This week the Salford Rum Company has opened its very first distillery, bar and rum school just off Chapel Street in Salford.
Aptly named The Dirty Old Town Distillery after The Pogues hit track from their 1985 album Rum Sodomy & the Lash, it’s located in an appropriately industrial setting – a former railway arch on Viaduct Street.
Inside, a bar and seating area put the focus on the rum that started it all – serving a range of simple (but delicious) rum cocktails and spirit mixers, alongside regularly changing beers from local breweries like Shindigger.
The brand’s iconic bottles, covered in hand-drawn historic maps of industrial Salford by local artist Dave Draws, line shelves behind the bar and on the walls as you enter, with a magnificent column still in pride of place on a stage at the back of the bar.
The walls are covered in more hand-drawn artwork from Dave Draws, this time depicting Salford in 2022 – with landmarks like Peel Park, Salford Cinema, the Ship Canal and Salford Lad’s Club all proudly nodding towards the area’s local history.
Elsewhere, chunky wooden tables and black and white photographs pulled from Salford’s historical archives line the walls.
Here, for the first time since the brand launched in 2018, locals have a place to sit down and enjoy the sweet spirit – be that on its own, as a sipping rum, or in simple but elegant mixers like rum and coke ice cream floats, or a classic rum and ginger beer, elevated by the addition of clementine puree and fresh ginger.
It’s a big step up for the brand, which has come a long way from its early days on the Manchester Maker’s markets.
Created three years ago by two rugby-league-playing high school friends, James Harrison and Tommy Gaughan, Salford Rum has created two core expressions since its launch in 2018; a golden Salford Spiced Rum and Salford Dark Spice.
The pair learned about premium rum making on top of their day jobs, and with a small self-funded start up investment of just £8,000, created their first premium golden spiced spirit as a passionate celebration of the history, heritage and people of the Salford Docks
Inspired by an era whereby the city’s Salford Docks grew to be the third-largest port in the UK, Salford Rum takes its flavour inspiration from the rums, fruits and spices from the Caribbean which were landing on British shores for the first time in that bygone time
Today, inside the brand new distillery and bar, the pair plan to innovate and experiment with new expressions to complement their core range – as well as host rum school experiences where guests can enjoy guided tastings and experiment with making their own rums too.
Speaking on the new opening Tommy Gaughan, one half of the duo responsible for launching Salford Rum, said: “The support we’ve had locally for Salford Rum is nothing short of incredible. When looking for somewhere to take the brand to the next level, it was always going to be in Salford, and always going to be a place whereby our supporters can come and feel like they’re part of the Salford family.”
Salford Rum co-founder James Harrison added: “It’s been quite a ride and our first step into hospitality feels surreal. It’s time for us to grow in Greater Manchester’s vibrant drinks scene and for the brand to have somewhere to develop and – of course – serve awesome drinks.
“We’re grounded in Salford and are wholly dedicated to bringing to life what the city has to offer – be it local talent, drinks and team members.
“We trialled a lot of offering over Christmas and have some brilliant ideas in the pipeline to truly bring to life how special Salford’s place on the Greater Manchester map is. The city has so much to offer, and where we can we’ll be championing it
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Food & Drink
A friendly reminder that there’s a takeaway called Jack Grillish in Swinton
As were swept up in World Cup fever, football seems to be slowly consuming every other aspect of our everyday life, including food. Then we remembered there’s a takeaway called Jack Grillish.
lf you’ve never heard of the pun-based fast-food joint over in Swinton, Salford, Jack Grillish is the late-night grill and cult-favourite takeaway named after the man himself.
Despite only joining Manchester City back in August of 2021, it didn’t take long at all for Grealish to get his own takeaway named after him, as the Chorley Road spot formerly known as Food Station changed its name not long after.
Most football legends have to wait their entire career to have a foodstuff named after them, let alone an entire building. In fact, we went there a couple of months back to see it ourselves.
Jack Grillish‘s menu is exactly the kind of thing you’d expect to see at any no-nonsense takeaway in Greater Manchester: big burgers, lots of lovely chicken and plenty of naughty desserts.
Specialising in large trays of baked chicken, cheese and chips, it might not be the kind of thing the man himself can eat whilst away at England camp, but it’d certainly make for a banging tea for anyone watching the France game at home this Saturday.
Put another way, we’re hoping that by ordering from the gaff before the game, we’ll send a message out into the universe and not only will ‘Super Jack’ score but we breeze into the next stage of Qatar 2022.
If you also happen to be a bit superstitious, you can order from Jack Grillish HERE.
Featured Image — Jack Grillish (via Facebook)/Jack Grealish (via Instagram)
Food & Drink
Three Greater Manchester restaurants named in top 100 places to eat in the UK
Three Greater Manchester restaurants have been named among the top 100 places to eat in the UK.
As per data compiled by food review and booking site, OpenTable, a trio of Manc eateries made it onto their official list of the best restaurants in the UK.
Now, we are by no means surprised to see 0161 represented on this list — we have some of the best food in the world here, FACTS — we were just expecting there to be more local names on it, but it’s still good to see that the picks weren’t just city-centre venues.
Without further ado, after collating thousands of reviews, here are the selections for 2022:
Gaucho is the Argentinian steak house located just off Deansgate on St. Mary’s Street that serves up some of the most perfectly-cooked meat and accompaniments you’ll find anywhere in town. The brand may have expanded to 17 different sites across the nation, but they’re not compromising on quality.
The five-star establishment is a favourite among famous faces like the City squad and according to one reviewer, it is “just the most beautiful experience… first class”. It’s no wonder it won best restaurant in Manchester earlier this year.
Next up is the beloved Kala Bistro located on King Street. The place specialises in combining fine dining with comfort food and never fails to deliver, so it just had to end up on this list. Owned by Gary Usher of Hispi in Didsbury, Kala had a following from minute one.
It’s a favourite among The Manc office, but don’t just take our word for it. One person wrote: “I cannot recommend this amazing restaurant enough. Food was wonderful, the staff were amazing. The overall experience was fantastic. Definitely will be returning”. High praise and well deserved in our books.
And then we come to a pick that really put on a smile our faces: The Cherry Tree at Blackrod over in Bolton. Renovated over lockdown, this place was always lovely but post-makeover its food has been better than ever. Most importantly, reviewers seem to agree.
The independent restaurant promises unpretentious, classic and seasonal cooking, local ingredients wherever possible and a “gorgeous ambience”. Not only do they deliver tried and tested favourites but they always manage to put a modern British twist on things. Give it a try.