Peste

Ian Jones, Food and Drink Editor
Manchester Wire

It won’t be for everyone but Manchester needs a nightspot like Peste. Or to give it its full title, O! Peste Destroyed, for all you absurdist fans. It’s run by the people behind revered out-of-town clubbing-venue-slash-art-space The White Hotel, which tells you everything you need to know. Piccadilly 21s 2.0 it ain’t. 

It’s a bar and bookshop cut from the same cloth as all those post-war Parisian jazz haunts beloved by the big-name existentialists of yesteryear. Can’t stand Sartre? Think Kierkegaard played for City in the 70s? Peste probably isn’t for you. 

The vibe might be louche and avant-garde but fear not, the soundtrack (on a weekend evening, at least) isn’t all Einstürzende Neubauten and Sunn O))). Expect a pared-back version of the latest alt.club sounds, for which, read: wacked-out electronica, played loud. 

Lookswise, it’s something else entirely. Behind those steamed-up windows, you’ll find a very old-fashioned feel, all towering bookshelves, dark mahogany fixtures and stark underground hideouts. Think Auntie Nora’s bungalow styled by Fritz Lang.  

And don’t expect a pina colada. The drinks are decidedly grown-up and serious – how could they not be? There’s a small but fine selection of beers and a good number of wines, but for the full Peste experience, bag a cocktail. A very dry, bitter cocktail, made with high-grade spirits that taste like fire. 

Sometimes, the aesthetic misfires. The Camus books proudly displayed on the bar remind me of my insufferable teenage self (sorry mum, sorry dad), but let’s be kind and assume Inception-style layers of irony, which, in truth, it probably is. 

You won’t see Peste spamming your socials with ads and grimy engagement-farming tricks. If you’re the kind of person who’d like it, you’ll probably know about it already – and that’s exactly how it should be. It’s a word-of-mouth venue in all the right ways, and a fine home for all Manchester’s misfits and budding creatives. Plus, it somehow, admirably, seems to have avoided the curse of the trend-seeking rich kids. 

It’s currently in season two (aka its second year of opening) and here’s to many more. It might not be possible to stop the billionaire property developers carving up the city, but the fact that places like Peste can exist and thrive is a very good thing. 

My favourite Camus quote? I thought you’d never ask. Also from The Plague: “The dog did a somersault like a tossed pancake.”

70 Oldham RoadManchesterM4 5EB View map
Visit Now

Opening Hours

  • Wednesday12:00pm - 8:00pm
  • Thursday12:00pm - 10:00pm
  • Friday12:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Saturday12:00pm - 11:00pm
  • Sunday12:00pm - 8:00pm

Always double check opening hours with the venue before making a special visit.

What's on near Peste

MusicManchester
Un-Convention Manchester 2024

Un-Convention is the ultimate independent music industry conference and showcase taking place at Band on the Wall in Manchester this November.

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Open Deck at Band on the Wall

Bring your records for a spin at our Open Deck session this Saturday! If you’ve bought some new vinyl from a local record shop this week, just show your receipt at the bar to get yourself a free 9” pizza!

ActivityManchester
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Experience the electric combo of hip thrusting bellydance and gut busting riffs in Bellyrock at Band on the Wall.

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Beyond the Music 2024

Hear directly from the people powering the music industry in both Manchester and the UK, as well as witnessing some of the North’s upcoming talent at Beyond the Music.

from £16.75

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