An independent cafe and bar has opened in Fallowfield taking over the former Font bar, which, thanks to its cheap beer and £2 and £3 cocktails, was a long-time favourite with local students for many years.
The new bar is called HandleBar and, as you might have guessed from the name, it is cycling themed.
With its very own bike repair workshop and artwork that screams ‘live, laugh, lube’ at you as you walk through the door, plus wall colours inspired by the colours of cycling competition winner’s jerseys, we’ll be honest – there’s no doubting the fact.
The brightly-painted walls nod to the Tour De France, Giro D’Italia and Vuelta a España and there is even a dedicated space to lock up your bike inside whilst having a drink, which is sure to fox Fallowfield’s notorious bike thieves.
With the bar and cafe sitting on one of the busiest cycle routes in Manchester, it makes sense – but non-cyclists needn’t be put off, there’s plenty for them here too.
From barista-made coffee and artisan bakes to cocktails, sustainable wines, pints of beer and cider, brunch and lunch, there’s a little something for every time of the day.
We’re also happy to report that Font’s cheap drinks legacy lives on with pint of ‘Big D*ck Energy’ lager costing just £2.75.
Cocktails here are priced slightly higher – around the £6/7 mark, with choices including crowdpleasing favourites like the Pornstar Martini. Still, owner Steve Dunbar is mindful that he wants to keep customer costs down.
Handlebar has been roughly a year in the making, first purchased by Steve last year.
Prior to opening the bar, he worked within the music industry – buying and selling niche pieces of equipment to bands in order to cover the costs of his own music production courses.
After that, he ventured to Greece to work as a cycling tour instructor before hopping over to Spain to do the same, this time guiding pupils along the Vuelta a España route.
Keenly interested in both music and cycling, at HandleBar he plans to host a busy calendar of events – starting with Tour de France screenings as well as live music gigs, bike workshops, art fairs and film screenings.
A Japanese fine dining restaurant is opening in the former Randall & Aubin site
A new Japanese fine dining restaurant will open on Bridge Street in Manchester this October, bringing a theatrical ‘multi-sensory’ dining experience to the city.
Giving diners the chance to dine from specially created 7 and 11-course tasting menus or opt for a traditional ‘chef’s choice’ experience at its six-seat Omakase counter, bosses say it will offer a contemporary interpretation of Japanese dishes currently not seen outside of London.
Called MUSU, which translates as ‘infinite possibilities,’ the restaurant is the brainchild of Chef Patron Michael Shaw, who has worked at top eateries including Le Manoir aux Quat’ Saisons and Richard Neat’s eponymous restaurant in Canne.
Shaw has spent the last 18 months honing his passion for Japanese cuisine in preparation to open MUSU and will bring on Head Sushi Chef Andre Aguiar, who has trained under renowned Japanese sushi master YugoKato, to head up the kitchen.
When MUSU it opens its doors on Bridge Street on 6 October, diners will be treated to a new tasting menu concept that promises to deliver a ‘multi-sensory dining experience.’
Its menu is divided into three sections – Sentaku, Kaiseki and Omakase – giving diners the choice between ordering dishes a la carte style, opting for a set seven or eleven-course tasting menu, or entrusting the chef to create their ‘perfect menu.’
As for the new high-end Japanese restaurant’s design, MUSU’s multi-million-pound interiors will boast bespoke Italian furniture, subtle mood lighting and bespoke Geisha-inspired walls, with a bar made from Dekton stone, banana leaf patterned brass and onyx.
A huge festival dedicated to the wonders of Spanish cuisine is coming to Manchester next month.
Organised as part of country-wide celebration by Spanish brewery Estrella Galicia, the festival will bring some of the city’s finest Spanish and South American chefs together for a vibrant mix of tapas tours, foodie masterclasses and high-end tasting menus.
Hosted cross Manchester, London, Cardiff, Brighton and Newcastle, locals can take part in the ultimate Spanish food tour with selected restaurants offering their best-selling tapas plates with a pint of Estrella Galicia on the side.
Former Masterchef contestant Caroline Martins of the Sao Paulo Project will host a special tasting menu at her current home inside Ancoats’ Blossom Street Social, mixing traditional Spanish dishes with influences from her home country of Brazil in Central America on Sunday 11 September.
An official Estrella Galicia Chef Ambassador for 2022, Martins has made quite a name for herself since arriving in Manchester – appearing on the Great British Menu earlier this year and wowing local diners in Ancoats with her Alice in Wonderland-style food.
Known for serving weird and wonderful creations like edible ‘beef fat’ candles, marshmallows topped with tongue-numbing Jambu flowers and desserts disguised as poisonous mushrooms, Caroline has become something of a local sensation since moving to Manchester in 2020.
Elsewhere across the festival, local tapas favourites Evuna, La Bandera and the family-run staple El Rincon de Rafa will all get involved in a special tapas tour across the city on Thursday 29 September.