A new Deep South-inspired dive bar is coming to Manchester’s Northern Quarter

Junior Jackson's, watch out. There's a new Mean Eyed Cat in town - and it's taking over District.

Georgina Pellant Georgina Pellant - 6th February 2023

A new Deep South-inspired dive bar is tipped to open its doors in Manchester’s Northern Quarter, bringing more late-night rock and roll antics to Oldham Street.

According to a licensing application submitted by Leeds-based bar operators The Mean Eyed Cat, the team has got its sights set on the home of former Michelin-recommended restaurant District.

The application shows that the bar is proposing to take over the basement space and ground floor at 60 Oldham Street, suggesting that District may be shutting its doors for good – although, with consultation remaining open until 23 February, nothing is confirmed as of yet.

Described as a ‘Deep South-inspired bar with an ode to the rock n’ roll legend Johnny Cash,’ the proposals state The Mean Eyed Cat will be serving ‘food and drinks including specialist cocktails’ and that the premises ‘will also comprise of a small outside area at the front.’

Cocktails being made at The Mean Eyed Cat bar in Leeds. / Image: The Mean Eyed Cat
The Mean Eyed Cat is known for giving out free pizzas with every drink. / Image: The Mean Eyed Cat

Open until 3am in the week and 4am on weekends, if successful it will offer an all-day service with hours from 11am every day, plus live music, film and entertainment.


Already a popular fixture amongst the bars on Leeds’ Call Lane stretch, its owners have been looking for a Manchester location for some months – even offering a generous finder’s fee to anyone who could help them find a new site.

Known for serving up free pizzas and offering its customers a chance to ‘roll the dice’ for free (or discounted) shots, on its website The Mean Eyed Cat describes itself as a ‘little rebellious and a lot raucous’.


Having recently revealed plans to open in Liverpool on 24 February, it now seems that the party bar is coming to Manchester city centre next.

Read more: Gary Usher’s new pub inundated with over 500 bookings in two days, despite £19.50 burger controversy

On the drinks front, customers can expect to find its signature Mean Marg cocktail (where margarita meets Corona) on offer alongside plenty more Southern-inspired cocktails to ‘fuel your mischief all night long.’


Pizzas, meanwhile, come in a host of Deep South-inspired flavours including Texas BBQ and smoky chipotle, and are included free with any drink ordered before 9pm.

The Mean Eyed Cat’s signature Mean Marg cocktail (where margarita meets Corona). / Image: The Mean Eyed Cat

The news, however, is bittersweet – as it suggests that the end is nigh for Oldham Street’s New Wave Thai restaurant-turned-cocktail bar, District.

Despite receiving rave reviews for its food, last October the Michelin-recommended restaurant closed its doors after its owner sent an email to newsletter subscribers saying the business was suffering from ‘extreme economical pain’.

Read more: ‘We are facing extreme economical pain’ – District suggests it could be closing

At the time, the news left fans of the Michelin-recommended restaurant in a panic but when District reopened as a cocktail bar everyone assumed all was well again.


Now it’s not so clear what the future holds for the brand, which has not put out a statement about closing but does appear to have deleted all of the posts from its Instagram account and wiped its website.

The Manc has contacted a representative for District regarding the Oldham Street bar and former restaurant’s potential closure.

Feature image – The Mean Eyed Cat