Some of the UK’s “funniest and most-talented” drag queens are arriving in Manchester this month for a spectacular drive-in event.
Fancy losing yourself in 90 minutes of “fun and frolics, mixed with camp and queer”? Drive2Drag will undoubtedly be your show then, as pulling into DriveINSIDE at the Trafford Centre – an arena being billed as the “world’s first drive-in theatre” – in just a matter of weeks, RuPaul’s Drag Race Season 2 contestant Joe Black will be surrounded by a hand-chosen galaxy of versatile stars.
Other big names on the bill include multi-award winning, singing she-clown Danny Beard, Yshee Black, who’s known for hosting a lip-syncing competitions in her home city of Birmingham, and “Canal Street’s land lady” Julie Noted.
They’ll also be joined by Minara Él Waters, Narcissa Nightshade and Luna Luvzkoch, who’ll all be on hand to ensure you’re at the best party in town.
The event is set to be “hosted but never controlled” by The People’s Bush, Lady Bushra.
Known for her improv, sharp wit and comic style, Lady Bushra is a drag comedian who came on to the scene with her digital drag content including parodies of popular songs, stand-up comedy and viral content.
Drive2Drag is coming to The DriveINSIDE Trafford Centre Theatre on Saturday 22nd May, with tickets starting at just £49.
Covered by Europe’s largest marquee tent, DriveINSIDE has capacity for 800 visitors – with all drivers parking up in a specially-allocated space and sitting in a pre-reserved seat alongside their vehicle.
There’s also a fully COVID-safe and contactless restaurant and bar on site.
Three Little Words and Seven Brothers Brewery are moving into Kampus this summer
This week, Manchester’s waterside neighbourhood Kampus has revealed that two of Manchester’s best-loved indie drinks producers will be moving in over the summer.
Manchester Gin’s bar and distillery Three Little Words will be taking over the infamous bungalow, whilst Ancoats’ favourite Seven Brothers Brewery will temporarily move into the neighbourhood’s red-brick Minshull Warehouse – previously tipped to house a new taproom from Cloudwater.
This summer, the brewery – first founded in Salford nine years ago by the McAvoy brothers – will open the doors to the warehouse serving up their popular family beers alongside a few Kampus specials.
With seating inside and out, once the warmer nights arrive drinkers can once again enjoy the Manchester neighbourhood’s canalside beer garden.
Set to open officially from the long Easter weekend, for the first time tables and chairs will be nestled throughout the giant tree ferns and palms, with visitors able to sample the delights of the impressive foodie community – including Nell’s, Pollen, Great North Pie, The Beeswing wine bar and Yum Cha.
Elsewhere, in the Bungalow popular local gin distillers and cocktail pros Three Little Words will serve up a sleek cocktail menu – all made up from their portfolio of multi-award-winning spirits from The Spirit of Manchester Distillery.
First opened in 2019 by Seb & Jen Heeley-Wiggins, the founders of Manchester Gin, luxurious cocktail bar Three Little Words has since won awards for its signature menu of innovative cocktails.
Both will kick-start on Friday 7 April, with an Easter Weekender of booze, beats and eats in store – with Nell’s Pizza also joined by guest DJs throughout the weekend.
The season is a major moment for Kampus, the first year when the neighbourhood will have a full force of eclectic independent operators fully trading.
More names are set to join too. Red Light will lift the curtain on the insta-friendly Little David Street LGTBQ+ cocktail den, with the opening date to be revealed in the coming weeks, whilst taqueria and mezcaleria Madre is currently fitting out its space ready to bring its take on Mexican goodness to Manchester.
Seb Heeley-Wiggins, Master Distiller & Co-Owner The Spirit of Manchester Distillery & Three Little Words, said: “We’ve got such a loyal following and we’ve been on the hunt for a spot where people could enjoy our cocktails in a beautiful outdoor setting … spritzes in the sunshine.
“Kampus absolutely fits that bill and will be an incredible summer posting for our team. We’ll be bringing our signature menu as well as some seasonal creations unique to Kampus.
“There’s so much going at the neighbourhood that we’ll be in good company. We’ve already got celebrations planned throughout the summer months, where we’ll be collaborating with incredible brands and creatives, and we’ve got a big surprise in store for next month. We just need a long, hot summer now.”
Keith McAvoy, CEO for Seven Brothers, said: “We’ve been big fans of Kampus for a while so we jumped at the chance to put on a summer-long party and create a new beerhouse here. The historic setting is stunning and we know we’ll create, hands down, the best beer garden in Manchester.
“We’re a family run business, born here in Greater Manchester. Our Kampus run is a fitting celebration for how far the brewery has come with the incredible support of every person who’s ever enjoyed a SEVEN BRO7HERS pint.
“We’ll be in good company with our brilliant independent neighbours and encourage everyone to come spend summer with us.”
Seven Brothers will be open Thursday to Sunday every week all summer, whilst Three Little Words will open Wednesday to Sunday.
Featured image – Kampus
The team behind Gooey has launched a new pasta concept on Peter Street
This week, the team behind Gooey has launched its new pasta concept Onda inside Manchester’s newest bar and food hall Exhibition.
Onda pasta bar – translating to ‘wave’ from the Italian – sees the team collaborate with Michelin-trained chef Sam Astley Dean to cook up some gorgeous fresh pasta dishes over on Peter Street, taking over what was formerly Caroline Martin’s Sao Paulo Bistro unit.
Serving up a core menu of pasta small plates from £6 alongside starters of arancini, mixed vegetable fritti, and proper crunchy garlic bread with parsley butter, you’ll also find some giant family-style sharers on the menu here – not least, a huge plate of lumache alla vodka.
Putting a spin on the viral TikTok pasta trend (and the classic Italian recipe that precedes it), the dish combines organic tomato with ‘nduja and parmesan to create the ultimate cheesy crowd-pleaser.
Elsewhere, you’ll find a second giant sharer dish of gnocchi gratinati combining spinach, mozzarella and pangrattato, plus some seriously plump raviolo stuffed with scallop, crab and fennel atop a rich seafood bisque.
Pasta small plate must-tries include the spaghetti casrbonara with pecorino, pancetta and a whole egg yolk that you mixed into your pasta at the table yourself, the aforementioned ravioli, and a pici cacio e pepe that nods to one of chef Sam Astley-Dean’s earliest Rise pizza creations.
Starters of note, meanwhile, include a mouthwatering saffron risotto short rib arancini atop lemon aioli, and the most indulgent Caesar salad we’ve encountered in some time – we’re talking whole leaves of baby gem drenched in sauce and wearing a veritable wig of parmesan on top.
Add to that dreamy slices of tiramisu and a plan to make their own gelato in house very soon (a fior di latte mainstay will always be on, so we’re told, plus blood orange and rhubarb flavours to start with), and it’s fair to say that – between the big flavours and the affordability – Onda is well worth a look in.
Speaking on the new menu, chef Sam Astley-Dean told The Manc as we watched him hand-roll his pasta: “Our whole menu rests on flour and water, like our focaccia, our bread and all our pastas, and the only way to get good at it is to just do it over and over and get the feel.
“It’s very therapeutic, it’s good, like, it’s the only way to get to know something. “
Asked what his favourite dish is, he jokes: “I don’t actually like pasta” before going on to enthusiastically list almost every pasta plate on Onda’s menu.
He gushed: “It’s probably the lumache, but the vongole is like, that’s a bit of me that, like shellfish, chilli, garlic.
“I genuinely love it all, every single dish, it’s all our favourite pastas. The cacio e pepe, pesto with anything, the cavatelli’s great, erm, the vongole, the shellfish raviolo, the pappardelle, oh no the carbonara, I love the carbonara.”
“Honestly all of them, every single one of them, like, we want it to be super approachable, that’s why we’ve not banged on about ingredients too much. It’s for everyone, if you’re in with your mates or a date or your family.
“I want to bring my daughter and my dog, but I’d also like to come on a date night with my wife, so it’s got that vibe of it’s affordable. Yes, it’s got good ingredients but we’re not being preachy about it, it’s just good food.”