With outdoor space at a premium it's time to get off the beaten track, and it doesn't get much more hidden than Hulme's Old Abbey Taphouse...
Snuck away deep in Manchester Science Park, the location may seem strange enough already for a boozer, but this is no ordinary drinking den either, expect live music and/or DJs most nights of the month, a raucous weekly quiz and properly decent grub thrown into the mix.
All this excitement is hosted within a lovingly nurtured, hand-built beer garden, complete with shelter to huddle from the rain or sun trap-seating to get rosy-skinned as required, and even a little stage for artists to perform on.
That unique DIY-vibe is the work of STEAM Hubs and Pubs, a community interest company which runs the venue with the aim of genuinely serving the local area in a meaningful way- a goal the team have quite emphatically achieved over the last year in providing over 3,000 meals for residents since the start of the pandemic.
Also on the agenda for STEAM is their brilliant online radio station, showcasing talent from Manchester and beyond. They run broadcasts Thursday to Sunday – live from the pub so you can come down and listen – on the night of our last visit DJ duo MEC-AC kept things rolling nicely til kick out time.
So the tunes are sorted, what about the food then? We’re talking thin and crisp New York-style pizzas bringing all the classic toppings, which I’m slowly working my way through. Special shout out to Quattro Staggioni and Diavola though if you’re struggling to decide what to order.
The burgers are pretty special too mind, with beef, vegan and chicken options and tons of different toppings there’s something for everyone – pick what you like but a side of parmesan and truffle fries is pretty much non-negotiable if you ask me.
The fact is though, it’s not about the food, the booze or even the music at Old Abbey Taphouse, it’s just got a great atmosphere. I was in for their Halloween do last year with Nanny and Chimpo playing and it got about as rowdy as the rules allowed (if not a little bit more). In my experience even the chilled out live jazz sessions on Sundays are liable to break into 90s Garage singalongs.
I’d say on most nights of the week the chances are if you’re not loading your table with shots you’re gonna feel pretty left out, but that’s not to say you can’t bring down your laptop early doors and get your work on- basically anything goes.
There are loads of events coming up over the next few months, many of which have already sold out, but I’d urge you to try get yourself down if you’ve not been before. The Old Abbey Taphouse is set up for summer and we can’t wait to get back.
The Old Abbey Taphouse
Manchester Science Park
0161 226 2052
Tuesday – Sunday
3pm – 12am