Mr Thomas's Chop House becomes Mrs Sarah's Chop House for International Women's Day

The radical name change is in honour of the formidable ladies who ran the Victorian pub back in the day.

By Steven Pankhurst | 6 March 2019

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Owner Roger Ward has decided to rename the boozer Mrs Sarah’s Chop House in honour of the women who ran the pub dining rooms at a time when they weren’t even allowed inside the fashionable Chop Houses of Manchester, in the late 19th and early 20th century.

The grand unveiling of Sarah’s Chop House comes on Friday 8th March to celebrate International Women’s Day, less than three months after Manchester’s historic Emmeline Pankhurst statue was installed.

Roger has become so fascinated with the history of his pub and restaurant, and in particular the mother and daughter both called Sarah who ran it over 100 years ago, that he is rebranding his business in celebration of the women of Manchester.

‘At the end of last year, Manchester unveiled our statue of Emmeline Pankhurst. Since then the John Rylands Library has been running a really fascinating exhibition called The Women Who Shaped Manchester. It asks simply, what will they inspire you to do? I thought we should make a statement and tell the fascinating story that has emerged from original research on ancestry websites and in the archives of the Victorian Manchester Guardian.

Indeed, the chop houses, known as meeting houses for businessmen, remained strictly male only venues until well into the second half of the 20th century.

‘I think it’s a really important story for a city known for so many global firsts, and that has such an important place in women’s history. Sarah must have been a huge, larger than life character to run this establishment in such male-dominated times. I’d love to find out more and even write a book about her one day.’

Both Sarah Studds can be seen on a mahogany honours board displayed in the pub featuring all the licensees from 1867.

Mrs Sarah’s Chop House, 52 Cross St, Manchester M2 7AR
0161 832 2245