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If you could reopen any pub/bar from the past for a post work drink, which would it be?

I am working on an insolvency role at the moment in Manchester, and interestingly one of the pre-requisites the Partner highlighted when I was taking the spec, was to find someone who was in Manchester city centre and had the character and interest in digging into the insolvency network in town and developing relationships, as ‘the insolvency guys all drink in the same places’.  Of course my immediate thought was, well actually no one drinks anywhere at the moment… Then I thought, will people ever network in pubs like they did before?  That’s another question, but my mind drifted and I found myself gazing out of my kitchen window whilst working from home, reminiscing about the old days when we used to pack into squashed pubs and bars on a Friday at 5pm and emerge in the early hours.

So, my question –

If you could reopen any pub/bar from the past for a post work drink, which would it be?

I loved the responses! See them all here: https://www.linkedin.com/posts/louisa-phillips-a853625_manchester-based-lawyersconnections-lets-activity-6790957008548876289-VUQJ/

For me, there are so many and they inevitably changed over the years.  From the Addleshaws days, the Pitcher & Piano underneath Barbirolli Square was the ‘go to’.  Other ex Barbirolli lawyers remember Rain Bar or the Britons Protection (far better for a pie at lunchtime in my view), or even Varsity on Oxford Road (but that’s slightly scraping the barrel!).  When I moved to Hill Dickinson I then became one of the many lawyers who piled into All Bar One at the top of King Street on a Friday night.  My Director Vicky Clark remembers the copious amounts of Chardonnay consumed there in her Halliwells days – she’s much classier now I assure you!  Some preferred a pint in the City Arms, but again that was more of a lunch spot for me, they served a great jacket potato with cheesy beans!  

When the recession hit in 2007 I wisely (unwisely some said at the time) made the move into my first recruitment role, in hindsight a bold move then, but I’ve never looked back and it’s certainly stood me in good stead for the challenges the legal recruitment market faced when COVID hit (all gone now I might add, as we have had the busiest Q1 in over a decade!).  Our go to point for a post work tipple at the time moved between Sam’s Chop House (definitely no social distancing in there) and Room – as someone remembered, ‘the best French Martini’s in town!’.  Less classy was the Athanaeum opposite (now Browns) – so many memories for so many people, ranging from the double spirits for £1, great music and even a suspicious fire in the basement resulting in the entire evacuation of the building and law firm next door.  Good times! 

So how about those I haven’t experienced but wished I had?  Corberies, hidden on Half Moon Street was the bar that was the centre of Manchester’s music scene before the Hacienda was even heard of.  Famous for it’s jukebox, a firm favourite for Pannone Corporate Senior Partner Paul Jonson – I’m sure may even have rubbed shoulders with Bez in there back in the day!  Ronnies in St.Anns Square seems to be another classic from the early 90’s as Jeff Lewis from Brabners admits to a night or two there!, or the nearby Conservatory in the walkway of St.Ann’s Square.  So many, and such fond memories.  Mash & Air, Piccadilly 21’s, Canal Bar on Whitworth Street or Socio Rehab (for those of us who actually managed to stagger down to the Northern Quarter).   The list goes on.  In recent years, the BCL team have been seen enjoying a drink in the Botanist or Be At One on Deansgate – easy reach from the office for a ‘quick drink’ after work, which inevitably always leads to rushing for the last tram home. 

Things have changed over the last year, that’s an understatement..  but our desire to meet and unwind hasn’t.  I personally can’t wait to get back for a drink with my colleagues, and let’s hope the insolvency Partner finds his network back in the insolvency hot spots once again soon.

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