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
Manchester band M60 are tagging Gary Neville every day until he listens to their music — let’s help make it happen
Nearly half a year ago, Manchester band M60 began a social media campaign to start tagging Manchester United legend turned pundit Gary Neville every single day until he listens to their music.
And, you know, since we’re all about supporting local artists, we thought we’d do our bit by pecking his head in too.
We’ve seen the Manc indie outfit live a couple of times now — including their headline set at Gorilla back in 2023 (at the time their biggest gig to date) — and they’ve never disappointed, be it the performance or their ever-growing cult following of loyal fans.
That being said, we feel we’re only doing Gary Neville and all of you lot a public service by joining them in their efforts to get their name out there. Plus, we’re enjoying all the different ways they’re managing to keep things interesting:
If you’ve never come across them before either, the four-piece is made up of a bunch of mates from various towns around the region and is fronted by vocalist and lead guitarist Matthew Morton. Alliterative names always make us think of superheroes and their tunes often make us feel like that too.
Playing together since their high school days and named after the massive Greater Manchester motorway from 2015 onwards, they’re best known for tunes like ‘I Don’t Mind’, ‘Honey’, ‘Darling’; ‘Fade Away’, ‘Kool-Aid’ and plenty more.
They also recently released their latest debut EP, How Did You Get There? and trust us, it’s a belter. Morton once described their sound as ‘Sweet Mancunian indie rock‘ and we couldn’t sum it up any better ourselves. Sounds great, doesn’t it? Which is exactly why we want ‘r Gary to get on them too.
Also, we’ve found the whole journey very funny up until this point, so long may it continue — not too long though; we actually really want him to become M60’s newest and biggest fan through sheer persistence and pestering by the local band and yours truly. And by all means, feel free to join us in the good fight.
The local lads themselves have joked about becoming more well-known simply by embracing themselves as the “Gary Neville meme band” as the days pass, but the strategy is still kind of working nonetheless and with more new music on the way, why stop now?
We want to see Gary’s phone blowing up non-stop, right up to the point that he gets more annoyed than he did in that infamous clip of somebody passing his phone number and simply has to see what all the fuss is about it.
Featured Images — Press Image/Sky Sports (via screenshot)
Medlock Canteen – a brand new restaurant for Manchester inspired by American diners and Parisian bistros
One of the year’s most exciting restaurant openings has confirmed it will open in just a few weeks’ time, with Medlock Canteen announcing new details.
The restaurant comes from the team behind Madre (the Mexican restaurant at Kampus) and Belzan (one of Liverpool’s top restaurants).
And when it officially opens in March, diners will be spoiled with bottomless coffee, a rotisserie chicken oven, and ‘strong sandwiches’.
Oh, did we mention they’ll also be offering 50% off for the restaurant’s soft launch period?
Medlock Canteen is taking its inspiration from eateries on opposite sides of the pond – the laid-back and accessible style of American diners and the hospitality of Parisian bistros.
There’ll be an all-day menu served alongside those bottomless coffees, with guest welcome to sit as long as they like.
You can expect breakfasts ranging from classic Full Englishes to duck-egg hash to ‘millennial eggs’ (smashed avo and poached eggs).
There’ll be familiar brunch dishes like oats, pancakes, and breakfast sandwiches, plus French inspired dishes like a crab and gruyere omelette, with several brekkies available to take away.
Then at lunch, chef patron Sam Grainger is promising a ‘strong sandwich game’ – we’re talking roast beef sandwich with caramelised onions, gruyere and jus; turkey schnitzel with mozzarella and marinara; and a grilled cheese with three different cheeses and pickles.
And in the evenings, it’s all about steaks and fish of the day, as well as that rotisserie chicken oven.
Believed to be the only restaurant rotisserie oven in Manchester, Medlock Canteen will be serving chicken baguettes with chicken mayo, butterhead lettuce and jus at lunchtimes, and half- or whole-chicken with a choice of sides all day.
You can even pick up a chicken in a bag to take home with you.
Owner Chris Edwards said: “Picture your typical canteen; a spot where everyone and anyone can gather.
“On one table you have a group of friends catching up over dinner, two colleagues are sitting at the bar enjoying a post work drink, a worker pops in for a coffee before their night shift and a couple swing by for dessert en route home from dinner.
“We want people to come as they are, use the space as their own and eat and drink as they desire.”
Owain Williams added: “Medlock Canteen is inspired by American diners and French bistros. In these venues, everyone is always welcome for unfussy, traditional, everyday faire.
“The British equivalent of these spaces has always been the pub but the community bond created by these spaces has become collateral damage in the UK’s reframed relationship with the pub.
“We still want the community, the accessibility and the prices, but it needs to exist in a different atmosphere suitable for the city dwellers of Manchester.”
Medlock Canteen will be opening on 23 March at New Jackson, just past the Deansgate Square skyscrapers.
There’ll be a select number of soft launch bookings, which will give diners 50% off the food bill – you can sign up here.