After a few years spent locked up in our houses, we’re all in need of a blowout – and what better excuse than the feast of St Patrick?
This year, St Patrick’s Day falls on Thursday, 17 March – and Manchester’s operators are already gearing up for the celebrations.
From Guinness gravy-soaked burgers and guided tours of Manchester’s Little Ireland, to boozy Guinness-fuelled bottomless brunches, parades and Irish festivals, we’ve put together a list of some of the best events happening in the city for you here.
Whether you want to drink your weight in Guinness or absorb a bit of culture, there’s something here for you.
Keep reading to discover where to go on St Patrick’s Day in Manchester this year.
The Manchester St Patrick’s Day Parade
The annual Manchester St Patrick’s Day parade is organised by the Irish World Heritage Centre and takes place in Cheetham Hill.
Now in its 25th year, the parade will start from the Irish World Heritage Centre on Queen’s Road in Cheetham Hill at 12 noon on Sunday and will follow a route down Cheetham Hill Road as far as the AO Arena before turning round and following the same route back to where it started.
This year, it will take place on 27 March 2022.
The Manchester Irish Festival
One of the city’s oldest St Patrick’s celebrations, the Manchester Irish Festival has events running in the city throughout the month right up to 20 March.
Highlights include the award-winning Fianna Phadraig Pipe band who are coming up to their 75th anniversary and will be taking the festival on tour with visits to different locations across the city throughout this weekend, before touring Levenshulme, Burnage, and Fallowfield on St Patrick’s Day itself.
The area around Manchester’s Oxford Road station was once known as Little Ireland, and this St Patrick’s Day you can learn all about its history from local tour guide Ed O’Glinert .
This guided tour promises to unearth the best stories of Little Ireland: recalling Auntie’s Bar, stopping off at the site of George Orwell’s doss house, searching for a whiff of the Waxie’s Dargle and maybe even enjoying a glass of a black Irish drink with a creamy head.
It will take place on 19 March, kicking off at 1130am and running for a couple of hours. You can pick up tickets for the tour here.
A two-week Irish festival at O’Sheas beer garden
O’Sheas giant beer garden has re-opened in Manchester, and operators are kicking off the St Patrick’s Day celebrations early with a two-week Irish festival.
Think live music from a host of Irish bands, free-flowing pints of ice-cold Guinness, and cocktails like espresso martinis and pornstar martinis, plus an all-new Irish American street food menu from Manchester bagel heroes Eat new York.
Running from now until 24 March, it’s the perfect excuse to get down to the newly-returned (and now covered) beer garden that was such a hit when hospitality reopened its doors in April last year.
A 4-day ‘Irish weekender’ at Manchester Piccadilly Gardens
Piccadilly Gardens will be paying homage to the Emerald Isle with a weekend full of live music and dance, free-flowing Irish stouts, street food and more.
Irish dancers, pipe bands and Irish folk musicians will take to the stage in the middle of the gardens throughout the long weekend, whilst huge bars will have all manner of Irish tipples – from dry Irish stouts and Irish coffees to hot toddies and fine whiskeys.
Entertainment will be free and take place in the gardens from 12-7pm every day throughout the long weekend.
Manchester’s part-time pizza parlour is bringing the goods this St Patrick’s Day, with non-stop pints of Guinness and endless slices of their New York-style cold-proved pizza all for a fixed price.
For one day only, the team have added the beautiful black dry Irish stout to its bottomless brunch offer in honour of St Patrick’s feast.
That means that for just £25 a head you’ll be able to get 90 minutes of unlimited Guinness and non-stop pizza slices at both Manchester Bridge Street and Northern Quarter venues between 12 and 5pm. How grand.
A special Guinness fondue burger at Honest Burgers
Honest Burgers is selling limited-edition fondue burgers drenched in Guinness gravy this month, all in the name of St Patrick’s Day.
Comprised of Honest’s classic hand-shaped beef patty, it’s sandwiched between brioche then topped with candied bacon, molten fondue, a Guinness beef and bacon gravy, crispy onions, rocket and pickles.
Available at the burger restaurant through March, it’s served with Honest’s signature rosemary and sea salt fries. For this month only, you can also enjoy a pint of draught Guinness on the side to wash it down with.
Bottomless wings and endless Guinness at The Shack
Another bottomless Guinness deal, this time with added endless wings.
The Shack in Manchester’s Northern Quarter has bottomless deals running on St Patrick’s Day, priced from £15 a head – and it sounds too good to miss.
Even better, they’ll also be offering free gaming in the basement from 5pm and £2.50 shots of Jamesons all day.
Boilermakers and Jameson whiskey pizzas at Nell’s
From 14-20 March, Nell’s pizza is serving up one of its classics with an added Irish twist.
For one week only, fans can get the signature Chilli HOney pizza with added Jameson whiskey for an additional £1.50.
On top of that, there’ll be some boozy specials on the drinks side too – think Jameson orange and lemonade, or the classic boilermaker – combining a schooner of beer and a shot of Jameson for an extra £2.
Feature image – The Manc Eats
Heritage railway arches in Manchester city centre to undergo £3.7m transformation by HOME arts centre
A section of the iconic railway arches along Whitworth Street is set to be refurbished into a brand-new development space for up-and-coming local artistsunder HOME.
Having existed as a recognisable part of the city’s rich transport and architectural heritage for as long as we can remember, three of the familiar archways situated on Whitworth Street West are now about to be given a new lease of life which will also help support Manchester’s beloved arts community.
Coming under the HOME theatre and arts umbrella with the work being carried out by the North West arm of Robertson Construction, the transformation is set to start fairly soon and is scheduled to be completed by May 2024.
Sitting between Whitworth Street West and HOME’s main arts building at Tony Wilson Place, which has been a popular cinema, gallery and restaurant since 2015, the new development centre will provide a space and vital resources for artists of all ages, disciplines and stages in their careers. Wonderful stuff.
Costing £3.7m, the goal of the ‘HOME Arches’ project is not only to give the Whitworth Street West Arches some much-needed TLC, but to help nurture, attract and retain creative talent in Manchester by providing them with a high-quality, low-cost rehearsal and training space.
Moreover, being connected to the ever-thriving First Street district will further strengthen it as a well-known and go-to city centre destination for artists and visitors alike.
Funding for the renovation was secured back in 2021 following a £2.3m government grant, with a further £0.9m contribution from Manchester City Council and around £0.5m from HOME themselves, who are helping cover some post-construction costs.
The Arches project is part of a wider £20m redevelopment plan under the national Levelling Up fund, with the bulk of the £17.5m scheme seeing the Upper Campfield and Lower Campfield Market buildings (both Grade II-listed structures) lovingly transformed into a new tech, media and creative industries hub.
Issuing a statement following the announcement, Director and CEO of HOME, Dave Moutrey said they are delighted to provide “meaningful, additional creative space for artists” and allow them to “grow the work that we do with artists in the North West, across theatre, film, visual art and digital works”.
As for the Council itself, leader Bev Craig said: “These arches are part of our heritage which have sat unloved and underused for many years. This scheme is bringing them back to life with a very modern purpose – complementing the thriving cultural economy in our city.
“Culture has a huge role to play in the success of our city and its people – creatively, for health and well-being and economically. This project will enhance this part of the city centre, create new jobs and further strengthen Manchester’s cultural ecosystem.”
We can’t wait to see how the new historic railway arches look under the loving stewardship of HOME and see the impact it makes on local creativity and culture.
Guardian critic Grace Dent raves about ‘pointedly bonkers’ Manchester restaurant Musu
The food critic Grace Dent has published a rave review of one of Manchester’s new restaurant openings, Musu, bestowing national kudos on the Bridge Street eatery.
Referred to by the Guardian reviewer as ‘very possibly the most expensive restaurant in Manchester’, in a glowing write up she compares it to ‘the Starship Enterprise, albeit one with geishas on the walls and a £110 seven-course menu’.
Already a favourite of Ilkay Gundogan’s notoriously hard-to-please wife (it’s the only eatery she’s praised since famously saying that the Manchester food and drink scene was ‘horrible’), thankfully, Musu has now found a more discerning reviewer to recommend it.
Dent opens by advising ‘all who have already taken terrible umbrage that Musu even exists’ to ‘abandon reading this review here’, before going on to say she, personally, is ‘rather cheered that there are still people north of Watford who have the faith and gumption to open places as pointedly bonkers as this.’
The 55-cover restaurant is described as being ‘as dark in places as Adrian Mole’s bedroom’, with plenty of attention paid to its ‘theatrical’ detailing.
A glass-fronted private dining room that, ‘at the touch of a button, turns frosted’, gets a special mention, as does Musu’s bold ‘Japanese murals, globe lighting and […] nakedly open kitchen’.
But the real praise is reserved for the cooking of chef Michael Shaw, formerly of Gordon Ramsay Inc and Raymond Blanc’s Le Manoir aux Quat’Saisons, hailed as ‘minuscule portions of exquisite pleasure that linger in your mind.’
As she reels through the seven-course tasting menu, praising each dish as she goes, things go from great to excellent.
At one point, after digging into Musu’s sashimi (described as ‘ three of the finest pieces of sashimi imaginable’) she proffers: ‘I felt like handing my badge back there and then – it’s over; I won’t ever taste better’, before moving on to another ‘outstanding’ dish.
If there is a criticism, it’s that upon finishing the seven courses she still finds herself hungry – commenting: ‘Very rarely – in fact, never – do I wish I’d chosen the longer tasting menu, though at £150 plus drinks, that would have been guaranteed to cause a reader revolt.’
This, in turn, leads to some good-natured musing on just who all these people are spending hundreds in ‘mobbed’ Musu on a Friday night, with Dent asking pointedly: ‘Where are they getting their money? None of them seemed to be the type to have Brink’s-Mat gold buried at the bottom of their garden.’
Summarising, she writes: “If you’ve already decided to boycott Musu over the sheer cost, the din and the small portions, I must at this point stress that the food is outstanding.
“Sure, Musu isn’t for everybody, but if someone else is funding your wanton extravagance, then drag them there. It’s unforgettable for many reasons: some of them are hilarious, yes, but mostly they’re just plain good.”
Read more:The best restaurants and bars to open in Manchester in 2022