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Hilton Opens Cloud 23 Bar Five Years Early

The Hilton Hotel, situated in the bottom half of the Beetham Tower, opened on Monday. Gordo was officially the first person to buy a drink in the bar, called Cloud 23; ‘cos it’s on the 23rd floor. Golly. What’s it like then? Gordo wets his whistle.

Written by . Published on October 12th 2006.

Hilton Opens Cloud 23 Bar Five Years Early

The Hilton Hotel, situated in the bottom half of the Beetham Tower, opened on Monday. Gordo was officially the first person to buy a drink in the bar, called Cloud 23; ‘cos it’s on the 23rd floor. There is only one word for this venue. Absolutelybloodyspectacular. Double height floor to ceiling windows give the most stunning of views. Bar manager Mark Hirst and Frankie Rush, both complete professionals welcomed Gordo as he came out of the (slightly temperamental) lift to be bowled over by those views, on a beautiful sunny evening stretched all the way to the Welsh mountains. It’s around now that good writers, and Gordo, start to witter things like ‘takes your breath away’, ‘to die for’ and the rest.

Howard Sharrock made a good point; the opening of this building tells us all that Manchester has come of age. It’s been designed by Ian Simpson, an architect of some personal style as well as professional ability. Lord Simpson is a great Ambassador for Manchester, love or hate his buildings. Beetham Tower attracts criticism as well as praise in equal measure. Ian recently told Gordo that he doesn’t care about the criticism, he is comfortable in his designs. The main thing is that he himself loves them.

Gordo’s point is that Cloud 23, half way up this landmark building on the 23rd floor, gives us all the opportunity to look around Manchester from a slightly dizzying height and see the progress we have made over the past ten years. In Gordo’s opinion, bomb or no bloody bomb us Mancs would have climbed out of the grey period of the seventies and eighties and re-built our city anyways. The bomb had an accelerating effect which stopped the Labour Council tearing itself apart like the one in Liverpool; it gave us a fire starter wad of cash, but we would have done it anyway. This bar was on the cards, it just opened five years early is all.

The Hilton Group, along with beautiful but formidable manageress Bernadette Gilligan, may not realise the fact that Cloud 23 isn’t a bar that they own. We do, but we are letting the Hilton manage it in the meantime.

So, how are they doing? Georgeousgroup, a team who specialise in designing bars came hotfoot from designing the award winning Hakkasan in London to deliver the Cloud 23 concept. The place looks ultra cool. You can in fact book booths in there. Which is advisable as the place could fit four hundred people easily. But fire regulations means that no more than a couple of hundred people at a time will be allowed into the bar.

These guys have come up with some interesting Manchester themed cocktails such as Ena Sparkles (geddit?), a fruity champagne cocktail (not exactly milk stout that, eh? – Ed) and Cottonopolis, in a nod to our rag trade past. Oasis is in there with a Shakermaker (Lemon Vodka, Thyme Syrup, Honey and Apple Juice). Beers are bottled with some interesting stuff. There will be food, but Gordo hasn’t seen a menu yet.

There are two areas that can be booked for parties, as can the whole room at a price. Service is sharp; these guys know what they are up to. The bar on its own would work anywhere in town. With the team they have, it would move into the top three. Given where it is situated it is bound to finish up on top of the pile.

Gordo took his trainee niece, Suzi Weisberg, who has just taken on the job as sales manager at the ultra exclusive concierge club, Quintessentially. Along with Howard Sharrock, The Mullets and Vanessa from Crush, the team voted the gaff a winner.

This is the place where us Mancunians can take our visitors to show them why this City can now truly take its rightful place at a dinner table where Barcelona, Lyon, Berlin and Amsterdam already have a place setting. Here’s to the next ten years guys, but remember, Gordo will be keeping an eye on you.

A Gordo Go

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