Walking down Oldham Street, you could be forgiven for walking past The Castle Hotel and not giving it a second glance (that is if you are not struck by its delightfully traditional tiled exterior as I regularly am, so actually not that forgiven). It would be understandable if you were to think it were simply an ‘old man’ pub – old fashioned and out of date. In many ways you would be both right, and so very, very wrong.
According to their website, The Castle Hotel has been ‘letting the good times roll since 1776; it could be classed at one of the Northern Quarters oldest drinking holes and it is certainly one of my favorites. Revived and brought back to life after a short closure in 2009 it is a tonic to an ever-growing bar-chain culture.
The interior, like the exterior, could not be more traditional if it tried (and I don’t mean the gastro-pub style of traditional either). Think bar tables and stools, a well-stocked jukebox and enough real-ales to shake a pelted brass wall plate at.
But The Castle Hotel is much more than a blast from the past. While it may look like the type of haunt Saturday Night Sunday Morning’s Arthur Seaton would have taken one of his many female acquaintances to, culturally it is right up-to-date.
With an an impressive list of interesting and eclectic events held in the high-ceilinged and beautifully beamed room at the back, you are bound to find something of interest going on (and if not, all the more excuse to enjoy another Dark Rum and Coke in the bar upfront). They have vastly different bands playing from one night to the next as well as excellent and well attended literary events, film launches (the recent Elbow DVD launch was held there) and more.
Check out April’s listings here:
Sat 7th April Science Fiction Theatre Presents: AlphaMachine
Sun 8th April Red Balloon Presents: Lewis Floyd Henry
Mon 9th April Buried Bones Presents: Volcano The Bear
Wed 11th April Tales Of Whatever (A LIVE, TRUE STORYTELLING NIGHT)
Thurs 12th April Serious Feather Presents: Manchester Beyond Oasis Official Screening
Sat 14th April Great Shape Presents: Wild Birds
Sun 15th April Equus Press Presents: Louis Armand & Thor Garcia Book Launch
Mon 16th April Beta Presents: Sleep Party People
Wed 18th April Bettakultcha (an evening of short talks)
Fri 20th April Northern Noise Presents: Rough Fields
Sat 21st April 11th Carefully Planned All-Dayer
Sun 22nd April Hey! Manchester Presents: Ellen & The Escapades
Mon 23rd April Thank Folk For That Presents: Sam Airey
Tues 24th April Hey! Manchester Presents: AU
Wed 25th April Bad Language (a monthly night of spoken word, prose and poetry)
Thurs 26th April First Draft Presents: Cabaret in the Pub
Saty 28th April DHP Presents: Dan Mangan
Mon 30th April Not Noel Edmond’s House Party
Images © Anne Louise Kershaw