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Food & Drink

An Industrial-Style ‘Theatre Bar’ Is Opening In Manchester This Weekend

By Laura Rogan

The new bar dedicated to supporting the arts.

There’s no denying that the arts industry has been one of the worst hit industries over the past year. The pandemic ground thousands of people’s livelihoods to a halt – with theatres, museums, studios and more being ordered to close under lockdown restrictions. But the community has remained stronger than ever, with creatives from all over coming together to support one another at a time when it’s been needed the most. And that community includes 53TWO – an independent theatre group who have gone one step further, opening a brand new venue for both locals and the arts community to enjoy.

Credit: 53TWO

Taking up residence under one of the historic arches beneath Manchester Central, 53TWO is a brand new bar and arts hub, offering a casual, laid-back space to drink, chat, create, work and hang out. Giving a new purpose to the Grade II listed building, the beautiful new venue takes advantage of the space’s many original features – providing little drinking snugs for customers to enjoy in the space’s arches, and keeping the brick exposed to nod to Manchester’s worker bee heritage.

Operating as a day-to-night venue, 53TWO will offer everything from coffee, to beers and everything in between, as well as delicious pastries throughout the day for lunch breaks and meetings. They’ll also run an ‘artists members club’ after 11pm, too, when those working in the cultural sector will be able to access the 53Two Bar via a special ‘members entrance’ for a late night post-work drink.

Credit: 53TWO

Planning further developments to support the arts industry, the venue will also grow into a second arch at the site, opening the city’s first fully accessible theatre space for Manchester to enjoy. Til then, the space will be open as a studio, rehearsal area and private cinema room, where live performances and plays will be streamed. The 53Two team also plan to broadcast a live-recorded podcast each month, giving a voice to local artists and exploring the city’s cultural scene.

Simon Naylor, Director of 53Two said: “We are so excited to be finally throwing the doors open to the 53Two Bar. We’re really proud of what we’ve created here and hope that it will be a hub for artists, drinkers, thinkers and absolutely anyone who supports independent theatre and hospitality.

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“The bar is just the first step on our journey to creating an incredible new arts venue for the city – at a time when it is needed most. We’ve ensured that the bar embodies our values of inclusivity and will offer a warm welcome to everyone ahead of the theatre opening later in the year. See you on Sunday!”

Credit: 53TWO

Opening this Sunday, May 30th, the venue will open at 11am, with local musician Paul Hand providing the entertainment from 9pm.

53TWO, Arch 19 Watson St, M3 4LP.

Read more: 10 Of The Liveliest Bars For Live Entertainment And Music Right Here In Manchester