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The Gaslamp review

Simon Binns cheers a fresh addition on Bridge Street

Written by . Published on February 1st 2011.

The Gaslamp review

On my 21st birthday, me and few mates ended up at the arse end of a two-day party in the cellar of my student house.

There’s no food; but that’s fine. Gaslamp more than succeeds as an honest-to-goodness boozer.

We had 40 pints of home-brew, which we probably should have given another two weeks because it was sweeter than a puppy made out of treacle. It was rocket fuel though, and led to us all ending up in a state.

All this is tenuously leading up to another tale of cellars and being hammered. Busy, that is. Gaslamp is the newish bar on Bridge Street and signals something fresh for that part of the city centre.

It’s minimalist. A few chairs and tables and a modest bar, with a well thought-out line-up of spirits behind it. A lamp here, a framed picture there.

The tiled walls are a marvel, so it’s not a huge deal that they have been left relatively free of decoration.

The smallish front bar leads you past the toilets and into a bigger, but still cosy back-room. “It’s like a bomb shelter in here,” said a friend, “I like it.”

“It’s a bit like being sat in the bottom of Victoria Baths in Rusholme,” said another.

The bare walls and high ceilings mean that overexcited Friday night chatter bounces around and creates a cracking atmosphere, and although this bar has a touch of the Northern Quarter about it, it’s not just for the bearded creatives.

There’s a healthy mix of younger and older professionals, some in for the premium lagers, others in for the sublime mix of real ales, which changes regularly. Schofield, the editor, was particularly partial to the Boggart Hole offerings.

There’s a Waitrose, a law court and the office metropolis of Spinningfields within easy reach, which explains the more expanded demographic. The low-lit below ground setting seems to have relaxed everyone – there’s something about being in a cellar that almost raises your propensity for mischief. You’re all in it together. Anything could be going on above ground, but who cares? We’ve got each other.

The bar staff are a young and friendly bunch including a girl with an impressive array of tattoos and the ability to throw a beer barrel far further than she should. You can try small tasters of ales if you can’t immediately decide.

There’s no food; but that’s fine. Gaslamp more than succeeds as an honest-to-goodness boozer. They’re not precious about eating in there either – I turned up with half a cheese pasty hanging out of my mouth which they were happy for me to finish in the pub.

One minor quibble – the Guinness is not great. I had four pints of it just to be sure. Or was it five? I’m not sure - which is the sign of a pleasing boozer. Hours and pints can run past without a care.

Gaslamp has certainly thrown something interesting and exciting into the Bridge Street mix, as well as offering more edge to the Spinningfields set.

Rating: 17/20
Breakdown: 9/10 ambience
4/5 drinks
4/5 service
Address: Gaslamp
50a Bridge Street
M3 3BW
0161 478 1224

Venues are rated against the best examples of their kind: fine dining against the best fine dining, cafes against the best cafes. Following on from this the scores represent: 1-5 saw your leg off and eat it, 6-9 get a DVD, 10-11 if you must, 12-13 if you’re passing,14-15 worth a trip,16-17 very good, 17-18 exceptional, 19 pure quality, 20 perfect. More than 20: Gordo gets carried away

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

OnthetilesJanuary 31st 2011.

Actually for an inversion of the old Arndale exterior - all those yellow tiles - it's a cracker

Craig SutheranJanuary 31st 2011.

nice review, great real time pictures. I shall be heading there soon.

John HarrisJanuary 31st 2011.

A real honest drinking pub? Brilliant.

IanIanFebruary 1st 2011.

"others in for the sublime mix of real ales"

There was only one real ale when I last went in? Have they upped the number?

AgricolaFebruary 1st 2011.

I think the reviewer means a changing range of ales every week....there's only one pump but they change it all the time.

Lorraine19209February 1st 2011.

I want to go, I want to go, I want to go...

Lucy HineFebruary 1st 2011.

I went in the Wednesday before last at 9ish and it was pretty empty. Nice place but the emptyness and the tiles made it a trifle spooky, in an haunted asylum way.. I would go again though.

John HarrisFebruary 1st 2011.

Hope they stay in business long enough for me to visit - I am not due back in Manchester till August :(

GordoFebruary 1st 2011.

JTB, I shall alert The Media.

JenniferFebruary 1st 2011.

Sounds interesting and I could do with a pint... I do love that facade of that building on Bridge St.

John HarrisFebruary 2nd 2011.

Bugger the media Gordo

You can arrange an alcoholic heroes event to coincide with my return. I'll let you have the dates ;)

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