Tariff Street is a goldmine for independent food and drink joints, and The Whiskey Jar is up there with the very best of them. Housed in a stunning Grade I-listed textile mill, the likes of which define Northern Quarter architecture, the establishment is split over two floors, with an expansive upstairs catering to a more informal crowd, and basement dedicated to music events, giving the best of both world’s under one roof of deceptively generous proportions. Original features ensure a charming, heritage character throughout, which fits well with the overall USP.
As you’d expect with a name like this, whiskey is very much the order of the day here, although it’s no obligation. Alongside global giants like Johnnie Walker, Talisker and Bushmills — incidentally, the world’s oldest distillery with a history stretching to 1608 — you’ll find around 350 other varieties to choose from, stretching from Scotland and Ireland across to the US and Japan, to name but a few countries supplying the bar. You could also add Canada, South Africa, Sweden, Thailand and Isreal to that, with a number of high profile rarities waiting for true connoisseurs.
An out-and-out neighbourhood favourite during the week, The Whiskey Jar comes into its own as a Northern Quarter nightlife beacon when the weekend arrives. Upstairs, you’ll find a regular programme of live musicians, proof of why this place has a huge reputation for open mic nights. Meanwhile, downstairs is a versatile space for parties and private events. This comes complete with soundsystem and separate bar, and in the past has helped nurture a number of notable soirees. It’s also worth remembering the establishment has been known to host its own whiskey festival, so best keep an eye on the website for updates on that and other special one-offs.