You could be forgiven for missing this hidden gem on your first attempt, but keep your eyes open for the black double doors on the left of Barlow's Croft, and feel your excitement build as you make your way through the atmospheric walkway to Under New Management. The intriguing name and speakeasy style adds a sense of delicious achievement as you unearth this treasure. Here's what I thought of this cool, cocktail cavern.
Flickering candlelight, deep, red leather booths and a long, inviting bar set the stage for a night of fun and frivolity. Old style saloon stools beckon you over to the bar, where you can admire the collection of vintage and mismatching glasses. Take a peek up at the rafters and like me, you'll see row upon row of premium and exquisite bottles of the best liquor brands from around the world. As you settle into your seat, soak up the delectable details that make this place truly special; stroke the retro tiled bar front and savour the sweet smell of their strong, sugary syrups.
Where do I begin? There is nothing these guys can't knock up at the drop of a hat. True experts in their field, emphasis is firmly placed on the skill and craft of mixology. If you fancy something more unique; bespoke bitters adorn the bar, ready to enhance the creative concoctions on offer. Dragonfly was a refreshing, citrus cooler that went down quick and easy, with celery bitters adding a new depth of flavour. Bread and Butter Pudding, a luscious mix of raisin infused rum and the taste of vanilla custard, whilst Femme Fatal was a little slice of perfection with fruity raspberry notes and violet liqueur. For bitter tastebuds I'd recommend the Salford Sling, a grapefruit, apricot and tequila dazzler whilst sour lovers shouldn't leave without trying the Hot Rod: a bourbon cocktail complete with miniature toy car garnish!
A tailored, individual and personal experience awaits at Under New Management, as the bartenders take you on a journey through the conception to creation of your cocktail. All of their syrups are homemade and they make their own ingredients wherever they can. Exceptional and exclusive service set these guys apart, raising the bar for other venues around the city. Choose from intimate table service or throw yourself into the action and perch at the bar. Swing, Motown and Soul fill the air with feel good vibes, as cool crowds and cute couples sink drinks and mix and mingle 'til the whole venue becomes one happy family. If you've ever wondered where the top bartenders of the city go to let loose, stick around to see them flock in numbers to this unbeatable night spot.
Under New Management has secured a permanent position on my list of recommendations for the hottest bars in Manchester. A sumptuous and thrilling ambiance partnered with perfection in cocktail making, you simply cannot overlook this place on a visit to the city. Step away from the beaten track and discover a bar that ticks every box, and meet a passionate, dedicated and friendly team that will ensure you have an unforgettable night.