Hold Fast

Subterranean watering hole, underground escape, a place of oddities, curiosities and mythical creatures

Hold Fast
50 Newton Street, Manchester, M1 2EA

Monday: 4pm-12am
Tuesday: 4pm-12am
Wednesday: 4pm-12am
Thursday: 4pm-1am
Friday: 4pm-3am
Saturday: 4pm-3am
Sunday: 4pm-3am

Is it really a dive bar if it’s not in the Northern Quarter? We’re not sure, but while you ponder that for a moment let’s descend into the depths of Hold Fast, a legendary institution in Manchester’s original corner of city centre cool, occupying a spot on Newton Street. Situated in the heart of the neighbourhood, we spent four long years without this place, but 2023 saw the team reopen doors after finally finding a spot in this former bowler hat factory. We couldn’t imagine a more fitting location. 

A nautical themed bar – so nothing to do with hats — many archetypal stories of adventure, exploration and discovery have inspired the look and detailing. Think Around the World in Eighty Days meets Twenty Thousand Leagues Under The Sea while on Marco Polo’s The Travels and you’re in the right ball park. Light fittings from the interiors of ironclads, ocean liners and the glory days of transport, open pipework and solid wood fittings place things sometime around the turn of the 20th Century. A long time before the video games you’re free to play on were even made, although today even these are considered retro. 

“We love neon lights and late nights, our alcohol has to be strong and our décor stupid,” we’re told in no uncertain teams by the crew themselves. “Regardless of the day of the week we have something going on, ranging from open mic, stand up comedy, quiz nights, 90’s throwbacks or just a cracking DJ. Either way, there’s more than enough reasons to keep coming back and getting weird with us.” Not the kind of invitation anyone should ignore, all that reminds to be said is that Hold Fast operates seven days a week, with first drinks poured at 4PM, and happy hour runs to 7PM daily.