Okay let’s get this out of the way. I know that Spring Gardens is actually the name of a road, and not an area in the city centre – so don’t bother commenting and whinging and generally getting upset.
It’s okay, calm down. Spring Gardens, although actually an L-shaped street jutting through the city, has become a catch-all area for that oft-forgotten corner of Manchester that’s wedged between Market Street, China Town, St Peter’s Square and Albert Square.
You know the one – the part of town that has a bunch of offices in it, a load of recruitment agencies, and seemingly not much else.
Well, over the last couple of years, Spring Gardens has seen an influx of bars, restaurants, cafes and hotels pop up, turning this area, once famed for being the centre of the North-West banking industry, into a new must-visit food and drink destination.
Last week saw the arrival in the area of the brand-new DogHouse Hotel from BrewDog, a hugely impressive addition to Manchester, featuring 18 rooms full of bespoke BrewDog touches, from shower beers to in-room beer taps.
You’ll also find a brand-new rooftop bar with a taco hut up there, alongside an additional ground floor bar with 30 taps of craft beer on offer.
Located within the city’s old Stock Exchange building, nowhere else represents the huge paradigm shift that’s taken place at Spring Gardens better than the Stock Exchange Hotel, a luxury hotel co-owned by Gary Neville and Ryan Giggs and home to chef Tom Kerridge’s Bull & Bear Restaurant.
The epitome of luxury and elegance, the rooms contain original marble and stained glass features, whilst the restaurant is located within the old trading floor, set beneath the building’s magnificent central dome.
Then of course there’s Spring Gardens’ own five-star Hotel Gotham, which occupies one of the area’s five Grade-II listed buildings – the castle-like Art Deco former Midland Bank.
Just next door to Gotham is Six By Nico, a massively popular Tasting Menu restaurant concept with regular changing dishes, ranging from Route 66, to ‘Chippy Tea’, and most recently ‘Mad Hatter’s Tea Party’.
A little further down King Street and you’ll find the always enjoyable Flight Club, pioneers of the term ‘social darts’ and one of the best couple of hours you can spend with your mates, alongside bottomless pizza and bottles of Prosecco of course!
Across the road you’ll find Simon Shaw’s third restaurant concept in the city (after El Gato Negro and Canto) – Habas.
Injecting life into the basement of another of Spring Gardens’ Grade-II listed buildings, Habas offers up mouth-watering Middle Eastern cuisine, inspired by Simon’s travels and experiences over the years.
Just a short walk from here is Gary Usher’s KALA, a superb neighbourhood bistro that The Observer food critic Jay Rayner was certainly impressed by when he visited back in 2019, and is a regular stop for lunch here in the Finest office.
Back to the top of King Street and you’ll find firm city favourite Rosso, who have recently been subjected to a stunning new interior, designed by up-and-coming designer Charlotte Turner of Statement Interiors, who was inspired by the central dome to create a Sistine Chapel theme complete with cherubs and flower displays that change with the seasons.
Spring Gardens has recently also become home to a brand-new Scandinavian-inspired cafe and bar from the team at Beatnikz Brewery – Lattsam.
Featuring an all-day menu with breakfast classics, brunch dishes and lunch sandwiches, salads and soups, alongside a dedicated bar area with proper beer pumps dashing out some of the wonderful beers and ales you’d find on a visit to Stockholm or Oslo, and some locally brewed beauties too of course.
If you’re looking for something more substantial from your food, you can always rely on our Trans-Atlantic cousins, with Moose Coffee serving up huge Canadian breakfasts and brunch dishes, while just off Spring Gardens on Moseley Street you’ll find American Pies, a new Chicago deep dish pizza joint where you should definitely wear your stretchy pants.
Right on the cusp of what I would consider to be the area of Spring Gardens is a line-up of fantastic old school boozers which are perfect for a Friday night pint and have served the city’s business men and women for years. The City Arms and The Vine Inn – I salute (and cheers) you both!
I should also mention Grand Pacific, Vivienne Westwood, Brown’s and Black Sheep, all great places on Spring Gardens that have been around for a fair few years and always manage to impress.
You’ll notice that there are still plenty of offices in the area, and if you’re lucky enough to have yourself a space here then you’ve got all of these massively impressive venues right on your doorstep.
One such set of offices, the award-winning Northspring, have quietly impressed over the last couple of years with a 1920s design-led approach, a gym and best of all – a garden oasis up on the rooftop – perfect for some alfresco lunching, meetings in the sun or just enjoying the stunning views of the city.
Spring Gardens looks to be on the up and up, and as more businesses come out of the COVID-19 pandemic looking to expand or open up new ventures, this thriving end of the city will be an attractive prospect.
Keep an eye on Finest’s socials for new developments and new openings in the area.
For more information on Northspring’s Spring Gardens office space, head on over to their website using the information below…
Northspring, 70 Spring Gardens, Manchester M2 2BQ, UK