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First Look: Allotment Bar Restaurant Opens In NQ

Ex-Revs boys open first indie venture on Dale Street

Written by . Published on August 1st 2014.


First Look: Allotment Bar Restaurant Opens In NQ
 

ALLOTMENT bar and restaurant is the latest in a torrent of recent Northern Quarter bar and restaurant openings.

Some may weep about the ruthless gentrification of the area, but Confidential would point to the string of food and drink openings happening right across the city. This isn't a Northern Quarter spring, it's a Manchester spring. Get on board.

Gentrification or not, that's entirely what the Northern Quarter should be about.

We already like Allotment.

Not only because it reminds us of Granpop's shed, with potted vegetation lining the walls and buckets hanging from the ceiling. Not because it has whiffs of varnish or because they've sourced some quality cask beers.

Not just because they're offering fourteen different types of gin, pheasant breast, or buttery corn on the cob on the menus, not even because there's enough room inside to swing a garden hoe.

AllotmentAllotment

And not because these images are so ruddy handsome - although it does help.

But we're on board with Allotment because the chaps behind the bar restaurant, Gavin Williams and James Kennedy, are two young entrepreneurial sorts who've grafted away in Vodka Revolution for the last four to five years, tucking away enough money to eventually go it alone and open their own place - a true independent.

And gentrification or not, that's entirely what the Northern Quarter should be about. Young upstarts giving it a go. Good luck to 'em.

A full scored review will follow.

@AllotmentBar

Allotment, Dale Street, Northern Quarter.

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

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

I don't like it. It looks like a pop-up bar in Spinningfields. They've tried too hard with the design. In fact it looks like part of The Botanist on Deansgate. Let's have a Manchester themed bar called 'Mad For It' or 'Sorted'.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

Right. I don't intend this to be a criticism of this bar per se but more about the way bar design has gone in Manchester in recent years. Almost every new bar seems to use the same formula: Take a big empty room, decide on the "theme", source suitable themed props, bric-a-brac and furniture, serve some real ales, cocktails and burgers, sprinkle on a bit of PR et voila - your new bar is born. I'm sure this place will be nice enough, but what really sets it apart from anywhere else in the city? I'd really like to see the return of some genuinely creative, quirky and characterful modern design that feels integral to the building or space it sits in. The current breed of bars often feels like you've walked into a sort of licensed theatre set which can be quickly packed away if the operation goes tits up or the lease gets flogged on to someone else.

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

^ someone's copied and reposted my comment from yesterday. Strange.

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

Perhaps they thought it was a more appropriate as a reply to the above post rather than a post in its own right.

Beast is backAugust 5th 2014.

You've not tried Superstore then?

Calum McGAugust 19th 2014.

Superstore is ace! Nice, simple, clean fit out. Pays great homage to the wonderful building it's in.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Loving the look of this, can't wait to check it out! It looks awesome!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Hero
GordoAugust 4th 2014.

Sam, leave the explanation marks alone, you were always too much into them when you worked for me.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Great atmosphere, wonderful food, excellent range of drinks and friendly staff. Awesome indeed!!

1 Response: Reply To This...
Matt BradyAugust 5th 2014.

I do like the look of it, I will go... but...an 'excellent range of drinks'. In a bar? Really?

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

It is a fab place good luck to all involved!

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

It reads as though the last three Anons work there!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Get a life

paulsouthernAugust 2nd 2014.

That's four Anons that work there then or a reply from one of the previous three/two/one! Place looks ok though, will give it a try.

mike_aAugust 2nd 2014.

I think it's good there's another new bar opening in the N1/4, if you don't like it don't go, simple!

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Awww wow! That's brilliant Mike. Thanks for your advice!

mike_aAugust 4th 2014.

Anyone can be sarcastic although it comes across as being very pathetic when you have to hide behind an anonymous post.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Right. I don't intend this to be a criticism of this bar per se but more about the way bar design has gone in Manchester in recent years. Almost every new bar seems to use the same formula: Take a big empty room, decide on the "theme", source suitable themed props, bric-a-brac and furniture, serve some real ales, cocktails and burgers, sprinkle on a bit of PR et voila - your new bar is born. I'm sure this place will be nice enough, but what really sets it apart from anywhere else in the city? I'd really like to see the return of some genuinely creative, quirky and characterful modern design that feels integral to the building or space it sits in. The current breed of bars often feels like you've walked into a sort of licensed theatre set which can be quickly packed away if the operation goes tits up or the lease gets flogged on to someone else.

5 Responses: Reply To This...
rinkydinkAugust 2nd 2014.

It's the NQ blueprint. Really needs shaking up

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

Well go on and have a look, for one its a mainly focused gin based bar, only one in nq as of my knowledge!. Go in experience it and then write a review, dint knock it until you've tried it!

Sir KennethAugust 4th 2014.

Open your own bar then Rinkydink. Or go somewhere else.

rinkydinkAugust 4th 2014.

I like the NQ and I won't go somewhere else thanks Ken. I just think its becoming a little formulaic. Am I not entitled to an opinion?

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Only if it's the same opinion as Ken's and Mancon's.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

Looks absolutely brill! Can't wait to dive in there with my pals! I'd like to see the efforts of those people who are quick to criticise...they've done great job: giving a fresh twist to the traditional over-modernistic bar design. 10/10

4 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

10/10, despite the fact you've never even been there? Hmm.

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

He clearly states the bar design are you blind?... Learn to read properly before you make foolish comments

AnonymousAugust 3rd 2014.

There's nothing fresh about the design.

Hero
GordoAugust 4th 2014.

Bloody hell Sam, will! you! stop! it!

paulsouthernAugust 2nd 2014.

NQ at night now is just an overspill area from The Printworks. Dreadful. I like and use the bars during the day but avoid in the evening. Another few years will see it right.

6 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

Yeah I had that thought a few weeks ago. There is a definite change in the types of people who normally frequent the NQ. I guess as something becomes more talked about and more popular, then more people want to see what all the fuss is about? Look at the village and how that has changed over the years. I know of something that might be opening in the NQ in the near future that will definitely put a few noses out of joint, if the right premises can be found?!

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

People go to the NQ because there is nowhere else to go in town where there are a lot of bars close together. A lot of people go there not because they they like it necessarily, there is nowhere else, Manchester needs a bar street to please the masses.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

Anon 1 please tell us more, a chain?

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

I can't give any details away as such. All I will say is it's an independent, a one off that's not to be repeated anywhere else. And if the right premises can be found then a lot of people from Manchester and further a field will be very happy when the doors are opened. I think it will be a welcome addition to the NQ, something different.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Paul, you sound like a ghastly snob

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

I'm sure the folks that started the idea around 93/94 didn't expect the way it's turned out. I think it's priced them out too.

AnonymousAugust 2nd 2014.

I thought Peter Street was supposed to take over, what happened? It's dead!

7 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

It's "dead" except it now has Revolucion de Cuba, Albert Hall, Brew Dog and on the other side of the road Almost Famous and Lucha Libre (both with outdoor terraces) and there is a "pop-up" rum cocktail bus. None of those things were there two years ago. There's room for more but it's definitely a LOT better and busier in that area than it was 3 or 4 years ago.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

Oh, and All Star Lanes.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

Revs is busy but Almost Famous and Lucha Libre are nearly always quiet. Luck, Lust and AF in the NQ are far busier. All Star Lanes hasn't taken off, takings are below what was envisaged. Trof haven't even bothered to open the ground floor of Albert Hall and it's easy to get a seat in Brewdog any night of the week, they would've been busier if they'd opened in the NQ as they initially planned.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

Almost Famous is quiet? I've not been to the new place but i heard of people queing for hours just to get in? I did hear bad feedback from a few people so maybe people are over the hype of it?

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

AF is not quiet. We went last Friday after work. Got a table straight away but the place was full. Also it was the best burger I've eaten there.

Calum McGAugust 19th 2014.

AF is definitely not quiet. It was also the best burger of my life. Poor service, but who could care... the burger (and Bacon Bacon Fries) were ridiculous. Can't wait to go again :P

AnonymousAugust 19th 2014.

AF is past it's sell by date. Expensive prices for mediocre food, appalling customer service masquerading as 'cool', tacky decor and a poor attitude. Plenty of other places you can get a burger in dining rooms where you can actually hear your dining companions and where you get treated with respect by the staff.

AnonymousAugust 4th 2014.

I was thinking that today! What is happening with the Albert Hall? I know they have gigs on but is the bar actually open yet for drinks and food?

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

After much travelling around I'm considering renting a condemned ex factory space in Leeds or Glasgow, filling it with a load of crap sourced from jumble sales, employing a misanthropic ginger barman (I wonder if the guy from the otherwise great Kosmonought is available?) to scowl and customers and make them feel like scum as the "barkeep" sells "freepour whiskey" at £5 a shot. I'll be so rich I'll make my neighbours in Wilmslow look like paupers haha.

Poster BoyAugust 5th 2014.

There are a lot of envious, bitter, reactionary, old people in the world.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

And you know all of these people do you?

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

... that are probably the same age as the creators and owners of the bars you frequent and love

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

EDITORIAL: this comment has been removed as it's been repeated three times

1 Response: Reply To This...
rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Haven't we been here before?! (Saturday 2/8 at 5:10pm to be precise!)

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Haven't we been here before?! (Saturday 2/8 at 5:10pm to be precise!)

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

Just to try and counter the unnecessary and peculiar negativity on here - This place looks great, I can't wait to go and check it out.

AnonymousAugust 5th 2014.

You have two choices, go or don't go, if you go and don't like it then fair enough, if you go and do like it, great. If you don't like the formual of the bars in NQ then open your own. Sureley if your place is so original and great you would make a killing. I like NQ, there are some bars that I like more than others so I stick to ones I prefer. It's oh so simple. Why does everything have to be analysed to death and have all the fun taken out of it.

Michael IngallAugust 5th 2014.

What is the point of a discussion page where most contributors are hiding behind Anonymity , I don't get it, Mancon, sort it out let's talk to real people happy to stand by what they say. It's so boring!!!! Otherwise don't bother

2 Responses: Reply To This...
Mark GarnerAugust 6th 2014.

Mike, you little ray of sunshine, all new software going live october 1st, will solve this problem. Wash my windows in the meantime please ;-)

Calum McGAugust 19th 2014.

Yessssssssss no more anons. I am sure we will still have the odd dickhead, but as long as most of the trolls crawl away, I'll be quite happy :D

rinkydinkAugust 5th 2014.

Just never engage with anyone posting under Anonymous. Freeze them out...!

ShellAugust 14th 2014.

I like the look of this place. Going to try on Saturday. So much cynicism on here - that's usually my job. Tell me a bar/ pub thingie you do like... I'd take this and the Northern Q every time over Deansgate and that place near the canal. Anyway Manchester is just ace - remember that and bloody celebrate it. Where you find fault - suggest better!

Robert HenneyAugust 16th 2014.

Ate lunch there today. The Brie, pear and fig jam butties came with no fig jam, and the bread was stale. Two of us ordered it, two of us didn't eat it. Considering it's a new bar, there was no effort to try to persuade us to return. We won't. Very disappointed

1 Response: Reply To This...
Calum McGAugust 19th 2014.

I take it you gave them your feedback so that they can improve things? Everyone makes mistakes...

MeAugust 26th 2014.

I had Sunday lunch here this weekend, it was really average, gutted as I really like the look and feel, was hoping it to be much better. Sticky toffee pudding was the biggest let down, in fact all the desserts were weak, but that in particular... Unless they bake semi circle shaped puddings, which I doubt, surely you'd do a tray bake or loaf, I'd say that me and one of my friends shared a tinned sponge... The cleanly cut sides fit together nicely and for £5 it was a measly portion with not a date in sight!

MeAugust 26th 2014.

The two small slices of beef and the chicken breast on the Sunday dinners were really over cooked, most of us left it as it wasn't chewable.

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