In case there were any doubt, Cottonopolis was the name Manchester coined way back when the city was running on a combination of textile manufacturing, open-armed attitude to innovation, and incredible work ethic. At least two of those things are still very much present and correct, but in the 21st Century Cottonopolis is a large, open-plan bar and Asian-inspired restaurant housed in one of town’s numerous stunning Grade II listed buildings that date back to the heyday of mills and manufacturing.
Open all week, from lunch through to the witching hours, one of the biggest selling points here is the food, which takes the form of sushi, bars, yakitori, gyoza, and robata grilled meats. So that means lamb leg with gochujang and cumin, pinko prawn dragon rolls, salmon with crab and avocado alongside togarashi, and aubergine yaki with chilli. Suffice to say, the list could go on. All dishes are designed for sharing, and come when ready, meaning this is a prime spot for what’s politely known as grazing, a phrase that definitely applies to the bottomless brunch on weekends.
Order as and when while kicking back and enjoying a tangibly upbeat atmosphere, which grows into typically Northern Quarter evening vibes as the hours roll by, with a well-established events programme ensuring tunes are a key part of the experience, from jazz listening sessions to soul brunches. Into the night, weekends see an impressive roster plucked from Manchester’s world-famous abundant DJ community spinning tracks that can satisfy the warm up pre-club crew and long haulers alike, with the bar more than up to the task of fuelling revellers. A carefully curated menu of cocktails includes bespoke takes on classics, giving the mixologists a chance to show their flair. A healthy selection of Japanese Signatures are also available, marking Cottonopolis out as a crown jewel in a district that has never been short on long drinks.