To celebrate the release of the brand-new Space Jam film, as well as a whopping 25 years since the first one came out, Warner Brothers have enlisted the talents of a street artist – Captain Kris – to create an outdoor art trail featuring all of your favourite Looney Tunes characters.
Dotted all around the city you’ll find Bugs, Porky, Daffy and even that little weird Martian fella, and so – in our infinite wisdom here at Finest – we’ve created a bar crawl, so not only will you get to kick all of the brilliant artworks off your list, but you can also visit some of the city’s best bars and boozers.
Let’s start things off down in Spinningfields…
With its iconic Cherry Blossom Tree, a stunning menu of contemporary Chinese dishes and some seriously outlandish and theatrical cocktails – Tattu has become a must-visit for anyone down in Spinningfields over the last few years – and today is no exception. You’d best make sure your phone has plenty of battery, because when some of these cocktails come out – you’ll be getting some serious Instagram content on the go.
Tattu, 3 Hardman Square, Gartside St, Manchester M3 3EB
Three massive (and stunning) floors featuring boujee cocktails, loads of fizz and some wonderful dishes, The Ivy has pretty much become one of the major landmarks in Spinningfields since opening up a couple of years back. There’s loads of choice for drinks around this area, but head on up to The Ivy’s rooftop bar and you’ll struggle to find a better place to enjoy a cocktail or two.
The ivy, The Pavilion, Byrom St, Manchester M3 3HG
‘Skateboarding Looney Tunes’
Next up is the brand-new area of Deansgate Square, right at the bottom of the city’s tallest skyscrapers. Here you’ll find one of Captain Kris’ multi-character pieces…
One of the exciting new additions to Deansgate Square, Atomeca is an all-day, all-night kinda venue, where you can just as comfortably order a coffee as you can a lovely cocktail. Their specialties are their coffees, “cutting-edge” cocktails and they’re proud of their strong focus on top quality wines. Can’t go wrong really.
ATOMECA, 1B Owen St, Manchester M15 4YB
Just down the road from Deansgate Square is one of Manchester’s bestest bars, featuring one of Manchester’s bestest terraces and easily Manchester’s bestest list of gins. I don’t even think “bestest” is a word but I don’t care – you get the idea. Atlas is mint – with over 350 gins on their menu, from the bog standard Gordons to some proper mental ones which come full of glitter and have been filtered through the body of an African aardvark. Grab a goblet and enjoy yourself out on that lovely terrace out back.
Atlas Bar, 376 Deansgate, Manchester M3 4LY
Just up the road now, past Deansgate Locks (nothing to see here) and onto First Street…
A brand-new addition to the First Street arsenal, Homeground is essentially a huge bit of wasteland that has been transformed into a kinda post-apocalyptic circus, complete with a live music stage, a proper theatre stage, street food, booze and even a ton of old neon signs and scrap cars. I guarantee there’ll be something to see and do when you pop down here, and it’s a fantastic new venue for the city.
HOMEGROUND, Medlock St, Manchester M15 4AA
No visit to First Street is complete without popping into one of the craziest bars in the city – Bunny Jacksons. When I say ‘crazy’ I mean that not only can you get chicken wings for 20p here, but their cocktails and booze selection is pretty much unrivalled, there’s live music, free pool, a massive outside terrace area and probably the best party vibes for miles. Pop in, grab a Gooch and a shot of Fireball and go a bit mad.
Bunny Jacksons, 1 Jack Rosenthal St, Manchester M15 4RA
Come out of First Street, past Oxford Road Station and you’ll find yourself face-to-face with a HUGE new development – Circle Square. Unfortunately it’s not ready yet, so once you’ve found Roadrunner then head to one (or both) of these places…
Just next door to the massive Circle Square development is the excellent Hatch, which features a long list of street food vendors, bars and retail units, all set in shipping containers underneath the Brutalist delight that is the Mancunian Way. Hit up the city’s smallest tapas bar at Abeja, smash come Brazilian caipirinhas at KBOM or devour a cheesecake on a stick at Oh My Cheesecake – there’s absolutely loads for you here!
Hatch, 103 Oxford Rd, Manchester M1 7ED
You’re going to be heading up to Canal Street next but on the way it would be criminal for you not to pop into The Refuge on the way – and enjoy easily one of the best outside terraces in the city. At the moment the class fellas at EatMCR are hosting a Street Food Takeover on the weekends, featuring some truly excellent food vendors, alongside cocktails from gin producer Monkey23. If it’s a Sunday – you could even pop in here for probably the city’s best Roast Dinners?
The Refuge, Oxford St, Manchester M60 7HA
We’re on out way to visit Bugs Bunny on probably the city’s most famous of streets – Canal Street…
Bugs has been sprayed right on the side of On Bar – so it would be a massive shame if you didn’t pop in for a few cocktails or Cheeky Vimtos – perfect enjoyed on the terrace outside. You’re drinking in history here, as ON Bar was once called ‘Manto’, regarded as the major catalyst for the development of the bars and clubs in the Village back in 1991. Created by Carol Ainscow, Manto featured large plate glass windows – creating a revolutionary visual statement at the time; “we’re here, we’re queer – get used to it”.
ON Bar, 46 Canal St, Manchester M1 3WD
0161 207 2107
KAMPUS – Isca Wines
Walking up Canal Street you can visit any one of the excellent bars here including Churchills, Via, Bar Pop and Velvet. I’m going to suggest though that you head just over the canal to visit a new development – KAMPUS – which is currently home to Levenshulme’s fantastic winery – Isca Wines. Grab a glass or two of natural wine and a few nibbles and relax in this brand-new green and lush garden.
KAMPUS, Aytoun St, Manchester M1 3DA
Sylvester & Tweety Pie
Head towards Piccadilly Station now and you’ll see the famous car and bird plastered on the side of 111 Piccadilly. It’s just a very short walk up to the excellent Ducie Street Warehouse…
Ducie Street Warehouse
With pretty much everything you may need and want under one roof, Ducie Street Warehouse has turned itself into a proper party destination since re-opening after lockdown. There’s the huge bar with some seriously experimental cocktails, there’s the restaurant featuring some cracking sharing dishes and some seriously impressive ‘BIG SHARERS’ and then there’s the terrace outside – which is one of the city’s best and gets the sun ALL DAY!
Ducie Street Warehouse, Ducie St, Manchester M1 2TP
From Ducie Street Warehouse head down Dale Street then take a turn down Tariff Street and walk to the end. You’ll see a certain famous pig on the corner…
The Pen & Pencil
Plastered on the side of The Pen & Pencil is Porky Pig and even though he might be one of the most annoying characters in the history of the world – he’s found himself on a cracking bar in the Northern Quarter. Lucky lad. The Pen & Pencil do lots of things and they do them all well. A huge cocktail menu, some excellent pub grub, brunch, DJs and live music – there’s plenty going on here to keep you occupied for hours. The outside terrace is a great place to wallow in the sun and watch the world go by too!
The Pen & Pencil, Fourways House, 57 Hilton St, Manchester M1 2EJ
Marvin the Martian
A swift walk through the madness of Stevenson Square and head to Edge Street where Marvin the Martian is waiting for you on the side of Common
Opening and closing with some alarming regularly at the moment, hopefully Common will be open once again when you come to do this crawl. With an always outstanding selection of beers and ales on offer, as well as the excellent Nell’s Pizza serving up massive New York style pies – Common are smashing it at the moment. Even better is the fact that Edge Street is now fully pedestrianised – meaning you can sit here in the sun and have a jolly good piss up.
Common, 39-41 Edge St, Manchester M4 1HW
Just next to Marvin the Martian is Lola Bunny, so instead of just staying in Common, you might as well check out one of the Northern Quarter’s best new arrivals…
Opening up back in April, the Smithfield Social is a venue that aims to do things properly in the Northern Quarter, be that the food, the drinks or just the whole package – and you know what? They succeed in all aspects. From the fellas behind the outstanding TNQ down the road, you’re guaranteed an exciting and interesting menu of all-day brunch and small plates, and there’s also one of the best cocktail menus in the city and a truly magnificent wine list.
The Smithfield Social, 53 – 55 Thomas St, Manchester M4 1NA
Okay, this next one is stuck on the side of Primark, so you’re obviously struggling for decent places to get some drinks and food around here. Piccadilly Gardens has a couple of hidden gems for you though…
Easily the best place on Piccadilly Gardens by a long, long shot, descend the stairs of Bundobust and you’re transported from the hell that is Piccadilly into an Indian Street Food and Craft Beer heaven. You’ll quickly forget where you are as you’re faced with a massive long list of beers and ales, and some of the best Indian grub in the city. Chill in here with a pint of sour and a Vada Pav.
Bundobust, 61 Piccadilly, Manchester M1 2AG
The Alchemist New York Street
The closest decent bar near to the street art on the side of Primark, The Alchemist is a fantastic place to sink a few mad cocktails – usually featuring some kind of dry ice or glitter or small explosions. The cocktails on offer are super-imaginative and (almost) always very tasty indeed. Pick any of ’em off the menu and you’re likely onto a winner.
The Alchemist New York Street, 1 New York St, Manchester M1 4HD
Head down Market Street, avoiding all of those idiots dressed up, and you’re onto the next Looney Tunes character – Daffy Duck on the Exchange Square Tram Stop (which has been scrubbed off already!)
Sinclair’s Oyster Bar
There are, of course, LOADS of places in the Corn Exchange to eat and drink, but there’s no better place for a bevvy, especially with this weather, than the institution that is Sinclair’s Oyster Bar. Super cheap pints, a huge terrace outside and always some truly interesting characters, Sinclair’s is the quintessential Manchester boozer and we love it – warts and all.
Sinclairs Oyster Bar, 2 Cathedral Gates, Manchester M3 1SW
0161 834 0430
Harvey Nichols Second Floor Wine & Deli Bar
A great new addition to Exchange Square, the second floor of Harvey Nichols is now home to a fantastic hidden little wine bar and deli – which has quite possibly the largest wine list in the city. Sitting here with a platter of meat and cheese, you can choose ANY of the bottles from the Wine Shop to drink at your table – that’s 422 of them to pick from. Yep, I counted them all the other day.
Harvey Nichols, 21 New Cathedral St, Manchester M1 1AD
‘More Looney Tunes’
Just across the way is your final Looney Tunes on the Printworks, and its your final stop on this tour. You’re probably either stuffed, pissed, tired or all three by this point – so if you’re still going – well done…
Hard Rock Café
The world famous music bar and restaurant, the Hard Rock Café is actually a cracking place to have some drinks and tuck into some grub here at the Printworks. The cocktail menu is excellent (and massive) and the burgers equally as fantastic. There’s also a great terrace outside which is perfect for watching some of the madness of Manchester unfold before your very eyes.
Hard Rock Cafe, The Printworks, Manchester M4 2BS
Obviously, you’re right on the doorstep now of Manchester’s famous Northern Quarter, so if you’re looking for somewhere to eat and drink – you’ve got LOADS to choose from. Wolf at the Door, The Bay Horse, Trof, Sicilian NQ… the list could go on. You go and enjoy yourself and give yourself a pat on the back for a crawl well done!