Welcome to Manchester Confidential
Reset Password
The Confidential websites will be undergoing routine updates. This may cause the sites to go offline. We apologise in advance for any inconvenience.

You are here: Manchester ConfidentialFood & Drink.

Are You Being Served? Bolshy bar staff

Simon Binns is personally affronted by the Northern Quarter attitude problem

Written by . Published on December 16th 2011.

Are You Being Served? Bolshy bar staff

OH, the Northern Quarter - where to begin?

It's trendy and bohemian, yeah?

I know it's a terrible inconvenience and I'm massively cutting into your day but when I worked behind bars as a student, I was always told that you serve your customers, not sneer at them.

But there's a problem. This seems to be getting misconstrued by many of the bar staff who work there as a licence to be aloof and downright rude to their customers.

I've now lost count of the times I've gone into a bar in the NQ and been made to feel like I'm somehow disturbing somebody's day by asking them for a drink.

The most recent example was at a well-established bar during an opening event. The place is on Thomas Street and the staff seemed to be having a great time feeding each other shots and chatting away to each other, and looked outraged at the fact somebody had asked them for a drink.

"Calm down mate, we're having a party," one said.

Excuse me?

It's not funny or cute. It's rude, and it will lose you customers. Your boss won't think it's funny either.

You're not in a band, and even if you are, right now, you're working behind a bar, so give me the time of day and ideally, a drink as well.

Don't look me up and down, don't judge my clothes or my beard, just give me a beer in exchange for cash.

If you take a job behind a bar, it should be a realistic expectation to have to serve people drinks. This appears to have come as a major shock.

In some places, staff seemed to have developed a serious superiority complex over their customers.

I actually heard two staff in a well-known Northern Quarter coffee shop moaning about how 'the multiples' were trying to move in and take their business.

I'm not surprised, given that you can't get a coffee there before 8am because nobody's dragged their arses out of bed and right now, you're stood there having a discussion while I'm AT THE BAR IN FRONT OF YOU WAITING TO SPEND SOME MONEY IN YOUR SHOP. 

Starbucks is open remember. And just around the corner.

I know it's a terrible inconvenience and I'm massively cutting into your day but when I worked behind bars as a student, I was always told that you serve your customers, not sneer at them.

I'm not cool enough, I know. I don't wear enough vintage clothing, or spectacles that I don't need. I don't knit.

I'm not part of the scene. I don't even know what the scene is.

But to (sort of) quote Hugh Grant in Notting Hill, I'm just a boy, standing here, hoping that a barman will love me back.

The fact of the matter is, the sheer snottiness of some of the bar staff around there can make the Northern Quarter an unpleasant place to go for a drink. (Of course this problem isn't exclusive to the Northern Quarter but it's here where the highest porportion of 'we're better than you bar staff dwell'.)

The good - and there are many of them - will lose out as a result. You can be cool and edgy and polite at the same time. It is possible.

And I know working behind a bar means you have to deal with wankers quite a lot of the time. I've done it. It's no fun.

But if you don't like the job, jack it in. You have a choice. And so do we. But the area, the city and more importantly your customers deserve the grace of you thinking of them first. 

Like what you see? Enter your email to sign up for our newsletters which are chock-a-block with more great reviews, news, deals and savings.

91 comments so far, continue the conversation, write a comment.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2011.

Trof, Teacup and Common are all awful for this.

peeDecember 16th 2011.

won't go to common cos they were rude about 9 mths ago, giving me jip for asking to be served when they were rammed and short of staff.

AnonymousDecember 16th 2011.

Why hasn't the author named and shamed these establishments?

IzzyDecember 16th 2011.

Totally agree, I loathe the 'NQ' exactly for this reason. I've had more than one bad experience in a restaurant on Thomas Street (clue in the street name as to what restaurant) - left waiting at the door for over five minutes, drinks that were ordered on arrival being served when the bill arrived and most of the evening spent either beckoning for an order to be taken or asking for the table to be cleared. You are not working in SoHo or Greenwich Village, get over yourselves....

AnonymousDecember 16th 2011.

In Brighton you can experience this attitude in virtually every bar in the town.

DrakesterDecember 17th 2011.

You're sort-of quoting Julia Roberts in Notting Hill, not Hugh Grant...

Dave MartinDecember 17th 2011.

Disagree about trof, always friendly to me and I'm no trendy

AnonymousDecember 17th 2011.

I had a similar problem at Bluu. Common is not great either but do we have a choice and just go to other places like Soup Kitchen. Bluu again? thanks but no thanks

Jamie BeeDecember 17th 2011.

I've heard the bar staff in Common moaning having the JD Williams staff in there at lunchtimes because they wear office dress and Common isn't that sort of place.

StephenDecember 18th 2011.

I've never had this problem myself. Although my wife was once informed by some young upstart in that tea place that her favourite cuppa shouldn't be served with milk. He was put straight very quickly. He was wrong.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Alan WharrierDecember 19th 2011.

Earl Grey ...

StephenDecember 20th 2011.

No it wasn't. It was one of Mr Scruffs brews that she drinks here at home. Don't ask me what it is, but I know that the Earl Grey she drinks as another brand.

AnonymousDecember 18th 2011.

Bluu is shocking, worst customer service, worst cocktails in the world. Yes I've travelled it and yes it's true. They need a serious overhaul of management to make the place better. Just because they're in the best location in the NQ doesn't mean they can run the business so unprofessionally.

AlexDecember 18th 2011.

Finally, someone has said it and he has plenty of people agreeing with him. The Bay Horse staff (one young lady inparticular) were so rude I cannot tell you. I have never been treated so badly in any bar anywhere. I actually lost my temper and argued back, this in turn made me look like a pushy customer. I worked in bars for years and I know it's a tough job. This is why I respect what they do greatly. Manners and customer service cost nothing and they had neither. Very very disappointing and I won't ever go back in. All the other bars have always treated me well though. What a shame Bay Horse.

AnonymousDecember 18th 2011.

Its ok to name and shame isn't it? A girl working behind the bar at Odd once sneered at me and cast her eyes to heaven after I politely pointed out that the bottle of beer she opened and handed to me was in fact an entirely different beer to the one I had asked her for.

food for thoughtDecember 19th 2011.

Everybody please CALM DOWN

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.


Don't really want to engage in the whole NQ rudeness thing, but I would say that in the main it's just bad service which I hate to break it to you, is rife in Manchester. There's very few places where I can say I've had good service, even most of Mancon's totemic faves, Oast House, Australasia etc. I do have beef with the fact that there is a really noticeable anti-NQ rhetoric that is being stacked up by various Mancon 'journos', articles littered with antagonistic comments about beards, hats, specs and mac products. Generalising and making derogatory comments every time you review somewhere in the NQ just makes anything you write seem like you've turned up with a chip on your shoulder and the slant of the article is predetermined. Like I said I wouldn't deny that some bar staff in the Northern Quarter have been rude to customers, and that should be addressed, but the vast majority are great and this is evidenced by the fact that people come back time and time again making the Northern Quarter a vibrant and bustling destination.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.


AnonymousJanuary 2nd 2012.


Jonathan Schofield - EditorDecember 19th 2011.

There is no Northern Quarter prejudice on Manchester Confidential. To say that is foolish.

We love the place and spend huge amounts of time and money dining and drinking there.

I, both as a tour guide to the city and as a writer, wish the spirit of independence that some businesses display in N4 was more generally spun out across the city.

If you can give examples of this 'prejudice' then I'd be interested to note them. There's nothing but love in the recent House of Haynes article, the Manchester Apocalypse article, the 63 Degrees article.

Still it has to be said that service levels in several establishments borders on the glib and the rude and is frequently amateurish.

This article arose from a particular night in the Northern Quarter witnessed by Simon, when bar staff were turning their backs on customers, laughing amongst themselves and failing to provide a remotely appropriate level of service.

We're a magazine. We comment. About everything to do with Manchester.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

Like I said I dont' take issue with the specific circumstance, and obviously judging by some of the comments it's not an isolated incident. But I think to flesh out a couple of personal experiences in to sweeping generalisations encompassing an entire area of the city seems a bit rich. Also to make clunky and frankly ludicrous parallels between a small independent coffee shop and starbucks then I think Mancon may have lost the plot. The Northern Quarter by it's nature is idiosyncratic and independent so you shouldn't expect to be experience it in the same way, that's the whole point. I think as an area the NQ should take note of the comments and not dismiss the sentiments expressed here, but then at the same time the NQ isn't to everyone's taste, and that's just fine.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

I recently went into a NQ bar. I wont name it but it has dark coloured canine in the name...and its under Afflecks. I got laughed at for my drinks choice (which was a whisky)?! I must have been wearing the wrong shoes or something?

1 Response: Reply To This...
CatalinaDecember 20th 2011.

This happened to me too........in the establishment named after a tusk adorned sea mammal. Is a vodka and cranberry really that strange?!

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

Manchester confidential is not a magazine! its an advertorial website. The sooner people realise this, the better.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
FurFoxAcheDecember 19th 2011.

In my eyes, it exists as both. To promote and comment on Manchester life.

Jonathan Schofield - EditorDecember 19th 2011.

Anonymous who talked about advertorial, please don't ever read us again, because the things we write and the reviews we make are honestly held. You clearly do not have the wit to understand this so why bother with us. Meanwhile whenever I write anything I do it from conviction, so I resent your opinions. Name me the advertorial that isn't clearly about one of our advertisers. Name me the general article or the rated review that is bent?

Manchester Confidential is the only magazine in this city that employs significant numbers of people and takes advertising yet is brave enough to criticise the city, its businesses and corporations as we feel fit.

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

This definitely isn't a magazine.

Jonathan Schofield - EditorDecember 20th 2011.

Yes it is, Mr or Mrs Hide Behind Anonymous Tag.

AnonymousDecember 22nd 2011.

I'll start taking your "magazine" seriously when you get your hand out of living ventures ass.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

Teacup has the worst service and rudest staff in the NQ. Why anyone frequents the place is anyone's guess.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Richard HJDecember 19th 2011.

I love the idea of a place calling itself Teacup having 'the worst service and rudest staff in the NQ'. Brilliant.

SmittyJanuary 16th 2012.

I have never, once, had bad service in Teacup. In fact, quite the opposite...

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

The service in the curry cafes is always pretty decent. Is there any other reason to go that part of town?

tDecember 19th 2011.

There's some gold as well. North Tea Power is an obvious standout, where a simple brew is elevated to the level of sheer excellence, Wayne and co are *all* about the quality of their service/product and know that's what makes them money. There's certainly a cooler than thou problem across the area mind, Port St Beer House has lost our drinking contract after two visits (our beards weren't good enough and our drinks too 'standard').

Man in a ShedDecember 19th 2011.

Common, last year. Went to the bar to order three beers. Lad behind bar nicely suggests that rather than waiting, he would bring them over when poured. Go and sit down. And wait. And wait. Give up and go back to bar where said beer is sat on bar, sans barman. Pick beer up to return to seat, only to accosted by (presumably) manager who asks in an aggressive tone whether I had paid. I replied in the affirmative and explain the situation. No apology for either the earlier failings or indeed the inquisition. Never again.

Service in Trof has been so bad it has been comical. Went back in around twelve months ago after abandoning it as a lost cause. Apparently they were trying out table service, but noone had seemed to tell the bar staff how such a system worked. Orders were being taken at the bar on a tab with the promise of drinks appearing at tables shortly after. When they eventually did, they were frequently wrong or only partially fulfilled. To their credit, both staff and customers were jovial enough about the situation. When the time comes to leave, we queue at the bar for a good five minutes to settle the bill. Eventually we are told to try downstairs. Similar situation, five deep at the bar. After another significant wait we walked. Trof £40 down.

1 Response: Reply To This...
Jamie BeeDecember 19th 2011.

The service in Trof is amongst the worst i've ever had. I used to go in for breakfast but in the end the crap service stopped me. I once asked whether I could have beans on toast as both items are on the menu seperately, I was told that it'd be 'impossible to do' god knows why. Another time the member of staff brought my breakfast up to the table upstairs, dropped my toast on the floor, then picked it up and put it back on my plate; when I complained about this he seemed very surprised that I wanted some fresh toast.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

I won't go to Trof even though I like their food cos of how fooking long it takes. Always found the staff friendly enough though.

Was at Teacup the other day and ordered a second coffee which never came - when I managed to get the waitress over I asked her to cancel my coffee as I needed to leave, she returned to say it's just been made - no thanks. She wasn't happy.

Port Street - there is definitely one gent who works there who is a snob when it comes to beer. He also told my mate to quiet down when he was shouting (not aggressively) on a rammed Saturday evening.

Can I just take this opportunity to praise the lads at This and That? Dead friendly and helpful.

JoanDecember 19th 2011.

I'm just on my way to Sugar Junction for lunch. They've always been very sweet when I've been there before. Will report back.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

Went. Loved it again. The apple crumble cake with custard is superb; like having a pudding and having a cake, but only one lot of calories. And the service was superb. Just one slight problem: custard a tiny bit too cool but it was put right promptly and with a smile.

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

Judging by what's just happened to my post above, I'm guessing that some of the Anonymous people would have been happy to use their name but the system doesn't always offer the opportunity. Joan Davies

Man in a ShedDecember 19th 2011.

Sugar Junction - good point. Exceptionally friendly as befits such a venue.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

Teacup staff are so snooty they instruct you on exactly how long to let your tea brew and how you *must* pour into another pot first before pouring it into your cup. They even come back and check on you 4 minutes later to ensure you've done it properly. Unbelievably patronising. I think at 50, I know how to make tea. And besides, they are so expensive I won't go back again. It's NTP or Sugar Junction for me, where the staff are friendly.

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

Has it not been explained to them the reason for giving good service? For starters, where do they think their wages come from?

AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

I am a bartender in the northern quarter and I have never once acted in such a way towards a customer and neither would any other member of my bar team. To brand the nq as a whole in any copasity is ignorant. All of the better bars would also agree that there staff don't act like that towards customers. A few of the bars mentioned in the comments are notorious for giving off bad vibes and even I don't bother with them. All I can say is stick to the good drinking holes in the nq and stay clear of the bad.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 19th 2011.

"copasity is ignorant"

tDecember 20th 2011.

Why not mention which bar your from so we can come and get good service?

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

Sorry I probably should of. My name is pabsy and I work at hula bar in stevenson square and we got nominated for best good time bar in the uk class awards this year

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

Oh and I wrote this on my iPhone thus copasity rather than capacity haha

Richard HJDecember 20th 2011.

If I worked in a NQ bar I'd blank the lot of you, you moaning minnies. I suppose you want a cuddle as well. And, "Ooh, can you pay with a cheque?". No you can't.

PDecember 20th 2011.

I live in the NQ and I have to say that the customers are just as bad as the staff in some places, common being one! I have to wear a suit for work, get over it! I'll take my cash and spend it elsewhere if you dont like my attire when I go for an after work bite to eat/drink!
Trof food (breakfast especially) is great but unless you have 2 days spare to wait for it, its not worth venturing in, also you may end up with something completely different to what you ordered! Weekend breakfast staff need to ramp it up a gear!
Home Sweet Home, newish to the scene but coming up well, and they will let you go off menu within reason, unlike Trof!
Teacup.... just dont bother anymore, it takes forever to get served and the service is rubbish!
Odd, never really had problems, its like a speedier, slightly less pretentious Trof!
Keko, love this place mid week, but its a no go zone of a weekend, thats more to do with the size of the place and the fact cocktails arent quick to make, nowt to do with the staff!
Walrus stopped doing their Pan Asian menu... whats the point anymore!??
Bluu... whatever!
Thomas - never had a problem, food can be hit and miss, but service has always been friendly enough.
TNQ - Staff are lovely, service is friendly, if not a little slow, but all in all one of my favoured places in the NQ.

I've got to agree with Anonymous above, dont just tar the NQ with this rude, slow service brush. It spills beyond the boundaries of the NQ and into the city as a whole. Obviously not every venue but there are a places where the staff need to remember who the customer is. I agree if a customer is being a kn*b you dont have to put up with that, but when people are being genuine and polite get over yourself and give us the service we deserve!

Jared SzpakowskiDecember 20th 2011.

Leave vintage clothes out of this!!!!!!!!!!!!!

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

I'm suprised by this article but maybe that's because I've been to Trof only once and Common only once because that's all I needed - they were both full of w**kers! I stick to Apotheca where the music is great and the staff are wonderful.

shaunacDecember 20th 2011.

I refer to a comment I made on this site on May 13th 2008!!! things clearl;y haven't changed (and I Haven't returned): I have been a regular in Trof since the first one opened in Fallowfield - oh happy times - since they've started to expanded it feels like the brand has got far too big for it's boots - namely the NQ branch. I visited the NQ Trof a couple of weekends ago and was sorley disappointed for the third visit in a row - the staff are the rudest I have ever come across - particulalary the manager who told me to "just F*** off....(F****ing customers)" when I asked to talk to him for a minute. The week before my friend tried to pay on his card, when he entered the number incorrectly (once!) the staff used the same expletives and told him to go borrow some cash from someone next time. Why does it feel like the staff think they're too cool for school and that the customers just get in the way of they're private club. well don't worry I won't be back again.

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

To stick up for the decent guys behind the bars, the service in (especially) Home Sweet Home has always been exceptional, ditto Apotheca (bar 1 or 2 useless cocktail makers who, from what i've seen of late, were fairly short-lived there anyway).

Never personally had an issue with the Commons, Trofs, Cords or Centros of the NQ, had good nights and had bad nights service-wise, pretty much as you'd expect from any bar on any night in any town.

To name and shame those that deserve naming and shaming; we haven't been to Simple for years following a rapid decline after the introduction of table service a few years back - the occasional review visit always confirms they never recovered.

But the all-time (and continual) WORST we've experienced is the aforementioned Thomas St Restaurant; long waits, absent or disinterested staff, complete inability to cope with more than 2 covers at a time. absolute shambles every time we visit; it's a shame as (when it eventually arrives) the food is always of a high quality (hence the repeat visits). can't complain too much though, as not ONCE have the staff ever added up the bill accurately - much to our benefit!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

To compound these issues with Thomas St Restaurant, we have been in at the same time as (who i have been reliably informed is) the owner once or twice. He ignores the obvious - sometimes vocal - frustrations of his patrons by monopolising his staff and prioritising his orders to impress whoever he's dining with - leading us to conclude the whole venture is his vanity project alone. (A conclusion also drawn from the fact he's positioned an oversized, vainly posed portait of himself and his "band" prominently on the back wall, watching over the poor unfortunates within his domain.

jpDecember 20th 2011.

I think if you're writing about bad bar service you need to name the bars that you are talking about rather than just slating the northern quarter bars as a whole.
Personally I've had bad experiences in Bluu and wouldn't go back there, and don't bother with the Bay Horse, but all the others seem ok to me. Have had slow service at times when eating in Trof and Teacup but they've always been very friendly.

David GodfreyDecember 20th 2011.

Worst NQ experience was in Bar Fringe. Asked for three pints only to greeted with a look of withering contempt from the barmaid. After a period of uncomfortable silence I enquired whether something was amiss? Her reply?, "I'm not serving you till you say please."
We left and haven't been back since.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
GrumpusDecember 21st 2011.

Inexcusable behaviour by the bar staff. Absolutely inexcusable behaviour from you, Mr Godfrey.

Ryan O'hanlonDecember 23rd 2011.

sounds fair enoughrt that. "3 pints please". Why/when would you NOT say please????

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

David, I must admit I sometimes did the same when i worked behind a student bar, i hate people that don't say please or thank you! It's just basic good manners.

Barney HubbleDecember 20th 2011.

Troff doorstaff are also bad. They turn regulars aqway and let the printworks nobs in. Such rude blokes too.

StephenDecember 20th 2011.

The worst practice I have seen was in Odder (I know, not NQ, but stick with me) when my wife and I stood at the bar until a table came free for us to sit at. About 5 minutes after sitting down at our table for two the barman came over with a printed A4 reserving the table for about 20 minutes later. Naturally I asked what was going on, and was informed that they had just had a call reserving a table. I protested, informing him that the table was not free and that this preactice was very rude, to which he shrugged his shoulders. Others saw this, and should thank their lucky stars that I didn't ring the bar and reserve their table? It seems to be all you have to do after all!

I mention this because this was the second time this had been done to me, the first time in Odd (NQ) when I let it go because other seats became free quickly enough for it not to be an issue. But it's not on.

A Management issue I know, but they are staff too.

Andrew ArmstrongDecember 20th 2011.

And still we all potter along...
One place (Teacup) took 40 minutes to get three of us 3 coffees and cake. There were only four customers in the place at the time other than us. When we enquired after 20 minutes, we were told in no uncertain terms that we should be patient, they were training and then given a very rude look by all the staff. Training for what? Brain surgery. Never been again.

I've worked for biggies like Whitbread and we'd have been hauled over coals by the managers for taking more than 15 minutes for food service. Especially without an explanation and an offer of a free drink at least. We were told to tell customers when they ordered how long they would have to wait and let them decide if it was worth it. And don't get me started on table management...

Why does one guy reading a paper and who has clearly finished his coffee take up a table for four at a busy time whilst potential customers wanting food have to go elsewhere? If you wanted to maximise covers you'd at least ask him to move to the bar. No wonder venues go under. And why does it take a place 15 minutes to get you just a coffee when Pret can do it in three? And with more polite service.

This "slow food" thing is not about service you know.

E.T.QuetteDecember 20th 2011.

People don't lie. We go back because we all love the idea of the Northern Quarter yet the service is what you expect in the Printworks. We give the bars respect so they should give it back. But why are some of the staff in Common/Teacup/Odd/Alchemy/Trof/The Castle so piss poor in terms of appreciating out hard earned sterling.

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 26th 2012.

The staff aren't piss poor at appreciating you or your money. They hardly see any of it themselves. We're underpaid, overworked, frequently don't get breaks, and undervalued by owners and diabolically incompetant management who frequently prevent us from giving good service. These establishments are independently owned so everyone's got their own (usually faulty) management structures and mini-ethoses. Some of these places are hobby horses for wealthy individuals hidding behind the quirky poor artist exterior of their establishments. They employ people who need the money and look the part and treat them horribly while the money just keeps rolling in.

AnonymousDecember 20th 2011.

You usually get far better service in the Printworks.

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

I don't know what you expected from NQ? Why do you ranters go there?

Who would go there expecting impersonal expediency?

I mean it’s a community of bars restaurants shops etc that separates itself from high street values, that's largely how it can be defined.

Think I'd rather go to somewhere where the bar staff is quite likely to tell me to do one, or i may accidentally be given a free meal, it just sounds more fun. It’s like the local pubs of old really isn't it?

You can go to bars where every customer is smiled at blankly, the music has been market researched, and mistakes are never made. But they're rubbish.

If you want robotic consistency, go Mc Donalds, the service is always speedy. And maybe once there you take a look around at your fellow 'Mc Diners,' and consider those who share the same value set as yourself.

4 Responses: Reply To This...
StephenDecember 21st 2011.

Whilst I have some respect for your points about the McChains (I've only ever used this one for the lavs), you do seem to have rose tinted specs with regards to the NQ? Lets be honest, the Pbourgeoisie

StephenDecember 21st 2011.

(whoops!)... the Petite Bourgeoisie establishments of the NQ know exactly how to market themselves at their target consumer, just as the chains do. Yes, your right that on the whole they do a better job at it, but this does not mean that we as customers have to let simple expectations slide?

If you really think that its a "community" then they have done a good job on you. Some of us remember the 'fact finding' trips to Temple Bar in Dublin by Councillors who wanted to replicate its success. The NQ is marketed, and was carefully researched.

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

Shock horror, businesses in NQ aim at particular demographic! I don't see what you see is so underhand and cynical about that. It is an area that has grown out of a community, unlike eg. Castlefield which was just huge corporate investment, an area created out of nowhere. People have lived and working in the NQ for a long time, it has at least some roots.

StephenDecember 21st 2011.

I wasn't the one suggesting that the NQ separated itself from the values of the high street? Nor have I suggested that its particular brand of comerce is underhand or cynical?

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

Went to Keko Moku loads of times but about 6 months ago the bloke behind the bar asked if I wanted to get behind the bar and serve and then proceeded to slag me off to his colleague after I checked with him that he had heard what I was saying (as its always loud at the bar)

He was too busy being cool for a group of girls and I was a male inconvenience. Working in PR & Marketing I ensure that I stick to the rule of thumb with customer satisfaction...pleased customers tell about 2-4 people, unhappy customers tell 10....must be well over 10 by now!

Loved the place, hated attitude of the staff.

MagurdracDecember 21st 2011.

Oklahoma in the NQ looks like the kind of place where you could get a drink served by a friendly, liberal, tree-hugging sort.

Not so.

I took my drink to the bar with a smile. "Good afternoon!" I said with a smile. Nothing.

"This 2 quid, Mike?" she grunted at her colleague. "Yeah." came the response.

Took the money out of my hand without relaying this to me or making eye contact, never smiled, didn't respond when I said thank you. Needless to say, I shan't be rushing back.

AnonymousDecember 21st 2011.

For many years, Oklahoma's been one of my favourite shops in Manchester but unfortunately not the most attentive of staff in the cafe or shop. I haven't come across another place like it but the goods can be easily found online!

Man in a ShedDecember 21st 2011.

I think the gist of what I've been reading is that, rightly or wrongly a lot of people (myself included) are pretty cheesed off with the indifferent or frankly crap service that they believe they have been on the receiving end of in the Northern Quarter. However, would I give a toss if I was the owner of any of the establishments mentioned in the article or comments? Probably not. The venues are packed out week in week out, and at £4.50 plus a pint are not scraping the barrel in terms of prospective custom. Tommy off Early Doors would certainly not be seen nursing his half of mild in the Bay Horse. I suppose the solution that I have adopted is to write much of the area off as a prospective destination for a few beers and instead concentrate my attention and money on places where I do feel valued as a customer.

On a more positive note, can I say that the barstaff and doorman at Cord on a Friday night last month were fantastic, despite the place being rammed out with the pre-Sankeys crowd.

GlossopsharkDecember 22nd 2011.

The only place In NQ that I have not had this issue is Trof and PSBH - although the dark haired barmaid in PSBH is a bit sullen - but we never go in peak times so maybe we have just been lucky

mike_aDecember 22nd 2011.

Slightly veering off the subject of crap bar staff I heard that Kro2 on Oxford Road is being turned into a Tesco Express in the new year, does anyone know if this is true?

2 Responses: Reply To This...
StephenDecember 22nd 2011.

Not heard, but it wouldn't be a great shock since the BBC upped sticks. Bruntwood own the building after buying it from NCC Group many years ago.

AnonymousJanuary 10th 2012.

I too have heard about Kro2 closing down as they stuggle to make money with this site. Not heard much about a Tesco, but would make sense as they're in other Bruntwood buildings throughout town

AnonymousDecember 22nd 2011.

Gotta stick up for PSBH here, they were always fantastic when I was living in town. They know their stuff, were as courteous as I could stand to be and even bought us a leaving drink when my flatmates and I all moved away. My favourite place in Manchester. But I would say that as I'm a bearded graphic designer with two macs and a difficult haircut.

Bob CoolDecember 23rd 2011.

Vot is it with all you soppy daily mail readers, we don't want your sort in the NQHQ if u can't take a bit of cool atitude. Dat is what it's about, we don't just up at 2pm and walk into work looking this disheveled/hot. IT TAKES TIME. This beard won't grow by itself. Respect my beard. Unlike you, I don't have to wear these specs, but I do yeah. If you ask me for a drink, you will get it, but why should i even look at you in the face clean shirt and chinos.

AnonymousJanuary 7th 2012.

Unless you know the bar staff they're so rude. I used to go to trof, bluu, keko and black dog with my friend when she lived in manchester and because they kind of knew her and she was hot, we had free drinks, free entry, special treatment and the best service in the world. But when i stepped into trof without her last week, the staff who had frequently been nice to us in the past, were all of a sudden rude and stand offish. I wont be setting foot in there again. It definitely is putting me off the NQ.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 11th 2012.

It's because you're ugly.

AnonymousJanuary 11th 2012.

It's because you're ugly.

Reader WoodJanuary 9th 2012.

the biggest problem with walrus is the fact that they have the nerve to charge £4 for two glasses of coke, its even worse when the two glasses of coke are poured from 3 fun sized cans (how does that even add up?) the door staff at black dog are some of the rudest in manchester! bad attitude with anyone that's not a 17yr old half dressed girl!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJanuary 11th 2012.

Why don't you just buy a 2 litre bottle of Coke for £1.19 and then stay in then?

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2012.

If one were to name and shame; PSBH is bar far the poorest for service and attitudes, followed by Common, Home Sweet Home......and sneaking in to the bottom three; Bay Horse. I've lived here for years and am not fortunate to have a creative job, sign on, or play professionally in a band. This means sometimes I come home from work clean shaven, wearing a suit and stuff in my hair!!! This attire in Port Street Beer House, I get the impression, is equivalent to asking for "a go" on the bartenders dead nan and spitting directly in their beard. Ask for a "recommended lager" and you might as well dig up the old girl there and then!!!!

Some of the best; Soup always offers a friendly face, as does Apotheca and Blackdog (now it's no longer being managed by a chap who reminded me of Phil Mitchell).

It's the way it is guys and dolls!!! If you want to reside and/or drink in TNQ we have to deal with it!!

Don't forget that these people do work unsociable hours for minimum wage. Poor excuses I'll grant you as most do in the service industry, but let's not forget; "the bartender is the aristocrat of the working class" - Cocktail, 1988.

AnonymousJanuary 16th 2012.

If one were to name and shame; PSBH is bar far the poorest for service and attitudes, followed by Common, Home Sweet Home......and sneaking in to the bottom three; Bay Horse. I've lived here for years and am not fortunate to have a creative job, sign on, or play professionally in a band. This means sometimes I come home from work clean shaven, wearing a suit and stuff in my hair!!! This attire in Port Street Beer House, I get the impression, is equivalent to asking for "a go" on the bartenders dead nan and spitting directly in their beard. Ask for a "recommended lager" and you might as well dig up the old girl there and then!!!!

Some of the best; Soup always offers a friendly face, as does Apotheca and Blackdog (now it's no longer being managed by a chap who reminded me of Phil Mitchell).

It's the way it is guys and dolls!!! If you want to reside and/or drink in TNQ we have to deal with it!!

Don't forget that these people do work unsociable hours for minimum wage. Poor excuses I'll grant you as most do in the service industry, but let's not forget; "the bartender is the aristocrat of the working class" - Cocktail, 1988.

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2012.


The only place i go to in the NQ is TV21s, i don't av any trouble there like i av elsewhere around the NQ. The barstaff are great and not to mention the 2 doormen who stand on the front door they are really funny they make u feel very welcome to TVs and they always say hi and goodbye no matter who comes and goes. Keep it up TV21s both staff and the 2 on the front door wen i go tonight i will get their names for u all.

AnonymousJanuary 20th 2012.


AnonymousFebruary 27th 2012.

Don't get me started... "I might almost look like I'm supposed to be working here but I'm actually too cool to serve you". Most of the staff appear prefer basking in the reflected glory of being seen in a 'cool' NQ bar but they don't particularly like the inconvenience of having to do some work while they're there. I've worked in bars at night as a student whilst studying at Uni and then working in a shop during the weekend days too. I know how hard the work is but that's no excuse. For those bar workers who do resent serving customers maybe they could try to imagine for a moment that their customers work equally hard too.

To post this comment, you need to login.Please complete your login information.
Or you can login using Facebook.

Latest Rants


I am sharing a great website with where instahacker.xyz… you can learn how to hack an Instagram…

 Read more

If you did not receive any such welcome e-mail you have to call 1300 692 653 for help Those who…

 Read more

Pita Pit are a weird one. Tasty but a bit pricey and I wish they'd just get on and provide you with…

 Read more
Gradyn Thompson

Pita Pit never again expect a PITAfully tiny amount of meat and loads of salad,overpriced and and…

 Read more

Explore The Site

© Mark Garner t/a Confidential Direct 2021

Privacy | Careers | Website by: Planet Code | SEO by The eWord