Restaurants are tentatively reopening, and things are looking promising, so now it’s time to look at the best Manchester bars and pubs reopening after lockdown this July. Things won’t be exactly the same as back in February and March – there’ll be plenty of restrictions in place, such as paying by card only, table service and booking in advance, but it’s a small price to pay after months of a bar-free life.
If you’re fit and healthy there’s no harm in treating yourself to a drink or two, providing you do it safely
It’s safe to say the most pressing risks have been avoided, and provided we punters stick to the rules, play it safe and appreciate that a handful of minor changes is better than no pub at all, there’s no reason not to go out and enjoy a few drinks at your favourite bar or pub. And you can relax, knowing that track and trace measures are being used to ensure public safety is a priority.
Of course, there’s still a need to protect the most vulnerable. If this applies to you, either through age or illness, you’ll need to hang on for a while longer while scientists and politicians work on wider solutions. However, if you’re fit and healthy there’s no harm in treating yourself to a drink or two in one of Manchester’s many excellent drinking establishments. Mental health matters too, and if a pint with a friend in a peaceful public house is what it takes, so be it.
Here are some of the pubs and bar we’re delighted to see back in action
Most of all, it’s important to show our support to the hospitality industry and help the venues and staff that add so much to our lives. Here are some of the pubs and bar we’re delighted to see back in action after a sobering few months.
Here are our picks
Gullivers, 109 Oldham Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 1LW - Visit now
One of Manchester’s greatest indie pubs, Gullivers is now opening til midnight every night of the week. It’s walk-in and table service only, with reduced capacity due to the new all-seating measures, but to be honest, they could douse us in bleach before entering if they wished, we’re just delighted to see it back.
Band on the Wall, 25 Swan Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M4 5JZ - Visit now
Band On The Wall is back, offering weekend sessions with low-volume DJs, drinks and pizzas. You’ll need to purchase a ticket to attend a session, at £10 per person, but fear not, this includes two drinks tokens.
GRUB Manchester, 50 Red Bank, Cheetham Hill, Manchester, M4 4HF - Visit now
One of our favourite places to relax in Manchester, GRUB is open Thursdays to Sundays from the 10th July onwards. You’ll need to book in advance and pay a small deposit but this gets taken from your bill when it’s time to pay.
Flok, 5 Stevenson Square, Manchester, M1 1DN - Visit now
Flok is back and after public pressure, the previously traffic-heavy Stevenson Square has been transformed into a pedestrian zone. All of which makes Flok even more desirable. A cut above the typical rowdy Northern Quarter bar, Flok manages to balance a touch of class with being welcoming and friendly to all like-minded souls.
NQ64, 9 Short St, Manchester, M4 1AA - Visit now
If you’re lucky enough to have a childhood spent in dark, dingy arcades shovelling money into noisy, brightly-coloured machines then you’ll want to drag this into your adult life, any why not? NQ64, right in the heart of the Northern Quarters has the lot: video games, quality drinks and always-upbeat staff. Think you can beat me at Wonder Boy? Bring it on.
Peveril Of The Peak, 127 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5JQ
This longstanding, homely pub is open again, perfect for those lazy-day pints. It’s the place to go if you want to avoid the bustling hordes of the city’s bars, and prefer a more relaxed drink with friends.
Bunny Jackson’s Juke Joint, 1 Jack Rosenthal Street, Manchester, M15 4RA - Visit now
Bunny Jackson’s is a lot of things but it’s never boring and it’s a delight to see it back in action. Two floors of dimly-lit bar fun, including pool, video games and a stage for live music (though it’ll be a while before that’s up and running again). There’s no booking system, just turn up and hope you don’t have to wait too long to get in.
The Briton’s Protection, 50 Great Bridgewater St, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 5LE - Visit now
If you love pubs, there’s a good chance you’re more than a little fond of The Briton’s Protection. There were fears it wouldn’t be able to return due to the 2m distancing limit but thankfully they’re back in business, with a newly-opened upstairs room to accommodate everyone who fancies a relaxed drink in classic pub surroundings.
Cottonopolis, 16 Newton Street, Manchester, Greater Manchester, M1 2AE - Visit now
A long-standing favourite over at CT Towers, Cottonopolis is one of the Northern Quarter’s best-looking spaces, with drinks to match. You’ll need to book ahead on weekends, but otherwise, just walk in and enjoy. (Apart from Mondays and Tuesday, they’re closed for the time being.)