THERE was a time when Deansgate had more outdoor gear stores than Keswick. Now they are dwindling. Which can’t be said for city dwellers’ quest to scale every bar stool.
Manahatta, the latest contender in the big night out challenge occupies the former Nevisport store on the prime junction with Peter and Quay Streets.With plenty of big-hitting bar competition around.
Manahatta is the Native American tribal monicker for Manhattan – inspiration for this 230 cover mega venue. The first two happy hunting grounds for the brand were in city centre Leeds. Three years ago the owners, Arc Inspirations, brought over another of their Tyke stable to Manchester, the Banyan Bar & Kitchen, hugely successful at its Corn Exchange corner site.
Now they are rumoured to have spent £1.8million converting the groundfloor and basement of the Grade II listed for their version of ‘Downtown Chic”. We shall see if they’ve succeeded at the VIP launch on Friday, October 5, when cocktails co-curated with the team from the Savoy Hotel’s American Bar will flow freely.
After which it’s the ubiquitous all-day formula, offering, brunch and a transatlantic style menu. By coincidence Manahatta’s nearest bar/restaurant neighbour is probably Hawksmoor, who next year re taking their very British brand across the Pond to open on Park Avenue. Now in a world of less than shiny Big Apple wannabe bars (let go of the Mad Men box sets, guys) isn’t that a refreshing change.