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NEW: London-Based Cocktail Bar Takes Former Circle Club

Be At One cocktail bar chain have applied for a licence down the Barton Arcade ginnel

Written by . Published on February 26th 2015.

NEW: London-Based Cocktail Bar Takes Former Circle Club

MANCHESTER is the new London.

Bartenders are expected to know 200 cocktails off the bat; establish eye contact with you within five seconds of you walking in; serve you within 60 seconds; and give you your change within 30. Sounds knackering.

London lost its cool when it sold its soul (and all of its property) to Russians, Sheikhs, Buy-To-Letters and Goldman Sachs employees called Tim.

We know it, they know it, creative-types know it, anyone that earns under a six figure salary knows it, even George fucking Osborne knows it. And this lot certainly know it.

Be At One - the speedy London cocktail bar chain - are the latest in a long-line of London-based bar and restaurants brands (we announced the arrival of Comptoir Libanais' all of three seconds ago) looking to set up a Northern outpost in Manchester in preparation for the time when the capital finally eats itself up and farts itself back out. In about two years time.

If their licence is approved, Be At One will open in former-Circle Club site in the ginnel at the back of Barton Arcade (just off St Ann's Square).

Former-Circle Club - Barton ArcadeFormer-Circle Club - Barton Arcade

Be At OneBe At One

The group run 24 hugely-popular cocktail bars darn sarf (none futher oop north than Oxford), including sites in Covent Garden, Soho, Shoreditch, Reading, Bristol and Brighton.

Be At One - with its thumping music, shouty-crowd, chirpy staff and cheap happy hour boozing - prides itself on a lack of pretence and all that 'mixologist' wankery; though bartenders are expected to know 200 cocktails off the bat; establish eye contact with you within five second of you walking in; serve you within 60 seconds; and give you your change within 30. Sounds knackering.

Started in Battersea in 1998 by three bartender pals trained at TGI Fridays (the cocktail gaff of the era - Living Ventures kingpin Tim Bacon trained here too), scraped together £60,000 and probably watched too much Tom Cruise in Cocktail, Be At One is now one of the UK's leading cocktail bar chains with an annual turnover of over £10m.

Private equity firm Piper bought a third of the business in 2011 for £8m.


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

DigsterFebruary 26th 2015.

Great news. We were in Brighton last July (many times) when the one there had not long opened. Great evenings, prices and brilliant staff. Loved sitting at the bar chatting with the staff before it got manic. My husband still raves over their Sazerac cocktail to this day - this will cheer him up no end. Let's hope that it goes ahead.

1 Response: Reply To This...
DigsterFebruary 26th 2015.

We were in the Brighton one many times last July - makes a bit more sense!

SquirrelitoFebruary 26th 2015.

Naughty Blakey. Cheeky last line there, bearing in mind the Comptoir piece. Love it.

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

It sounds like the 80's wine bar has been reinvented. Well at least it won't be a private members bar full of Manc rotters.

AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

How exciting. If Manchester is the new London. Why are we getting in a tizzy about a bar that as a branch in Reading. The Northern Powerhouse can surely do better than this. There is a bar in the Northern Quarter called Fitzgerald's. Now that is worth a visit. I think we should aim to be the new Manhattan,not a few third rate villages in Middlesex.

2 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonymousFebruary 27th 2015.

Or we could just do our own original thing and not think we have to compare ourselves with other cities.

Bill WoodFebruary 27th 2015.

have been to the one in Bath and they do a mean old fashioned, and a great pisco sour, amongst lots more which I did not try!! I suspect it will be popular.

Bill WoodFebruary 27th 2015.

Also looking at the picutr above, is this where Ganders goes South used to be in the 80's with the infamous buy one get one free policy and the wheel of fortune? Had many a wrong night in there

AnonymousMarch 1st 2015.

Gross turnover at £10 million over 24 sites which resemble liars bar... Sounds like they are trying to big themselves up a touch too much!

3 Responses: Reply To This...
AnonMarch 3rd 2015.

They look absolutely nothing like Liars Club (Im assuming thats what you mean). Why are they trying to big themselves up??

AnonMarch 3rd 2015.

"Manchester is the new London" "London lost its cool"....Bore off. Why are some people in Manchester so anti London? Why is there the need to introduce negativity & conflict into the news of a new bar opening? What a load of bollocks. Ps. Neither of those statements are true - I can only hope they made in some sort of well disguised humour.

MichaelMarch 3rd 2015.

Kind of agree. Manchester is different to London it doesn't sound right saying it is 'the new London.'

AnonymousMarch 6th 2015.

Ordinary working men and women in London are no different than in any of our other cities. I lived there for 5 years and the humour is the same,their needs are the same,their problems are etc. Londoners can be superior,but they are not all like that and some are rather nice.Too much generalising at times from people here. It is not the great satan. There is far too much investment there this is very true,but Manchester does well compared to other cities. Birmingham is treated like it doesn't exist,Leeds as a satellite of Manchester and Liverpool as an extention of the Beatles. What about the lesser cities,like Hull,Middlesborough,Bradford,they are left to rot,by governments of all colours.

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