So here’s how you can help your independent businesses in Manchester, regardless of what time they close…
Eat Out Early Evening
The simplest and easiest answer to the 10pm curfew – eat out early evening. In fact, this isn’t too much of a stretch in the UK – we’re not exactly anything like our Spanish cousins – eating dinner at 11pm and then heading to a club at 3am. Tea time is usually about 5 or 6 – so it makes sense to eat out then too.
Luckily for us all, the city’s restaurants and bars have come out in force to introduce some really rather excellent Early Dinner offers, such as Paella & Wine for 2 for £30 at La Bandera, 3 courses and FREE poppadoms for £19.95 at Zouk and 3 courses for £18.95 at BAB. Check out our list of early dining offers in the city…
Be Happy (for more than an hour)
Happy Hours have been around for years, and now is the perfect time to take advantage of what they offer. None of them are truly an hour any more and so if you’re looking to get drunk and merry, without breaking the bank, a keen knowledge of the city’s best Happy Hours is essential.
Many venues have extended their offerings due to the curfew, with Crazy Pedro’s now having one that starts at midday, while The Liars Club are offering cocktails for a QUID during their Happy Hour. So there’s no excuse for not going out now is there really?!
We all know that some hungry American invented this all the way back in the late 80’s and it’s been a hit ever since. Inventing a brand-new meal between breakfast and brunch seems awfully like something a Hobbit would only enjoy – but, as you know – brunch is big business nowadays.
In response to the curfew, many of the city’s establishments have extended or introduced brunch offerings, with Elnecot in Ancoats offering BOTTOMLESS BRUNCH from Thursday to Sunday, Wolf at the Door serving Breakfast Tacos and Bao Buns until 2pm, and if you want to go truly mad – Revolution de Cuba are offering Bottomless Brunch EVERY SINGLE DAY until 2pm. Wowzers.
Have a Proper Lunch
There’s nothing more disappointing than spending all morning grafting, only to treat yourself to a shitty sandwich from Tesco, or worse still – a Shapers wrap in your Boots Meal Deal. Fuck that. You’re grafting hard and you’re stressed out and everything is annoying – so you deserve a PROPER lunch – some proper food in a proper place.
Luckily, the curfew has uncovered a whole wealth of brilliant Lunch Deals in the city, most of which have always been there really, but now that you’re not spending your hard-earned bunce on getting hammered into the early hours – you can afford to get involved every single day.
There’s the excellent Sandwich + Side + Drink for £6.50 at Tariff & Dale, Brunch & Lunch for £10 at The Pen & Pencil or just head on over to Kabana and tuck into a massive curry for literal change. It’s time we made Lunch a big thing again. And, falling asleep at your desk at 3pm is now allowed – I promise.
Owing to the fact that I’m a man in his mid-30’s – I’ve never been that much into Afternoon Tea. I find it rather quaint, but if you enjoy cakes and sandwiches and tea – then now is the perfect time to get supping.
The city is awash with a wide offering of Afternoon Teas, from the traditional at The Lowry Hotel, to the exotic, to ones which are built for blokes and come coated in melted cheese and chips. The beauty of Afternoon Tea is also that you can have it at any time during the afternoon. Get it close to the evening and you won’t even need to bother making any tea when you get in.
Get a Bottle in
With everywhere closing their doors at 10pm, people have been leaving venues and heading on over to Tesco to pick up a bottle of Glens Vodka and carry on the party back at home. Now, I can’t tell you not to do this – because I would definitely do it too, but before you head to Tesco, consider the venue that you’re in first.
Many of the city’s establishments offer take-out bottles of booze and the prices are usually very reasonable. For example, you can get some truly wonderful bottles of natural wine over at Wolf at the Door in the Northern Quarter, which you can then take home and enjoy in the comfort of your own living room. Perhaps watching Robocop. Or, you could take it down the canal and drink it all on your own whilst throwing rocks at ducks.
Have an 80’s Style ‘Power Lunch’
Back in the 80’s there were a bunch of fellas on Wall Street who were proper knob heads. They wore their hair slicked back, had white collars on blue shirts and spend an obscene amount of money on high-grade cocaine and qualudes. They did do one thing right though, and that was to invent the ‘Power Lunch’ and we’re eternally grateful to them.
The idea is simple. You go out for some lunch with your work colleagues or friends, have a few pints and then never return back to work. Well, until the next day that is. The decade of excess managed to birth this rather simple way of skiving off work – one which involves LOADS of booze, some great food and the best times. So, give it a try – if you invite your boss with you you’ll definitely get away with it.