Long standing Manchester residents may remember this Princess Street basement bar in its former guise as Obsidian. Now operating as 24 Bar and Grill, this hidden gem's reputation for great cocktails had reached the DesignMyNight office - so we were keen to give it a go. 

The Venue

24 Bar and Grill feels every inch the cool Manchester basement bar, with slatted windows in the corner of the ceiling providing glimpses of the street above, and adding to the secret bar feel. The venue is split into two well defined areas, with a stylish restaurant to the left as you descend the stairs from the entrance, and a spacious, chic cocktail bar to the right with large, comfortable booths and granite floors. A 50 ft glass fronted bar dominates the space, and is lined with stylish bar stools for the perfect vantage point from which to appreciate the work of the enthusiastic cocktail staff. 

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The 50 ft cocktail bar at 24 Bar and Grill makes a great spot to enjoy after work drinks in Manchester

The Clientele and Atmosphere 

24 Bar and Grill is part of the Arora Hotel above, but stands very much as its own entity, with its own regular crowd of locals. Midweek the bar is relaxed, making it a great place for after work drinks, while Saturday nights see things turn up a gear with a DJ and lively atmosphere. Despite its chic appearance, the atmosphere is down to earth and welcoming, with super-friendly, knowledgeable bar staff.

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The atmosphere at this cool Manchester cocktail bar is relaxed and welcoming.

The Food and Drinks 

24 Bar and Grill is well known for its great restaurant, which serves up modern British classics with flair and skill. Of particular note are the house steaks sourced from independent family butcher Althams and the chef’s own produce driven 'Market Specials', which are listed daily on the blackboard and feature fresh fish and seafood from day boats on the Lancashire coast. But the jewel in 24 Bar and Grill's crown is its cocktails - or should I say its cocktail staff - whose enthusiasm for their art is contagious. The regularly updated cocktail menu is vast, but I'd recommend you don't even open this, and instead allow one of the expert mixologists to find out what you're in the mood for and create something bespoke, to your own tastes. The Thai Spiced Mojito with chilli and lemongrass was a big hit with us, as was the Lemon Meringue - somewhere between a dessert and a cocktail with a bruleed top. Neither of these is on the menu, so just ask and the staff will be happy to oblige. 

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Go off-piste and ask the staff to create you something that's not on the menu.

Summary

It's always nice to discover a new place to drink in the city centre; it being all too easy to fall into the trap of returning to the same places week in week out. Our visit to 24 Bar and Grill proved that it pays off to wander down the rabbit hole from time to time -  leading us on this occasion to discover a real hidden gem that we'll definitely be returning to. If you fancy doing the same, you can make an online booking through DesignMyNight and reserve yourself the best spot in the bar.