The Dressing Room Cafe Bar, The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, Manchester Rd, Manchester, M21 9JG – Visit Now
Chorlton is one of Manchester’s most appealing areas, with a cheerful, laid-back charm you’ll be hard-pressed to find anywhere else. The Dressing Room Cafe Bar is at the heart of it all, in both spirit and location.
It’s part of The Edge Theatre & Arts Centre, which provides various vital services for the people of South Manchester, from hosting forward-thinking plays to clubnights geared towards those of a particular vintage. Like all theatres, The Edge was hit hard by lockdown measures, so it’s heartening to see it bounce back with some of its most powerful and engaging events yet.
This is the kind of venue that defines the soul of a neighbourhood
The Dressing Room didn’t waste those downtime months, instead redecorating the space to give it an all-new look, transforming it into an even more relaxing space to kick back with friends or spend a leisurely afternoon with a book.
It’s open from morning to evening, with the lunchtime menu (available 12pm until 3pm) offering some of Chorlton’s heartiest vegan and vegetarian meals, all made with fresh ingredients and more than a little culinary inspiration. There’s even a small, but perfectly formed kids meals section, as well as a wide range of hot and cold drinks and cakes available from 9am, making it the perfect meeting spot whatever the time of day.
The Dressing Room was chosen as the Observer Food Monthly’s local food hero
Looking to unwind after work? The Dressing Room is just as much fun in the evening, thanks to its carefully-designed small plates and a well-stocked bar – feel free to ask the wonderfully friendly staff for wine pairings or take a bottle through to watch one of the many high-quality shows in the main theatre space.
But this delightful space also supports the people of Manchester in even more valuable ways. As well as being one of South Manchester’s best spots for a drink and bite to eat, it also acts as a training centre for adults with learning disabilities. The impact on the local community has been enormous, boosting the confidence, social skills and overall quality of life of the people who need it most.
This good work hasn’t gone unnoticed. In 2018, The Dressing Room was chosen as the Observer Food Monthly’s local food hero, giving equal praise to both the socially beneficial services it delivers and the sky-high quality of the food and drink on offer.
The Dressing Room isn’t just a cute little cafe and bar – though it certainly ticks that box – this is the kind of venue that defines the soul of a neighbourhood. Throw a raved-about environmentally-conscious food menu and a great drinks selection into the mix, and you’ve got your new favourite place to hang out in Chorlton.