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Andy Murray finds Dulcimer bar in Chorlton is attracting all types of folk

Published on October 11th 2007.


Another new bar in Chorlton? You’d be forgiven for wondering if there were actually any need. That is, until you found yourself in the scrum to get served at Dulcimer at 9pm on a weeknight. I was lucky to grab the last table in the place. Clearly, the demand is there. Dulcimer, at least in its birth throes, is booming.
A clue to its intended character is there in Dulcimer’s motto, namely ‘fine ales, finer folk’.

And in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s ‘folk’ in the both senses of the word, musical genre included. How perfect, then, that this shrine to the traditional song has opened in the season of yellowing leaves and bonfires

And in case you’re wondering, yes, that’s ‘folk’ in the both senses of the word, musical genre included. How perfect, then, that this shrine to the traditional song has opened in the season of yellowing leaves and bonfires. The décor is heavy on the brickwork and woody fittings – so far, so Bar (indeed, idle chatter suggests that some shallower Chorltonites have been sent in search of new haunts following a mild yet off-putting refurb of that particular old favourite). The musical tack is being taken very seriously, though, with a roster of weekly DJ nights and live performances, leaning towards psychedelia, Krautrock, and, well, folk. In other words, a record collector’s dream come true. (This is, indeed, a bar with its own myspace site.) Plus, you get framed Gong posters and photos of David Crosby dotted about the place. If such things are an acquired taste, plenty of punters appear to have acquired them.

In terms of drinks it’s stocked well and with discernment, offering an array of beers, ales and ciders, many sourced from regional and/or independent suppliers. It’s a similar tale with the appealing menu, which favours local organic produce. The staff are friendly and approachable – albeit mad busy, which is hardly a failing.

Clearly this aims to provide a hang-out for South Manchester’s boho community. There’s a decent-sized upstairs room, where the décor is perhaps on the Spartan side, most likely because it doubles as the DJ and performance area. You couldn’t fault the warm, easy and pleasingly unpretentious atmosphere though.

It’ll certainly be interesting to see how Dulcimer progresses. During my visit, the music wasn’t actually very much in evidence. As such, there’s not much to differentiate it as a bar from the usual suspects in its vicinity – at least, not yet. And one might question whether the folk tag is all well and good while such music is enjoying a spell in the fashion spotlight, but could equally count against it should the tide turn. But thus far, the place is rammed without much reliance on the music – succeeding instead purely on novelty value.

The idea of the place is highly appealing – to me, at least, I’m partial to a pint of dry cider and the sounds of Vashti Bunyan – and it would be a shame if it were to fall into being just a new over-spill for The Bar. Once the initial bustle settles down and it cracks on with developing its own character Dulcimer could become as homely as it intends to be. Then it has every chance of becoming an indispensable and rewarding regular haunt.

Pictures at www.myspace.com/dulcimerltd
Rating: 17/20
Breakdown: 4/5 Food
5/5 Drink
4/5 Ambience
4/5 Decor
Address: Dulcimer
567 Wilbraham Rd,
M21 0AE
0161 860 0044
Sun-Thu noon-11.30pm
Fri-Sat noon-1.30pm

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superdog500October 11th 2007.

A framed Gong poster! I'm there.

AnonymousOctober 11th 2007.

Not sure how you can give them 4/5 for food. I went in on Saturday and they said they dont serve food.

Jonathan SchofieldOctober 11th 2007.

Superdog500 sorry about that, here are some photos for your delectation.

AnonymousOctober 11th 2007.

I love the place and my No.1 choice of bar in Manchester, went in yesterday and had a chat with Will the manager, the kitchen opens next week and the menu sounds fantastic, platters, soups, open sandwiches all local & organic produce ! Long live Dulcimer !

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