A glass triangular prism sits on the pavement outside the Armani store on Deansgate. It’s hardly noticeable during the day, but at night the light emanating from underneath it, and the door staff, isolated from colleagues at any other nearby bar, draw a lot of attention. To read the bar’s name, you’ve got to walk right up to the door staff, to check the pale white lettering printed in a slender font on the glass.
I went on Bank Holiday Sunday. In front of me, a group of twenty-something-year-old lads were being stopped by security.
I told the doorman I was going to meet a girl. He let me in, past the exasperated group and down the long, under-lit staircase to the bar area where the bar staff were mixing cocktails over Bunsen burners. I met my date near the DJ booth, where deep house pulsed from an immense touch-screen glass mixing station. It’s worth going to see that alone. (But of course, my date was better to look at.) The painted brick walls and iron ceiling offered good reverb, and looks a lot better than I’m making it sound. Before long we were smashed on “Love You Long Time” cocktails and the supplies from their (incredibly tall) back-bar.
The toilets, normally the downfall of many a “classy” bar, were on top form: clean, with soap and moisturiser dispensers and Dyson Airblade hand-dryers. On the way back to the bar, I noticed the walkway passes not only the restaurant’s dining room but the kitchen, and you can stop to watch the chefs frying up behind the darkened glass.
A rough guide for a night out: check this bar out, then head into Spinningfields for venues of the same class. But beforehand, just keep your group small, load up your wallet and dress to impress.