The Refuge

Iconic building, iconic bar, restaurant and venue specialising in small plates, cocktails, Sunday roasts, house music and disco.

Monday: 12pm - 11pm
Tuesday: 12pm - 11pm
Wednesday: 12pm - 11pm
Thursday: 12pm - 11pm
Friday: 12pm - 12am
Saturday: 12pm - 12am
Sunday: 12pm - 10:30pm

A lot of bars and restaurants claim to be landmarks, but very few actually live up to that idea in terms of location and building. If anything, The Refuge exceeds any expectations that might come with the phrase. It occupies prime positions on one of central Manchester’s most iconic and important thoroughfares, and finds its home in an Insta-worthy architectural triumph which once housed a — drum roll — insurance company, but is now split between this place and luxurious Kimpton Clocktower Hotel. 

Despite the rather austere exterior of this Eclectic Baroque masterpiece, The Refuge more than lives up to its name, and prides itself on offering an upmarket sanctuary for all smack bang in the beating heart of the city. Situated on a corner next to Oxford Road Station, it’s a fast and diverse location that suits the establishment well. Inside, 10,000 square feet of dining and drinking space awaits, all looking spectacular with historic tilework and furnishings, winter garden standing out as the most enchanting interior design statement happening here. 

Thankfully, the kitchen and bar match for standards, with a huge range of quality beers, wines, and expertly made cocktails on offer. For the hungry, dishes range from small plate selections right up to full Sunday roasts. Meanwhile, those choosing to take over The Den, a space within the space dedicated to fussball, pool and more games, can enjoy the private bar and sharing food options. A big reason for The Refuge’s success is the very-Manchester love for music, with a packed calendar of events taking place here, free and ticketed. spanning jazz, soul, house, disco and more. While this mostly happens in the main bar areas and back courtyard, irregular parties also make use of the basement, which is a venue in itself and has hosted some of the best DJs on the planet.