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Black Dog Ballroom To Open Second Bar Off Oxford Road

Jonathan Schofield and how the runaway Northern Quarter success story is set to expand

Written by . Published on February 14th 2012.

Black Dog Ballroom To Open Second Bar Off Oxford Road

ROSS Mackenzie pauses for thought as he considers the question, what qualities make for a good bar? 

It’s easy to define quality in a restaurant or pub but a bar is a many headed beast, difficult to pin down. 

“With the Black Dog Ballroom in the Northern Quarter,” he says, “it’s about the location, the feel of the place, keeping the door policy tight, having the right music and crucially having variety. 

“There’s a lot going on in the Black Dog, there’s a pool bar, food, different areas to move into. You need a good combination of factors and that leads to a great atmosphere. It’s also about being creative and flexible in approach. We use the smaller pool tables, easier for women to reach across, so the game becomes more about technique rather than strength. Oh and there’s one further thing as well.” 

And what’s that? 

“It helps to a have a poster advertising the Black Dog Ballroom as part of the Coronation Street set,” says Mackenzie deadpanning. 

The Black Dog Ballroom’s flexibility and variety has reaped rich dividends. The venue, sited under Affleck’s Palace, turned over more than £2.2m in the previous year. It's good news elsewhere too. The company's latest venture, the Liars Club, off Bridge Street, is also proving a popular and enduring success. 

Now the Black Dog Ballroom is on the march again.

In mid-May 2012 the second bar will open in the old Pure Space venue on New Wakefield Street just off Oxford Road and under the shadow of the rapidly growing Student Castle with its accommodation for 520 students. 

Facade NightFacade Night

The new Black Dog (final name is yet to be decided) will seek to re-create the same speakeasy/diner atmosphere, pool tables and all, as the original. 

It will be spread over three floors, including a basement that will be hired out to club promoters, and titled (ho, ho) Underdog. This will feature a state-of-the-art Funktion-one sound system.

The bar will offer pizzas, burgers, hot dogs and salads while the fine roof terrace created by Pure Space will come complete with BBQ station to serve the Black Dog’s signature burgers wrapped in wax paper. 

Opening will start earlier than at the original, at 10am to cater for breakfasts and brunch for the vast student market in the area. 

"We’re looking foward to seeing how the Black Dog idea works in this locations and over three levels. We're excited about the shape of the space, the roof terrace and so on,” says Mackenzie. “The design again comes from Start JG (formerly Judge Gill).

"This venue will help us refine the brand because we are looking further afield for sites in other northern cities, Leeds, Liverpool, Sheffield. And also for further sites for The Liars Club concept. ” 

It seems the Black Dog has legs - so to speak. 

You can follow Jonathan Schofield on Twitter here @JonathSchofield

Want a job with the Black Dog?

The Black Dog Ballroom has started the recruitment process for a team to run the new venue. They are looking for a general manager, assistant general manager and duty managers. Click here for further details.


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

Helen Ramsbottom shared this on Facebook on February 14th 2012.
Georgina Hague shared this on Facebook on February 14th 2012.
robd977February 14th 2012.

Wow this is very exciting

Calum McGFebruary 14th 2012.

Fantastic news! It looks a lot smarter - I like the new entrance. Pure Space became a bit of a dump when they put that ramshackle shed on the roof to make it more enclosed. Gen X (showing my age!) was way cooler. Good luck to Ross n co with the new venture... Can't wait :D

AnonymousFebruary 15th 2012.

I think the new club is on NEW Wakefield Street not, Wakefield Street

EditorialFebruary 15th 2012.

Anon you're right, changed. Thanks

CBFebruary 15th 2012.

It's great space and close to my office! Black Dog are the right team to take it over as well as they make use of it in the right way.

Reader XxxFebruary 15th 2012.

Well Done Jobe...Congratulations !!! Well Deserved !!!

AnonymousFebruary 16th 2012.

Makes me consider returning to Manchester. Not really,but good look to you all. Proud of you chaps. Family member.

JackMay 22nd 2012.

Does anybody remember generation x with its open top roof with dj playing & sand pit?? kool times them around 1999, 2000.

PaulMay 22nd 2012.

For all the excitment and build up, I went last friday and at 7pm ordered pizzas (half of the menu is pizzas) for 10 of us to share 6 pizzas. They took my money and then 10 minutes later told us they had no pizzas, along with most of anything else on the menu. Not very good for somewhere that has a USP of selling food all night. They decided to compensate us with complimentry chips and onion rings, which took nearly two hours to reach us. Not to mention in the middle of this a barmaid quite forcefully demanded I settled a bar tab which wasn't mine. When I tried to explain it wasn't mine she rudely shouted in my face "yes it is, I served you, I think i'd remember who I served you liar" turns out she was wrong and the guy who's bar tab it was, was sat on the other side of the bar. Rude staff, poor service, expensive drinks and can't provide the menu they advertise! DON'T GO THERE!

1 Response: Reply To This...
AnonymousJune 9th 2012.

Completely agree, they never serve food to the time they say they do at the NQ site, I heard them telling people they can only have chips at 10pm yet the neon outside states 1am. The weekend we went they were closing the Underdog and top floor early due to being too quiet. The manager just kept pacing, swinging his keys around with a face on him.

DavidJune 9th 2012.

Went for food with a few friends, shocking and seeing people regularly manhandled out of both blackdog venues should you really have pool tables offering a variety of weapons.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DavidJune 9th 2012.

Also had to send some of the drinks (wine) back due to short measures.

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