One of Manchester’s best breweries has quietly opened a stunning pub in the heart of the city centre
Northwestward Ho is open now.
It’s not very often these days that a place opens in Manchester with very little fanfare (you’ll usually find a dozen influencers at the opening of a new ATM).
It’s even rarer to find somewhere that has opened very quietly, and ended up properly busy – yep, even on a Monday afternoon.
That such place is North Westward Ho, and it’s a testament to the brewery behind it that it’s already drawing in a crowd with barely a single social media post or press release in sight.
Pomona Island has taken on a chunk of the former Chaophraya restaurant, just tucked away off Market Street and Cross Street, and the grand arch-windowed red-brick building is now a home for all of Pomona Island’s excellent craft beers – from the easy-drinking Factotum, to the excellent Phaedra pale ale.
In the fridges are rows of their familiar cans – a pastel background, a doodle, and a name like ‘KICK OFF YOUR SHOES AND RELAX YOUR SOCKS’, ‘TAKE THIS CHIPS WITH CHEESE’, and ‘CURDLE SCRECH’.
At any time there are 18 lines of world-class craft beer, five cask lines and four lines of natural wine and cider.
They’ve shunned the usual identikit craft beer bar starter pack too. There’s no plywood, no plants, no wall of merch.
Instead, North Westward Ho feels like a proper Manchester pub that has been styled with dark wooden details, ornate tiling, wall sconces, oil paintings.
There’s a curved mahogany bar that wouldn’t look out of place in a five-star London hotel, dark green ceramic brick tiles on the wall, and a foundation stone set into the entryway that makes it feel like this pub has been here for decades (even though the date on the plaque states 2023).
The North Westward Ho is named after Manchester’s old floating nightclub, a ship with seven bars and a disco plane…
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The bobbing nightclub at Pomona Docks lasted several years before closing in the early eighties.
But if its namesake stays on the same trajectory that it’s started with this month, this is a pub that’ll stand the test of time.
Featured Image – The Manc Group