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Lynda Moyo discovers a bar with comedy, jazz, Carribbean and Afghanistani food – yes really

Written by . Published on May 2nd 2008.


Orlando's is the brainchild of clubland ‘Godfather’ Rupert Campbell, one half of the duo who set up Sankeys Soap at Beehive Mill in the early 1990s.

The story goes that Campbell saw a vacant car stereo shop on Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton, and knew it had great potential. The result is a remarkable transformation straight from Campbell's own love of good grub, mellow music and cafe culture.

A huge terrace out front will provide space for tables and chairs, and a barbecue in summer should be perfect for Campbell's 'sausage mania'- sizzling sausage sandwiches with salad.

He said: “Orlando is my middle name. It doesn't neccesarily sound like a bar. It could be a restaurant or something else, which works well for what we want it to be. This isn’t just another bar. It’s very much focussed on the food. The occasional evening entertainment will be comedy interspersed with acoustic music.”

Think Nando's but with an independent twist says Campbell. Orlando's will serve Caribbean classics such as curry goat and rice and jerk chicken, rice and peas, straight from Rupert's home cooking specialities. In contrast the menu will also feature pot roast beef and onion and Afghan dishes such as Qaubili Palau- tender chunks of chicken breast under a heaping of sweet carrot strips, raisins and basmati rice, served with salad and dhal.

Full breakfasts really will be ‘full’ for less than £6, and house wine will start at £8 a bottle. On nights with live acts there will be the offer of a two-course meal for around £25, depending on the artist. A huge terrace out front will provide space for tables and chairs, and a barbecue in summer should be perfect for Campbell's 'sausage mania'- sizzling sausage sandwiches with salad.

Despite starting out as a musician himself, Campbell plans for intimate acoustic sessions rather than full scale gigs. He said: “We're not going to be putting bands on. We want people like Omar and D'Angelo who can sing without a band.”

“Chorlton’s a vibrant place, but it doesn’t quite cater for everyone as well as it caters for the younger crowd. I know what it’s like to have kids of various ages and not be able to comfortably eat somewhere with the feeling that you should be honoured to dine and end up with an expensive bill.”

Orlando's is open from 10am-10pm Monday to Thursday and 8am-10pm Friday to Sunday. See the gallery below.

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

ChichiMay 2nd 2008.

Please get D'Angelo to play at Orlando's that would be AMAAAAAAAAAAAAZING :-)

Mr TMay 2nd 2008.

I saw the refurb as it went and thought it was going to be a La Tasca at first, glad it's not like, the place looks great.

PJMay 2nd 2008.

If D'Angelo comes to town. I want tickets!!!I heard he put on weight, but hey,so have I since the 90's

samMay 2nd 2008.

Visited for Felix dexter commedy night on 4th June 2008. Felix was brilliant Received different food to what was advertised when we booked. We thought we would be getting curry goat and rice.Prawn and Fish pie or jerk chicken was on offer and a vegetarian dish. Prawn and Fish Pie tasted good as for the jerk chicken the chef needs to get a grip real quick.I have never seen jerk chicken look or taste the way it did. Would put people of who didn't know the real thing.After our group commenced eating the original menu of the curry goat and rice came out.Asked owner what went wrong? Got a smile but no answer.No waitress service for drinks during your meal.Place is ok for a drink for a meal in the evening wouldn't recommend it.One the hiccups are sorted it out the Orlando's will be fine.

AnonymousMay 2nd 2008.

It may be an awful water feature but my kids and all the other kids who visit it, love it.

pandapawsMay 2nd 2008.

this place was open on my birthday and i really wanted to go but as we didn't know anything about it we chose to go somewhere familiar. Pity as this place looks great. defo be going there this weekend!

AnonymousMay 2nd 2008.

Gastros use to have nice sausages

sharstonladMay 2nd 2008.

Sounds a great place - cant wait to visit. The name 'Orlando's' does sound a bit 80s theme bar-ish! :)

chloe77May 2nd 2008.

Went the other afternoon, friendly bar-staff, but apart from that it's nothing special. Really bland interior, awful water-feature on the patio, naff sausage sandwich..... I could go on, but I'll just not bother again! Def not one of Chorlton's finest!!!!!

AnonymousMay 2nd 2008.

Do you remember when you sat on the Cinzano Bottle Rupert, any time, any place anywhere!!!!!!!1

charlieMay 2nd 2008.

what a missed opportunity. the water feature, naff flooring, awkward aesthetic, instructions written on paper all over the wall, 10p tapas that have to be served with drinks and look like they died 3 years ago. it's a great location and a valiant idea, but why waste some much money on something so naff and unmemorable?

AndreasMay 2nd 2008.

The place looks terrible, in truth. It's a cheap ugly refrubishment inside and out, badly designed and full of tasteless decor. And the overall concept is all over the place... overpriced cabaret-style nights? Afghan dishes? The owner's special sausages? Come on.

AnonymousMay 2nd 2008.

I see that you have sausagemania up there Rupert, but I dont recall getting an invite!

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