Following a lengthy spate of closure, traditional Manchester boozer the Ancoats Lad will reopen its doors this weekend to welcome back loyal regulars in style.
With a refreshed look, new owners and a brand new name, the pub will now be known as The Mancunian – but, out of respect for its punters, pretty much everything else will stay as it was.
With a fresh lick of paint, hyper-local drinks offering, and new contributions to the decor from local artists Dave Draws and The Manc Wanderer, it’s the same pub in spirit – but with a slightly fresher feel.
We popped down this week ahead of the new opening for a sneak peek at the site and a chat with the pub’s new co-owner Perry Morrissey, who, just like landlord Phil Bell before him, has a long family history of owning nightlife businesses in the city centre.
Those who’ve visited the micropub before will likely know its former landlord kept a lot of memorabilia on the walls (and ceilings) over the years, some of which he has left behind for new owners Perry and Josh.
These historic pieces, some of which depict life on the streets of Ancoats and the Northern Quarter over 150 years ago, are still on display as part of a new feature wall that blends the old with the new.
Here full-skirted Victorians depicted in black and white sit side-by-side with color images of the city today, taken by The Manc Wanderer (aka Nathan Whittaker) – including one of Manchester favourite Boom Box Barrington.
On the other side, a new mural by artist Dave Draws has been created in the style of a fantasy map that puts current venues alongside those from the past, such as the ‘Scuttler’s Wine Bar’, as a way of celebrating its history and bringing together the old and the new.
The idea behind this, Perry tells us, was to show “how the city’s changed now”. Elsewhere in the pub, the old Ancoats Lad sign remains – now part of the decore, nailed to the wall by the pub’s bathrooms.
As for the drinks offering here, Perry tells us the pair have already spoken with Phil on what they should stock, saying: “[he] let us know which ones was the big sellers, a bit of what the Ancoats lad used to drink.”
As well as continuing to stock these all-important regular favourites, they’re also bringing in some new locally-made beers and spirits from the likes of Shindigger, Manchester Union Lager, Salford Rum and Manchester Gin.
The pair also plan to introduce live music at the site, which is nicely sandwiched between pubs/music venues Gullivers and The Castle Hotel, starting with a one-man band that will play every Friday and Saturday from 4-7pm.
They also intend to make The Mancunian a good football pub, with the planned addition of big TV screens to watch the sport on ready for the start of the World Cup this September.
As we’ve already mentioned, this is not Perry’s first foray into hospitality – he already has another pub in Bury, called The Treeehouse, and his family has a long history of owning nightclubs in the city centre – including the famous Ampersand and Paparrazi
As he gears up to open The Mancunian this weekend, he tells us he now has his eyes set on taking over a few more in the city centre with the help of his business partner Josh.
With a great appreciation for the dying breed of traditional boozers, the pair hope to take back some more of Ancoats’ “lost venues” – stealing them away from the trendy cocktail bars that have run amock in this part of town for the past however-many years.
Good luck to them. Manchester has definitely neglected some of its traditional boozers in recent years, which seems silly given how they are so beloved by locals.
The Mancunian’s official reopening date is set for Saturday 16 July.
Feature image.- The Manc Eats
‘A step too far’: Manchester clothing brand accuses Primark of ripping off its designs
A Manchester clothing brand has accused Primark of ripping off its designs, taking to social media to air its frustration after the high street shop released a copycat hoodie.
In a now-deleted Instagram video, local clothing retailer Hikerdelic compared a Primark ‘Explore Nature’ kid’s hoodie to one of its original designs and then highlighted how both the logos and overall aesthetic are nearly identical.
Hikerdelic’s logo features its brand name set into a grassy hill, below a pink and yellow sun with rays stretching outwards.
Primark’s design also features wording set into a grassy hill below a beaming sun, albeit this time the message reads ‘Explore Nature’ and the colour scheme is ever so slightly different using purple and coral instead of pink and yellow.
Hikerdelic was first founded by Proper Magazine’s Mark Smith and Neil Summers in Stockport five years ago, and the logo in question is of sentimental value – being the first that the team ever designed in partnership with artist Daren Newman.
Taking to Instagram to vent over the similarities, the caption underneath the Ancoats-based brand’s video read: “We’ve been sitting on this for a while. From time to time we find stuff out there similar to ours, but usually it’s just a case of people being influenced by similar things. It’s hard to be 100% original.
“This though, from a corporate behemoth we’re all familiar with, is a step too far, in our opinion. We’d be tempted to turn the other cheek and get on with doing our thing normally.
“Sometimes though, when someone kicks sand in your face you’ve got to let them know it’s not really on. At the end of the day it’s a business that makes hundreds of millions a year in clear profit. They don’t need to step on toes.”
The post continued: “This was the first logo we worked with @daren_newman on, and although we’ve got plenty more in our armoury, it’s the one that we began with. It’s not just us who are affected but talented independent illustrators too.”
“We all know everything new is inspired by something that has gone before and it can be difficult to stay original, however it’s clear to see this is something different to that and the response on our Instagram has backed that up.”
Feature image – Hikerdelic
Plans revealed to build Manchester’s tallest skyscraper – with 71st-floor restaurant
Plans have been revealed for a cluster of new skyscrapers in Manchester city centre, including one tower that would become the city’s tallest building.
Property developer Renaker, which was behind the huge Deansgate Square neighbourhood that transformed the city skyline, shared its proposals for the next phase of the Great Jackson Street Development.
The five new towers would bring 2,388 new homes to Manchester city centre, in an area that was previously used as surface car parks.
If approved, ‘The Lighthouse’ would stand at 71 storeys tall, overtaking Deansgate Square’s South Tower (64 storeys) to become Manchester’s tallest skyscraper.
It would also be the tallest building in the UK outside of London.
The proposals have put forward the idea of having a restaurant on the top floor of The Lighthouse, which would be the city’s highest food and drink establishment by a long way (the current record belongs to 20 Stories).
The other four towers would stand in the corners of a newly-created public square, and Renaker plans to build two of them at 51 storeys and two at