Last night saw the opening of the second Black Dog Ballroom to grace our city streets. The first, sitting comfortable under Affleks Palace on Church Street, is a reliable favorite for those fancying a bite to eat, a game of pool, or somewhere to enjoy both of those while partying into the small hours. The second is now taking full advantage of the impressive three-floored space previously occupied by Pure Space on New Wakefield Street.
It is only a year since the Black Dog Ballroom NQ opened – voted Citylife’s Best Bar 2011 – offering gourmet burgers and pizzas, draught beers, cocktail and a decent sized room full of fantastic pool tables. Claiming to bring the New York downtown speakeasy vibe right to the heart of Manchester, and open daily from Midday to 4am, it is a great stop-off for a swift afternoon drink or a reliably good night out. And because we all loved that vibe so much, it’s been able to expand into the second New Wakefield Street space.
Working on the ‘if it’s not broke, don’t fix it’ ethic, the black dog team have built on their success and created another NYC speakeasy. Combine this with the light and impressivley tall and open space of the New Wakefield Street venue and you have yourself a really rather slick, and yet totally relaxing, place in which to have yourself a decently good time.
You are pleasantly greeted by a large painting of the black dog himself across the natural wood flooring. The interior is sharp, stylish and, damn it, just undeniably cool. One half of the mid-level bar space is dedicated to numerous pool tables, which people were enjoying rounds of, while the other half sees an interesting array of varied seating that would impress any Bauhaus enthusiast.
There’s a roof terrace for BBQs and decadent drinking (should the rain hold off), a fantastic load of indoor/outdoor space and a basement club (coolly named Underdog) for midnight raving, so they claim. I didn’t take part in any raving, but I DID love the whole atmosphere of the place and enjoyed numerous drinks off its impressive list of wines, beers, cocktails and shorts. I didn’t get a game of pool but intend to next time, as I was sat on some rather beautiful chairs in a lovely window spot, talking the night away (well it is a speakeasy, when in Rome and all that).
Everybody was obviously enjoying themselves at the launch as the place was fully vibed to the sounds of The Nextmen on the decks over a steady buzz of conversation and nice times. Black Dog Ballroom certainly encourages you to shape your own experience. From beers and burgers to cocktails and a rather splendid looking load of salads; from pool with friends to romantic natterings with your partner and even to raving all night in Underdog. Call in anytime between 10am-4am and make of it what you will. One thing is certain, you will not be disappointed.
This week only food will be 50% off so it’s the perfect time to pop in and see what the new menu has to offer. They will be serving from 10am with full English breakfasts, right up to 1am with pizzas, burgers hot dogs and salads.
I will certainly be heading back and look forward to enjoying more speakeasy time, more cocktails and beers, definitely a game of pool and maybe a fuss of the wee black dog himself, if he makes an appearance.