RAISE A GLASS: ARCANE
Away from the crowds and the breakneck pace of the city streets above, Manchester’s Arcane offers much-welcomed respite and breathing space to the weary shopper, day tripper and the working professional, all looking for a haven to shelter from the madness outside.
Found within the basement of one of the city centre’s most striking buildings, the Grade II listed Queen’s Chambers, situated just a short walk from Salford Central Railway Station on the John Dalton Street and Deansgate junction, this modest lower-ground floor cocktail bar and hangout has a special atmosphere and aura all of its own.
Opened just six years ago by close friends and owners, Mark Taylor and Gary Kilroy, its once dilapidated interior has been carefully stripped back and lovingly restored, exposing its original Victorian features so that they may be enjoyed by all who walk through its doors. Improved only by its complementary furnishings and its harmonious choice of moody light fittings, the bar possesses a rich and relaxed vibe without the showy pretentiousness you might find in other ill-considered drinking spots dotted around Manchester.
If you’re lucky enough to find an empty table or chair upon making a visit to what is probably one of the more popular venues in the Deansgate area, its menu of superb cocktails should be the next thing to surprise you pleasantly. Self-proclaimed connoisseurs of the centuries-old tradition of cocktail making, Taylor and Kilroy have put great thought into producing a list of innovative beverages with the aim of delighting all the elements which form our taste perception - from sweet and salty to sour and bitter.
The bar’s signature cocktails include an unusual, yet interesting blend of ingredients. Take the ‘Coffee & Pineapple’, for example, which includes a mix of Plantation Pineapple Rum, Benedictine, Cynar, Coffee, Apricot, Pineapple and Lime, or the ‘Pickled Onion & Bitter Orange’, packed with Sipsmith London Dry Gin, Mancino Rosso Vermouth, Campari and, of course, Pickled Onion. Should you have any questions about the signature cocktail menu, the friendly and knowledgeable team of mixologists working on the other side of the bar are always happy to help.
For those feeling a little less adventurous, there’s also a healthy list of Classic Cocktails, Negroni’s, wines and sparkling wines, and a select few offerings of beers and ciders to choose from. One of them, you guessed it, being our very own Manchester Union Lager. And when all those luxurious and intoxicating drinks begin to take their toll, which they inevitably will, you’ll also be pleased to discover a limited snacks menu to keep the inebriation at bay.
A perfect stop-off no matter the occasion, Arcane will quickly become one of your favourite places to grab a cocktail and relax whenever you’re in the city.
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