Common Bar, 39-47 Edge Street, Manchester, M4 1HW – Visit Now
Common have a brand new food menu. Five Pound Lunch is a new weekday offering at Common. You can choose from No Clucks Given (a crispy fried vegan seitan burger), fried chicken burger, or a kebab shop salad (freshly chopped salad with green chilli sauce, garlic mayo and a pita – add Al Pastor Jackfruit or Chicken Shawarma if you’re feeling extra).
Common is a favourite haunt of many in Manchester’s arts communities. The reason, essentially, is that everything they do is forward-thinking. From their top selection of beer to their rotating art exhibition to their array of poetry nights, musical performances and arts workshops, the bar do innovation well.
Its overhaul, a few years ago, caused controversy, but Common’s artful look gets our vote. The Northern Quarter’s favourite art bar reopened after a complete overhaul – and the initial response was one of dismay. But change is inevitable. And the all-new Common makes a quiet point. Its new spill-out-on-the-pavement design has made it roomier, lighter and just that bit more grown up.
Common’s artful look gets our vote
Fully retractable windows, a whole lot of plywood and bespoke ash tables, an open bar and bare brick walls have injected a little Scandi-style in to a bar once known for its street art-painted walls – and made the whole place feel more spacious. The decision to knock out the kitchen and toilets, sticking the latter in the basement instead, was a clever move, then. It opened up an inch or two here, a foot or two there – and with Common still heaving after work of a Friday, the forty extra covers it now has are welcome indeed.
Change may be inevitable, but sometimes change is also good.
The interior is by local furniture and interiors designer, Peter Masters – also of Oi Polloi fame – while the ceramic fittings, those pale grey lampshades, coffee tampers and bespoke beer pump handles, have been made by Joe Hartley, whose solo exhibition at the Craft Centre a few years back first showed what he was made of. His work isn’t just architecture.
As to the things that matter, the beer and the food, the signs are good. Common is now open from 10am, with an emphasis on food, and table service, that it didn’t have before. The salads, dips and small plates we tried were all solid; a couple were stand-out. Craft ales are many, but, mainly, all you need to know is that Common is bigger, brighter and, yes, a little better than it used to be. Change may be inevitable, but sometimes change is also good.
Services and FacilitiesFood and drink. exhibitions, events
Because of the ongoing Coronavirus crisis, we are unable to bring you our usual recommendations for things to do in Manchester and the North. Our thoughts at this time are with our readers and with the organisations and businesses who make the North of England a great place to live and visit. We hope you stay well and look forward to sharing more unmissable events and places with you later in the year.
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