Nestled away on a quiet side street off Stevenson’s Square in the Northern Quarter (or argumentatively, and more specifically, the FaQua) you will find an unmarked doorway. Venturing through that doorway, and up the stairs will lead you into The Fitzgerald. Labeled as a ‘speakeasy’ bar, The Fitzgerald becomes one of the first to bring this very ‘New York’ fashion to life in Manchester.
Walking into The Fitzgerald almost transports you back to that Prohibition era (funnily enough the name of the bar comes from Great Gatsby author F Scott Fitzgerald). The sweet smoky scent, predominantly from menu favorite Smoked Rum Old Fashioned, the dimly lit ambience and the crushed velvet sofas scattered around the old fireplace. Contrasted by the elegance of the luxurious crystal chandeliers it is a place to meet, to mingle and really experience the tradition of classic drinks with a modern twist.
The drinks menu itself is a wonder. Beautifully put together and leather bound taking you on a journey to ignite imagination and experience various tastes and nostalgic memories of yesteryear. It’s clear to see The Fitzgerald have deep passion for their art and their staff are scholars in their own right. Each aspect of this menu has been thought of with care and with the senses of the receiver in mind. From the sumptuous sweet and icy tang of the sorbet that counteracts the sharpness of the Candied Sacred Negroni; the exotic flavor of passion-fruit to represent infamous WW1 spy Mata Hari, the presentation of the Aviatrix in the old-fashioned style mini-suitcase complete with a violet laced fog ‘highlighting they luxury of air-travel’ – the list really is endless and each concoction as much of a conversation started as the last.
Speakeasy bars first became popular in the Prohibition era in the United States and were an establishment that illegally sold alcoholic beverages. Just like The Fitzgerald, speak-easies were hidden and unmarked and a place where people would mix together, enjoy the liquor and the flow of conversations. Now, whilst there is nothing illegal about the sale of alcohol at The Fitzgerald, that old fashioned value of having a space off the beaten track to enjoy a good tipple and conversation with friends and fellow compatriots is very much alive within it’s walls.
There is nothing about our experience at The Fitzgerald that can be faulted. I can safely say that they also serve the best French 75 that I have ever had the pleasure to taste. I shall be returning regular.