The Central Manchester Slow Pub Crawl - Day 24


Slow pub crawl

Day 25

A-Z of pubs


Home page



Day 24 map

Day 24 - Thursday 7th October 2004 (Map)

Pub 191 - Tmesis (Lloyd Street)

We meet at the corner of Albert Square, where we check that the Square Albert is definitely shut.  It is, a fact which is confirmed by a sign saying it has been shut from sometime in July.  However, Tmesis is now open after a couple of abortive attempts by ourselves during it's pre-17 September refurb - but it now smells like MFI as a result.  We double the number of clientele, but it's early days yet (around 6.30pm in fact, after a relatively late start precipitated by a heavy workload on the part of spaceman, who is off to Edinburgh the next day for the weekend).  It's especially early days as the live band on tonight, Blue Rhythm (a jazz duo, it says here), are not due on stage until 7.30pm.  So we'll miss them.  Ah well, maybe next time.  Barney gets in two pints of Heineken for 5.20 and we plonk our arses on a black sofa near the door (we hover with indecision for a brief moment, but figure that near the door means maximum conservation of energy).  Barney thinks that Tmesis is more spacious than expected - it's just an empty space at the moment, though.


Arty paintings adorn the walls and there's a wooden stage in the middle of the floor - presumably near where the band will play.  The menu consists of sandwiches, both hot and cold, salads and light bites, i.e. nothing substantial, but has not stopped them advertising for Christmas 2004 (as places seem to have been doing since around August), so they must be capable of more.  Barney informs spaceman that Slice Bar is now Tiger Lounge and Sofa is now Joshua Brook's (which has the same name as a place near Manchester University, we think).  Spaceman retorts with the news that Bar Med on Deansgate is undergoing a change of ownership, name, style, etc.  Three more to cover before the pub crawl finishes (which, we intend, is going to be Friday 15th October - we're going to take the day off work to make sure).  It seems like there is a "band" on every night here so, if you want live music, you know where to come.  We never seem to be around long enough for these things, though.  Our pints are finished and the MEN crossword half done, so we scarper.  As we walk up Lloyd Street, we notice that Tmesis also has an art gallery part to it.  We carry on to our next destination...


Pub 192 - Lucid (Printworks)

Spaceman gets in two pints of Carling for 5.40 from the main level bar before barney shows spaceman around downstairs.  It was free to get in this time.  On the way through the Printworks, we notice that "Scandals" is now officially named Paparazzi.  We don't think that constitutes a change, merely that they didn't really have a name the first time we visited.  Anyway, back to Lucid, which is a bit of a maze.  There a random bars everywhere, a pool lounge, free games all over the show, although the PS2 games area is currently out of bounds, it seems.  We settle for a chunky brown sofa on one of the lower levels as barney ponders aloud about food and its timing.  We, for some reason, gaze idly at women's golf on a TV set near us currently set to Sky Sports 3.  It's not massively fascinating.  At the moment, Lucid is fairly empty, although you can never truly tell, given its size.  We are actually offered food, but decline.  We want to do it on our terms (although barney would have had happily concurred with the food idea - we haven't time now).  We head back up the myriad of stairs to our next destination...


Pub 193 - Socio Rehab (Edge Street)

A little past Bluu and the possibly world-famous Hunters BBQ and Asian takeaway (which offers such Indian delicacies as onion bhajis, samosas, and quail or venison curries - hmmm).  Anyway, Socio Rehab is a bit of a blink-and-you-miss-it place.  It's not well advertised (a humble sign by the door is the only indication of its title) and sits opposite the Market restaurant, which is definitely a restaurant and is booked out by a private party tonight.  It's a definite first for both of us.  There's clearly no draught beer available, but barney goes through the rigmarole of asking nevertheless.  Sure enough, it's bottles only, so barney gets two bottles of the Australian filtered bitter Carlton Cold (although for quite some time, spaceman is genuinely under the impression the beer is named after the footballer, Carlton Cole, while barney thinks spaceman is joking).  Barney wants it to be known that Sapporo was turned down on the grounds that it probably can't be afforded (possibly without recourse to re-mortgaging property - see Obsidian).


The bottled drinks are stored in a large Smeg fridge behind the bar.  Funky music plays (funky as in having a genuinely enjoyable groove rather than tackily 70s-oriented) in the moodily lit (with candles) room we spread out on the long sofa in.  It's not a huge bar, but has a lot of personality.  It's decked out a little like the Yatra Lounge, but not quite as romantic (not that spaceman and barney, er...).  Barney points out a weird "painting" of a bear or pig in sort of 3D, or rather 3D while you're not wearing the requisite specs (i.e. blurred).  We try not to look at it too long, finish off our slightly odd tasting Aussie beers (spaceman has slipped behind - too much scribbling) and head back out into the night...


Pub 194 - Late Lounge (Oldham Street)

Another reasonably long trek between pubs and the last of the night (apart from spaceman's inevitable long walk home).  The Late Lounge was shut on a previous visit but barney had since established that it was definitely open.  Barney gets two pints of Fosters Extra Cold with 4.40 of spaceman's money as spaceman makes excuses and dashes to the toilets, which are minimalist.  We sit down on one of the many brown sofas and spaceman thinks it looks strangely like Dry Bar to spaceman in initial appearance.  It's nowhere near as big, though.  Barney got vaguely chatted up by the barman, or so barney thinks.  As we walked here, we noticed that Copacabana looked open, which prompts a big discussion betweens us as to whether we have been there before.  Spaceman has never been and is convinced it was shut on our last wandering around these parts.  Barney confirms later that the visit was on another occasion, and spaceman wasn't there.  A sign behind the bar (well, blackboard) apologises for the increased prices - ah well, it happens to the best of them.  There's a fruit machine by the bar and the place is not particularly well populated.  Uninspired, we continue with our journey...


Pub 195 - Copacabana (Dale Street/Spear Street)

This is definitely spaceman's first visit here.  Before we came here, we succumbed to the delights of Leo's fish bar, sharing as we did a jumbo sausage, chips and gravy in near world record time.  Barney gets in two pints of Cruzcampo for 5.20 and we find a large table in the corner.  The majority of tables are occupied in the sense that people have left coats on there.  The reason becomes obvious as we sit down to watch the various array of coat-owning salsa dancers.  It looks easy and definitely not energetic.  Perhaps it's a beginner class.  Barney quickly comments on the pleasingly high girl to boy ratio.  The main bar of Copacabana is situated beneath ground level.  As we came in, we noticed a sign saying "only smart trainers permitted" by the entrance.  Barney wonders how we got in wearing shoes.


As spaceman visits the toilets (again), barney notes that there is a trellis on the ceiling with fake plants wrapped around it, and a girl with a small head sat nearby.  Spaceman's attempts to find said bogs proves difficult, as spaceman first wanders onto the dance floor (luckily not getting accosted by salsa-dancing maniacs), but instead finds only two private doors.  Sensing that peeing in there might cause trouble, spaceman resorts to asking the barmaid, who tells spaceman that they are on the left.  Unfortunately, she didn't mean first left, and spaceman has to refrain from walking into the kitchen.  Eventually the toilets are found, much to spaceman's relief, albeit more or less by trial and error.  We manage not to join in with the night's entertainment and we are swiftly on our way...


Pub 196 - Mother Macs (Back Piccadilly)

On a back street behind Piccadilly, this old-fashioned pub is slightly pokey and small.  Barney dashes to the loos (which are, according to barney, a small room on the way with a Ricky Hatton poster).  "Functional and smelly" completes barney's in-depth assessment.  Spaceman gets two pints of Castlemaine XXXX for 4.20, then orders a packet of dry roasted peanuts too, a decision which is appreciated by barney.  A guy near the door speaks like Buck Rogers, says barney (i.e. like the bloke in I'm Alan Partridge who doesn't have vocal chords).  Perhaps not politically correct but true nonetheless.  Entertainment comprises a fruit machine and a TV in the corner showing CSI on channel five.  A sign above the bar says "Mother Macs formerly the Wellington Inn".  Spaceman notices weird tree things protruding from the ceiling which bizarrely hold fairy lights that aren't turned on.  Barney overheard some people being charged 2 to get in to Copacabana and we wonder if this is because it is now past 9pm.  We're the last to leave Mother Macs as the pub is shut behind us.  Something we must have said...


Pub 197 - Moon (Piccadilly Basin/Tariff Street)

This being barney's local area, spaceman is led on a confusing tour to Moon.  From a distance, it appears shut, but in fact it's quite busy as spaceman makes the obligatory toilet visit.  In the meantime, barney purchases two pints of Kronenbourg for 5.40 and we find a sofa away from the madding crowds.  We're going to struggle to do 9 places tonight, mainly because of the late start.  Barney's only significant comment is "exposed brickwork and plenty of it".  A really tall guy works here.  Barney thinks that it's quite a nice place and worth a another visit.  We are soon on our way...


Pub 198 - Cottonhouse (Ducie Street)

A slightly comedic episode ensues on the way to the Cottonhouse.  When we leave Moon, it is raining heavily so we half run, half find shelter.  It's fairly futile, though, as we're still drenched when we reach the Cottonhouse (not saturated, but certainly very moist).  The reception girl kindly takes our (sopping wet) coats and the main barman offers us a table, but takes a while bringing our drinks.  A wet (did we say it had been raining?) barney visits the toilets (which were "proper hard core red") and the two pints of Fosters do not arrive until barney has returned (brought, as they are, on a small dish).  Barney reckons the food is gorgeous but expensive here.  The drinks aren't cheap either, the two pints of Fosters setting us back 6.20.  Barney is impressed that there is somewhere so swanky on barney's street.  In fact, barney is so impressed that the swankiness is continually referred to.  Eventually we must go and, as it's past 11pm we pick up our coats from reception and call it a night...



On to day 25