, in general, if I'm honest.

Printers Arms, Stockport Road, Cheadle, 2009. (c) Gerald England at geograph under Creative Commons.

181. Queens Arms, Stockport Road

Queens Arms, Stockport Road, Cheadle. (c) Gerald England at geograph under Creative Commons.

Another Robinson's house, and another fairly nondescript pub which seems mainly frequented by local regulars.  The Queens Arms is mainly one large room with a central bar area, and it's pleasant enough but not somewhere you would spend too long in.  A decent outside area means you have a nice place to watch the world go by in summer, so maybe you might be more tempted here in the warmer months.  Other than that, I suspect it takes a fair amount of trade from the nearby offices during the day and regulars in the evening.

180. Red Lion, Stockport Road

Red Lion, Stockport Road, Cheadle. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

The Red Lion is another mainly food-orientated pub, but one which has good ale and is welcoming to the discerning drinker.  With big log fires and cosy little alcoves, this strikes you as a very much a winter session pub, but one which in reality you would probably get bored at before too long.  The beer was usual Robinson's, all of which were in good form, although we did try the mild as the bitter we were all about to have just chose that moment to run out after the first pint was poured.  As time was of the essence as we had two more pubs to visit, this seemed the best available option.

Red Lion, Stockport Road, Cheadle. (c) deltrems at flickr. 

This pub is another that has clearly set its stall out to pick up the daytime and early evening diners, and only the older more distinguished type drinker in the evening.  In the past the Red Lion has tried to attract the young boozer and disco crowd, but as is always the case with this type of customer, the novelty of the pub wears off, and they move onto pastures new.  A new target punter was clearly required and it seems to have succeeded in attracting them as it is steadily busy all week.

179. Royal Oak, Stockport Road

Royal Oak, Stockport Road, Cheadle. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

Another of the long established pubs and an ever present hostelry despite troubled times for pubs.  Again,  the Royal Oak succeeds mainly because it looks after its regulars, yet is friendly to strangers and newbies.  On our arrival, the Irish landlord was friendly and chatty and immediately made us feel welcome.  The slightly moodier United fans in black (and ironic flat caps) around the bar gave us a few looks on arrival, but ignored us after their initial scowls, despite being of the other persuasion.  The beer was Robinson's - Unicorn and their dodgy seasonal red ale - and the bitter was on form so we stopped for a couple.  A two-roomed pub, with several TVs and separate games room with pool table and dart board on one side, plus a pleasant enough smoking area, made the Royal Oak a decent enough stopping point.

Royal Oak, Stockport Road, Cheadle, 1990. (c) deltrems at flickr.

178. Ashlea / Railway, Manchester Road

Ashlea, Manchester Road, Cheadle. (c) Pub Explorer.

Formerly known as the Railway, this was a real back-in-the-day Boddies house, popular with youngsters and generally busy until its surprise closure in approximately 1993.  A few months and a refurbishment later and the Ashlea 'gastro pub' was unveiled.  Clearly somebody thought Cheadle needed a pub of this ilk, however, in reality it's little more than a Table Table type restaurant aiming at families and couples in a sterile and unspectacular environment.  Inside it has shades of Slug & Lettuce with its big sofas and bookshelves and cabinets, in fact the quiz machine and fruit machine seem somewhat out of place in the darkened interior.

Ashlea, Manchester Road, Cheadle. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

With regards to ale, we were pleased to see the above signage up on arrival, advertising Marston's single hop ales, only to be told that this was not in fact available and therefore it was back to standard fayre of Black Sheep (how else is "Galaxy" pronounced by the way, if not like the chocolate bar?).  So, the Ashlea is a pleasant enough pub if you're middle-aged or with wife and family, but for the discerning drinker or the fan of proper pubs, give me the old Railway any day of the week.  Website:

Ashlea, Manchester Road, Cheadle. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

177. Star Inn, High Street

Star Inn, High Street, Cheadle. (c) deltrems at flickr.

The Star is another long-standing pub on the Cheadle village crawl route, and one that has stood the test of time without the need for closure at all, apart from a renovation which removed most of the inside walls some time ago now. Formerly a multi-roomed maze of a pub, it is now a fairly large open room and is pleasantly welcoming.  A pool table is in evidence in the front room, and there are plenty of televisions for those wishing to keep abreast of the latest sporting scores.

Star Inn, High Street, Cheadle. (c) Star Inn.

As with the other pubs on route, real ale is of course available in the Star in the form of Hydes (or Greene King: no ta), and is seen to be drunk by most of the Saturday afternoon punters, many of whom were in for the televised racing.  Indeed for the time of day, it was surprisingly packed full of young and old drinkers, and there is clearly a loyal customer base which supports this cheerful little boozer.  Website:

Star Inn, High Street, Cheadle. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

The next pub on the Cheadle crawl is the big old George & Dragon, a pub well known for its footballer clientèle and being Cheadle's blue pub (the Royal Oak a few yards along being its overtly red boozer).  However, the George & Dragon is currently closed, though rumours are it is being done up and will reopen soon enough.

George & Dragon, High Street, Cheadle. (c) Pubs of Manchester. 

176. Crown Inn, High Street

Crown Inn, High Street, Cheadle. (c) deltrems at flickr.

The second pub of our crawl took in this charming little boozer situated just across the road from the White Hart and nestled in between the various shops and restaurants.  In fact, the Crown Inn is so well tucked into Cheadle High Street that if you blink, you'll miss it.  Indeed, one of our drinking colleagues did do this as he walked straight past without noticing it.  The pub is a large single-roomed affair with bar at the back, and a small raised area to the left where the standard DJ or kareoke set would usually be set up.

Crown Inn, High Street, Cheadle. (c) Pubs of Manchester.

A Hyde's tied pub by trade, their bitter, Best and Owd Oak Mild were on offer.  Pleasingly, and as found in quite a few Hydes pubs these days, the Crown also has a good selection of guest ales, and in fact we were greeted with one of our favourites in Marble's Manchester Bitter upon our arrival.  The Crown Inn is very much one for the older crowd, and is probably little more than a stopping off point for most crawlers, but don't miss it out though, it is a little gem, and they are usually a friendly, if sometimes a tad suspicious bunch in here.

175. White Hart, High Street

White Hart, High Street, Cheadle. (c) White Hart.

This fine old pub is situated at one end of Cheadle High Street and it's a shame to see it in its present state following its fame in the 1970s and '80s as one of the best Boddingtons houses around.  That's not to say that it is devoid of charm, as the Original Pub Company and present landlord have clearly worked hard to try and bring it back to something like its best, with a selection of three different handpumps, and a number of televisions around the place to screen live sports.  The White Hart's original demise began about the same time as Boddies' own, and the pub was sold on to the pub co. with the Boddingtons branding lost.  However, following a number of closures and re-openings, the present incumbent seems to have settled on a successful formula.

White Hart, High Street, Cheadle. (c) White Hart.

At the time of our visit, the place was awash with kids and families dining, which whilst off putting initially, is understandable in the present financial climate, where earnings are welcome from whichever source.  I can only assume that the clientele would be different at night, though cannot confirm this at the present time as our visit was about 3pm on a Saturday afternoon.  The Thwaites' Wainwright ale was the least-staid offering on the bar and was an reasonable enough start to a day of strolling between and drinking in Cheadle's remaining pubs (the grand-looking Weavers across the road, one of a few lost pubs along High Street, is boarded up today).


Sunday, 26 February 2012

Sparrow, Thornton Street North

Sparrow, Thornton Street North, Collyhurst. (c) Pugh Auctions.

The Sparrow was classic-looking Collyhurst estate pub that has sadly given up the ghost in recent years.  Situated on Thornton Street North, off Collyhurst Road which links Rochdale Road and Oldham Road, it's not far from the Spanking Roger, the fine survivor of Miles Platting.

Sparrow, Thornton Street, Collyhurst. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

Unlike many estate pubs these days, real ale was on offer in the Sparrow in happier times - Alan Winfield  photographed the Tetley's house in 1993 and reported Tetley's and Boddies on offer [1].

Sparrow, Thornton Street, Collyhurst. (c) Google 2012.  View Larger Map.

By 2008 the Sparrow was closed and up for auction, and may actually have gone now.  Google still shows the Sparrow standing; it's proud pub signs joined by the tell-tale auction notice.

Sparrow, Thornton Street North, Collyhurst. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.


Horse & Jockey, West Worsley Street

Horse & Jockey, West Worsley Street, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr.

This distinctive Threlfalls house stood on the north-east corner of Tatton Street and West Worsley Street, one of three at the junction of these streets along with the Crown and the Worsley Hotel.  The Horse & Jockey opened in 1868, described as a typical beerhouse of the time with a vault on the corner and a parlour and kitchen.  In 1915 the Horse & Jockey was almost forced to close by magistrates due to poor sales and there being 50 licensed premises within 300 yards, but a few months Threlfalls showed that sales were up to six barrels a week and it remained in business until its demolition in 1974 [1].  Tatton Street still runs for a short stretch through the north part of Ordsall today but the Horse & Jockey was much further along, towards Trafford Road, and today Lascar Avenue marks its rough location.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Two: Including Islington, Ordsall Lane and Ordsall, Oldfield Road, Regent Road and Broughton, Neil Richardson (2003).

Saturday, 25 February 2012

Derby Arms, White Street

Derby Arms, White Street, Ancoats, 1920s. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

Pictured in the 1920s, the Derby Arms was on White Street which used to run between Mitchell Street and Every Street just east of Carruthers Street.  This location is today where Hackleton Close and Badby Close meet, just off Merrill Street where the new tram line goes. It was a Walkers of Warrington beerhouse that survived until 1927 [1] - the little lad pictured leaning on the corner of the pub probably never got chance for a pint in the Derby Arms.

1. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

Pineapple, Palmerston Street

Pineapple, Palmerston Street, Ancoats, 1920s. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

The Pineapple was on the corner of Dundas Street and Palmerston Street opposite the old Ardwick Club (now Ardwick Youth & Community Centre, strangely in Ancoats, not Ardwick).  The Pineapple closed in 1977 as an Inde Coope house [1] and has been replaced by new houses.

Former location of Pineapple, Palmerston Street. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

1. The Old Pubs of Ancoats, Neil Richardson (1987).

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Bee Hive, West Worsley Street

Beehive, West Worsley Street, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [1].

The Bee Hive stood on the south-west corner of Martha Street and West Worsley Street, just off Regent Road.  It opened as a beerhouse in 1868, later belonging to Watson, Woodhead & Wagstaffe before passing to Walker & Homfray in 1912.  Apparently, the Bee Hive was forced to close in 1939 as it only sold two barrels and two dozen bottles a week, averaging only four customers a day [2].  The photo shown above is listed as 1972 so it must have reopened and before finally being lost due to compulsory purchase orders for the area's regeneration.  The approximate site of the old boozer is at the bend of Craven Avenue.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Two: Including Islington, Ordsall Lane and Ordsall, Oldfield Road, Regent Road and Broughton, Neil Richardson (2003).

Penny Black, Winterford Road

Possible location of Penny Black, , Cheetham Hill. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

This pub-shaped little car park on the corner of Levenhurst Road and Winterford Road, behind the Post Office delivery depot, may be the remains of one of Manchester's more infamous pubs, the Penny Black. The name fits the location but there are no photos of the pub standing to confirm - the building behind may also be the old boozer.  The Penny Black was part-owned by Derek Noonan of the notroious Irish-Mancunian crime family, and it made the news in February 1991 when local gang-leader 'White' Tony Johnson was executed outside the pub. Derek, and his brothers Desmond and Damian were all cleared of the murder, but it seems like the Penny Black was closed and torched soon after the murder.

Possible location of Penny Black, , Cheetham Hill. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

An Independent article from 20 years ago described the court proceedings:  "An 'execution squad' led by a man in a wheelchair shot two men after cornering them in a pub car park, a jury was told yesterday... Michael Shorrock QC, for the prosecution, said the two victims were attacked after they drove into the car park of the Penny Black pub in Cheetham, Manchester [1]."  To quote Mikey AKA Gene Hunt at flickr: "this side of Cheetham Hill is known as the Waterloo Estate, where in the 1980s and 1990s the Cheetham Hillbillies, a gang that operated in the area and specialised in blags, pushing drugs in clubs and violence ect., all originated from [2]."  


Sunday, 19 February 2012

Derby Arms, Ashton New Road

Derby Arms, Ashton New Road, Clayton. (c) Pugh Auctions.

This boozer has not been able to trade off its proximity to Manchester football stadia, past and present.  On the corner of Ashton New Road and Bank Street, the Derby Arms sits close to Eastlands / the City of Manchester Stadium / Etihad Stadium, whatever you want to call it, and even closer to where the old Bank Street stadium was.  This was, of course, home to United / Newton Heath from 1893 to 1910 before they moved out to Old Trafford, and once had a 50,000 capacity.

Derby Arms, Ashton New Road. (c) Bill Boaden at geograph under Creative Commons.

The pub was uncomfortably close to the Bradford Park police unit in the old Ciba Geigy labs, and also opposite a grim-looking bank building.  Despite working here years ago, and using the popular Holt's house, the Grove, up the road for a while, I never ventured in the Derby Arms probably due to its lack of decent ale.  Poor trade appears to have done for it though, as it's recently been converted into shops, as reported in CAMRA's Opening Times.

Derby Arms, Ashton New Road, Clayton. (c) Pugh Auctions.

Waverley Hotel, Eccles New Road

Waverley Hotel, Eccles New Road, Salford. (c) Salford Pubs of the 70s at flickr [2].

The Waverley Hotel building is still open for business on the corner of Thurlow Street and Eccles New Road, behind the monolithic flats that mark the very start of the M602.  Although unfortunately it's as a Chinese take-away rather than a public house these days.

New China Sea, former Waverley Hotel. (c) Google 2012. View Larger Map.

The Waverley Hotel opened in 1875 under Thomas Shepherd and advertised Threlfall's celebrated ales, Bass & Allsopp bitter, and Truman, Hanbury & Buxton stout, plus 'every accommodation for travellers and cyclists' [2].

Waverley Hotel, Eccles New Road, Salford, 1996. (c) Neil Richardson [1].

Threlfall's had the pub in the first half the twentieth century and it then passed to Whitbread in the 1960s.  The Waverley Hotel closed in 1995 and is pictured a year later, sadly boarded up, in Neil Richardson's fine book (Part Three) [2].

New China Sea, former Waverley Hotel, Eccles New Road, Salford. (c) Whose View.

2. Salford Pubs - Part Three: Including Cross Lane, Broad Street, Hanky Park, the Height, Brindleheath, Charlestown and Weaste, Neil Richardson (2003).

Friday, 17 February 2012

174. Bakerie, Lever Street

Bakerie, Lever Street. (c) Bakerie Facebook.

We weren't sure whether Bakerie was for us when half a dozen of us stuck our heads in during its opening week last year.  "Definitely a restaurant", "a bit posh" and "not for us" was the consensus then, but we were wrong.  Following the successful format that Soup Kitchen has established, Bakerie combines good food with fine wines and decent ale.  It's a step up in class from the quirky canteen-feel of the Soup Kitchen, and is a place you could happily bring your other half for fine dining, but we were here for the beer.

Bakerie, Lever Street. (c) Paul Coleman at Spotted by Locals [1].

Two handpumps offering a currently safe selection of bitter, but a few gems in the fridge (Young's Chocolate Stout), meant we stayed for a couple over pleasantries with the owner and the lovely barmaid.  As its name suggests, freshly-baked goods are on offer and no doubt we'll be back to give these a try.  It's tucked away down Lever Street, just off Stevenson Square, opposite the old Royal George, but it's definitely worth seeking out Bakerie, a great addition to this end of the Northern Quarter.

Bakerie, Lever Street (looking at former Royal George). (c) Pubs of Manchester.