Manchester is famous for its nightlife, with each unique area of Manchester filled with different bars and clubs for people to explore. But we all know that your average night out can get a little repetitive, and sometimes your routine needs a bit of shaking up.

Tucked away in quiet corners of the city you’ll find unknown venues, secret bars and hidden gems, all of which offer something new and different to the norm. Here are our favourite alternative venues in Manchester that you’ve probably never heard of.

Blackjack Brewtap

blackjack brewtap
Credit: Blackjack Brewery

Blackjack Brewtap is one of many venues that is changing the drinking scene in Manchester. Brewtaps offer an alternative to traditional drinking, allowing customers to get their beer fresh, cheap and straight from the source.

Blackjack is a unique venue, with an outdoor space inspired by upcycling. Here you’ll find tables made from reclaimed wood, lighting made out of key kegs and even a vertical garden made from old pallets.

James from Blackjack says: “We have our own beers brewed on site, but it’s not all about us, so we make sure there is a great range of other UK micro brews on tap as well.

“Catch us in the sunshine and enjoy our outside area – benches made from spare pallets, light fittings re-purposed from kegs add to our honest and D.I.Y approach to welcoming you to our beery world.

“While you are here, enjoy some grub from the best street food traders we can get our hands on, our small but carefully chosen spirit selection, changing DJ’s playing summer tunes, northern soul and plenty of quirky stuff in-between. Come have a look what a real brewery looks like, or just have a pint with us.”


RedbankCo 1.jpg
Credit: RedbankCo

RedbankCo is a cocktail bar, café and photography studio, hidden from plain sight in an old railway arch in the Green Quarter.

Inside, you’ll find a cosy whisky lounge, which also serves locally brewed beer and tasty cocktails. The bar also cooks pizza for the bargain price of £1 on quiz nights. Coffee and brunch are available during the day, when Redbank becomes a quiet café to spend your daylight hours.

You can find this venue at 22 Redbank in the Green Quarter.

The Washhouse

Washhouse front
Credit: The Washhouse

To unassuming passers-by, The Washhouse appears to be nothing more than a simple launderette, but inside, those of us that know the secrets of this venue will find a hidden bar.

To gain entry into this exclusive bar, customers are required to call and leave a message on an answering machine, stating how many bags they want to book in for a service wash. If you’re lucky, you’ll get a call back from The Washhouse to make your reservation.

Booking in advance is the only way you will make it inside the elusive bar – if your name’s not down, you’re not getting in.

Credit: The Washhouse

Emma from The Washhouse told us how the idea for the venue first came about: “We’ve always wanted to have a hidden bar. Once we began our venture with The Launderette Restaurant, it just made sense to keep the laundry theme going; it worked for us then and it’s working for us now.

“What makes us different, aside from our hidden persona behind a launderette exterior, is our cocktails. Quirky presentation, alongside exciting flavours, make for a great time in The Washhouse. We test the limits with flavour combinations.

“Being in The Washhouse is different to being in just another cocktail bar, it’s an experience from the moment you walk through the door and embrace the fun launderette disguise, right until the moment you leave at the end of your ‘cycle.”

The Washhouse is located at 19 Shudehill in the Northern Quarter.

Dusk Til Pawn

dusk til pawn
Credit: Dusk Til Pawn

Hidden behind the façade of an American style pawn shop, Dusk Til Pawn is a disguised, secret bar.

Dusk Til Pawn sticks to its theme, allowing for customers to haggle on the prices of their drinks. This venue offers a jukebox, tasty cocktails and a great night out for people looking for something different and out of the ordinary.

Dusk Til Pawn can be found on Lever Street in the Northern Quarter.



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