The Corner Boy, 21 Hilton St, Manchester, M1 1JJ – Visit Now
The Corner Boy is a fine example of the best kind of Northern Quarter bar. Newly reopened after the easing of lockdown measures, there’s a real buzz in the air with welcoming staff and a friendly atmosphere running throughout the venue. As you’d expect, it’s an all-seated affair, with table service but it doesn’t detract from the experience in the slightest, and while in the pre-COVID days the venue was rammed to the rafters, now there’s plenty of room to sit back and relax while enjoying a drink.
The Corner Boy settles into that sweet spot between bar and pub
It’s billed as an Irish bar, but it has the feel of that certain kind of Northern Quarter bar – low lighting and traditional decor with tasteful signage and mahogany wood panelling, but with a certain something that elevates it above the typical pub. The soundtrack helps, with a smart mix of classic and modern music, taking in the best upbeat guitar music of the past few decades, including The Cure and New Order. It’s very Manchester in spirit, without being shouty about it.
Stevenson Square is right on its doorstep, meaning you can take advantage of the huge open-air drinking space outside, weather-permitting. This became pedestrianised in early July, meaning what was once a fairly unpleasant district to navigate is now relaxed, and calm, with the city’s boy racers thankfully left out in the cold. If you’re looking for an afternoon pint in the sun, whenever ‘summer’ decides to kick in, there aren’t many better areas than this.
You can take advantage of the huge open-air drinking space outside, weather-permitting
The Corner Boy settles into that sweet spot between bar and pub, not too shiny and polished but certainly not spit and sawdust either. As ever, it’s the people who work there who make it, and when even the doorman makes you feel welcome and valued, it’s the sign of a well-run bar that more than deserves your boozey pounds. A gem, no two ways about it.