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NEW: Hold Fast Bar | Northern Quarter

L'Oreal Blackett discovers a new 'nautical bar' in the hold of Hatters Hostel on Newton Street

Written by . Published on December 8th 2014.

NEW: Hold Fast Bar | Northern Quarter

“THE NORTHERN Quarter needs a few more bars,” said no one this side of 2012.

Inside there's a small cinema screen where the team plan to show cult classics and host 'hangover Sunday' nights for customers dealing with the blurry aftermath of a heavy Saturday night. 

It is now thought that if you stand still in the Northern Quarter for long enough a bar will form around you. Many Northern Quarter revellers wouldn't have it any other way. 

Still, competition has bred selectiveness. No longer is a night of flaming sickly sweet cocktails and Americana dripping off the chin enough.

We've come to expect a bit more. We need winning ingredients, attention to detail, prettier drinks and expansive craft options, over-arching themes and oddities - from the people to the fit-outs.

Hold Fast Manchester is the latest Northern Quarter bar to pop-up and fight for our attention.

Hatters Hostel, Newton StreetHatters Hostel, Newton Street

Hold FastHold Fast

Hidden beneath Hatters Hostel at 50 Newton Street the new bar is centred round a nautical theme. A hostel basement (or 'hold') may seem a stark spot to stick a new bar, but it is the hostel owners - who also have hostels in Liverpool, Birmingham and down the road on Stevenson Square (above Koffee Pot) - who have opened the first such bar in Manchester.

It's easy to overlook the impressive Victorian building that houses Hatters on Newton Street. A former bowler hat factory (hence the name Hatters), it's now mainly occupied by backpackers looking for budget board slap-bang in the city centre.

A short skip round the back and you'll find the entrance to Hold Fast.

Hold Fast

Hold Fast Bar Nq %2842%29Hold Fast cinema room

Inside there's a small cinema screen where the team plan to show cult classics and host 'hangover Sunday' nights for customers dealing with the blurry aftermath of a heavy Saturday night. There's also a vintage game room complete with old Sega video games (a nice touch for 80's babies).

Hold Fast have sought to embrace the building's original features. Granted, the underground den is dark inside, but the team have worked with the lack of natural light by adding glowing ship lanterns and flickering candles to transform the hostel's hold into a toasty, below deck, sailorman's drinking quarters.

Retro gaming machinesRetro gaming machines

Hold Fast is big on odditiesHold Fast is big on oddities

The team behind the bar describe Hold Fast as 'old worldly'.

"Novelist Jule Verne was the inspiration behind it," explained the manager, Adam David Roles-Middlehurst, former Head Honcho at El Capo tequila bar on Tariff Street. "The idea of picking up treasures, spices and artefacts from adventures and travel.

"We've kept most of the original features. And come opening you'll find more nautical oddities - much like the fossilised crab." 

Following its soft opening and launch party three weeks ago, Hold Fast are finding people are very curious about what the bar has to offer. The team are currently finalising a menu of fifteen cocktails which they say will focus around Port, oddly. 

There will be eight craft beers on offer and the bottled beers will vary.

"We have Brooklyn Black Chocolate Stout and a 12% speciality bottle beer called Delerium," said Roles-Middlehurst.

Hold Fast Bar Nq %282%29

Hold Fast Bar Nq %281%29Hold Fast little fella

There's also to be a lunchtime food offer of toasties (£3.95) and coffee - menus are being finalised.

Hold Fast pushed a parma ham, chargrilled peaches, buffalo mozzarella on toasted ciabatta with beetroot 'slaw our way. As we've come accustomed to in the Northern Quarter, the sarnie skipped between very wrong and very right. Jury's out.

Still, Confidential predicts Hold Fast will become popular with the NQ drinking crowd. It's a bit weird. We're into weird.


Hold Fast | Hatters Hostel | 50 Newton Street | Northern Quarter | Manchester | M1 2EA

Hold Fast Bar Nq %2812%29 

Hold Fast Bar Nq %2825%29


Hold Fast Bar Nq %2821%29



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Swiss JamesDecember 8th 2014.

Beautiful bar. The drinks weren't very special when I was in, but they're clearly sorting that out- and I don't know anyone else that is basing their cocktails on Port.

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

will check it out asap!

AnonymousDecember 9th 2014.

Perhaps you should only post an article on the day a new bar doesn't open in the Charva quarter. Will be rammed full of hens and stags before you can say 'speakeasy'.

AnonymousJanuary 5th 2015.

Trust us - no hens or stags

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