A famous bartender who’s served everyone from HRH the Queen to The Beckham’s has opened a new bar in Stockport.
The brainchild of former Britain’s Got Talent ‘bar wizard’ Neil Garner, its cocktail list features some intriguing concoctions – including a section dedicated to the great town of Stockport.
From the rum-heavy 192 (which promises to ‘hit you like a bus’) to Blossoms and the Queens of Cale Green, there are plenty of fun nods to Garner’s hometown, as well as classic favourites like frozen margaritas, tiki concoctions and summer punches.
Called Cherry Jam, it has opened on Mealhouse Brow inside a former software superstore that Garner often visited with his brother as a child.
Even back then, on afternoons spent poring through new video games for his Amiga, Garner says he thought it was a special place “with loads of personality.”
Launched during lockdown, Garner says it was “pretty much paid for” from the money they made on Cherry Jam’s hit DIY cocktail delivery service.
Inside, the venue is split into two key areas: Bar Cherry, which is open to the public, and The Jam, which is available for private hire parties of up to 30 guests.
Graffiti art walls, disco balls, street art and neons provide a cool and relaxed aesthetic, whilst a mixture of pop, disco, soul and funk plays over the stereo.
As well as serving up a range of great cocktails, guests can also expect to find a collection of drinks and flavours from Neil’s travels around the world – including some lovely craft beers in pretty cans.
Cherry Jam’s team also create some home-grown and foraged gin infusions which are well worth checking out.
After years spent living abroad and setting up various successful venues in London, the former bartender to the stars has already impressed Simon Cowell. Now, he wants to win over his fellow stopfordians.
Speaking on the new opening, Garner said: “I’ve been coming to Stockport market for as long as I can remember. I used to love coming down every Saturday with my Mum, who sadly isn’t with us anymore.
“There’s so much positive change afoot, and real energy in the air. It’s great to be a part of it.
Stockport born and bred, he has competed in competitions as a professional flair bartender and was once crowned World Bartending Champion.
Garner then started his very own cocktail company – the Bar Wizards – who were runners-up on the first series of Britain’s Got Talent.
He later went on to open a bar in Littleborough with his friend and partner Neil Lowry, but this has since closed – with the pair remaining good friends to this day.
“Stockport has always been in Manchester’s shadow, however with Manchester getting bigger and rents going up, it makes Stockport a natural place for independent bars and restaurants to come and set up,” he said.
“It’s only ten minutes from Manchester, and it has a real personality and vibe of its own. It’s an icon in its own right, and without the constraints of big rents and overheads, it genuinely gives independents a platform to set up and follow their dream and passions.
“I want to take the very best of what I’ve learnt in over 100 countries around the world, and bring it home in Cherry Jam.”
Cherry Jam is open Thursday to Sunday and can be found at 4 Mealhouse Brow, SK1 1JP.
Food & Drink
Costa is adding new cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter treats to its menu
Cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter sweet treats are just some of the things forming part of Costa’s new spring menu.
The popular coffee shop chain is known and loved for its limited-edition menus every time a new season rolls around – and 2024 is proving to be absolutely no different, as Costa has decided to welcome in the sweetest time of the year by announcing a whole host of new and returning drinks, and some tasty food options too.
After welcoming its latest winter menu, the spring menu will be launching at Costa branches all across the UK this upcoming Leap Day (Thursday 29 February).
And one of the stand-outs on the menu has to be the new Cinnamon Bun Latte.
Available to add into to a wide range of barista-made drinks, both hot and cold, the new Cinnamon Bun syrup is apparently set to “elevate the Costa coffee experience” with sweet flavours that are reminiscent of a freshly-baked cinnamon pastry, and you’ll be able to order it from all Costa stores nationwide, as well as at Costa Express machines too.
Elsewhere on the limited-edition menu is the return of the fan-favourite KitKat drinks range, with both the KitKat Mocha and KitKat Hot Chocolate making long-awaited comebacks, as well as a brand-new KitKat Frappé joining the party.
The KitKat Frappé is an indulgent and creamy blended chocolate frappé that’s topped with whipped cream and KitKat pieces.
And, of course for a little Easter seasonal touch, all the drinks in this year’s KitKat range come served with a cute wrapped KitKat Bunny Mini on the side.
There’s new cinnamon bun lattes, KitKat frappés, and loads of Easter sweet treats on the lineup / Credit: Costa
When it comes to the savoury food options, there’s a handful of mouthwatering newbies being added onto the menu this year – including the Halloumi and Chargrilled Veg Toastie, and the Chicken N’Duja Toastie, as well as the Roast Chicken and Bacon Sandwich.
But, of course, Easter is all about the chocolate, isn’t it? For those of you with a sweet tooth, Costa has well and truly got you covered.
There’s a brand-new Blooming Lovely Chocolate Cake made up of layers of scrumptious chocolate frosting and finished with white chocolate flowers, a new and improved recipe for the beloved Carrot and Walnut Cake, and the return of the indulgent KitKat Chocolate Muffins to accompany the popular drinks range.
There’s also some new toasties, sandwiches, and snacks joining the party too / Credit: Costa
The fan-favourite Mini Egg Cookie, and Chocolate Cornflake Nest topped with mini chocolate eggs, are also making a comeback.
So there really is something for everyone to tuck into.
Costa’s new 2024 Spring Menu will be launching tomorrow (Thursday 29 February), and will be available at the chain’s over 14,500 branches all across the UK.
Featured Image – Costa
Food & Drink
New Wave Ramen’s new takeover series is spotlighting the best noods in the game
Manc favourite New Wave Ramen recently launched a brand-new takeover series spotlighting other knowledgeable noodle heads and soup specialists from around the UK, and it’s going down an absolute storm.
The ramen game in Manchester continues to grow year after year and we’re lucky enough to have a plethora of broth-brewing pros right on our doorstep, with New Wave being one of the most popular anywhere in the city.
Making a name for themselves over in Mackie Mayor before building on that success to open up their first brick-and-mortar site over on Tib Lane last year, they’ve become a cornerstone of the cuisine and overall Japanese scene here in 0161, so it’s no wonder other contemporaries have noticed.
After catching eyes all over the country, New Wave held their first collaboration of 2024 earlier this month, inviting Cardiff’s highly-celebrated Matsudai Ramen ’round for the first of many kitchen takeovers and, suffice to say, the gaff was completely packed out. But that was just the start…
The two have teamed up before but it’s still a huge deal to have the two ramen masters teaming up for the new Tib Lane takeover, with New Wave set to welcome their fellow brothy brethren on 17 March and given the success of the previous event, we expect spaces to full up just as quick.
Here’s what you can expect to be slurping if you sign up for the next iteration of the takeover series: all the good stuff and plenty of it.
They say ‘too many cooks spoil the broth’ — utter nonsense in this case, sorry.
We will happily sit back and watch some of the greatest ramen restaurants in Britain collide to bring their expertise together in wonderful little bowls of flavourful umami bombs and drink up every last drop until we burst, thank you very much.
The New Wave x Kanada-Ya crossover night takes place from 12-10pm on Sunday, 17 March and those interested are urged to book HERE if they want to make sure they don’t miss out on a seat.
We’re really excited by this takeover series and, if you’re a fan of noods (not that kind, cheeky), you should be too; plus if you’re looking for the very best ramen in Manchester, you can check out our list of the top 10 in full down below: