Manchester has long been an open-minded city. One that’s opened its arms up to the LGBTQ+ community. And what makes it even more special? Its thriving, dedicated district that celebrates all things LGBTQ+; the Gay Village. A place where everyone is welcome and everyone is encouraged to be their true selves, the Gay Village is iconic for a reason – and that reason is its fantastic bars and clubs, operated by those who love and actively build up the community not just during Pride Month and Manchester Pride, but all the time. Without further ado, here are just some of our picks of the best gay and LGBTQ+ bars in Manchester.
1. The Brewers
A relatively new addition to Canal Street, after rehauling KIKI and VOID just last year, The Brewers sits right in the heart of it all, serving literally tons of cocktails (hello, 2-4-1!), a fantastic after-work drinks atmosphere, a retro-style dance floor that absolutely oozes Studio 54 vibes, and tons of entertainment in store ranging from drag, burlesque, comedy, cabaret. You name it, they’ve got it. The Brewers, 4 Canal St, M1 3HE.
2. G-A-Y Manchester
An absolute institution not only in Manchester but nationwide, G-A-Y takes centre stage on Canal Street, providing one of the most fun nights out in the entire city. Serving cheap drinks, cheesy tunes and a huge dancefloor for guests to cut some shapes on – G-A-Y is open ’til 4am, proving itself the late-night destination to be in the Village. G-A-Y, 63 Richmond St, M1 3WB.
A popular spot for pre-drinks (and just drink-drinks!) in the Village, Via describes itself as the ‘old lady of Canal Street’, with more of a pub vibe in comparison to Canal Street’s trademark club feel, thanks to its wooden yet opulent decor. Serving both food and drinks, guests can enjoy both early drinks and a late-night atmosphere, too, with frequent drag shows happening in the evenings and fun lip sync battles with fellow Canal Street bars. Via, 28-30 Canal St, M1 3EZ.
4. On Bar
One of Manchester’s liveliest live entertainment bars, On Bar knows how to put on a good show – with tons of drag shows, DJs and so much more gracing their roster on a regular basis. From food to cocktails, to back-to-back events taking place every week, On Bar is a fantastic place to visit if you’re looking for something a little more experiential. Be sure to keep an eye on their upcoming events here to catch a show or bottomless brunch next time you’re in the Village. On Bar, 46 Canal St, M1 3WD.
Another of Manchester’s liveliest, Tribeca hosts tons of incredibly fun events, including both drag and live DJ sets every weekend. The busy bar has become well-known for its fantastic array of cocktails, with glam NYC-style decor to accompany. It’s by far one of the boujier places to visit in the Village – a statement backed up by their seriously good bottomless brunch events in collaboration with some of the UK’s finest drag acts.
6. The Rem Bar
One of the Village’s more diverse venues, The Rem Bar has a much more laid back feel, providing a little something for those who prefer a simple pint over cocktails and club nights. Known as one of the ‘original’ gay men’s bars on the street, the bar is popular with bears and skins, and hosts regular retro music nights, ‘bear-e-oke’, and a fantastic casual atmosphere to enjoy. The Rem Bar, 33 Sackville St, M1 3LZ.
7. The Goose
One of very few proper pubs in the Village, The Goose is the perfect palate cleanser for those looking for an LGBTQ+-friendly place for a casual drink, with traditional decor, real ales, tons of gins, and even Pieminster pies. Attracting quite a mixed bag to the establishment thanks to its central location within the Village and proximity to the coach stop, The Goose is a great choice for escaping the club nights for a little while. The Goose, 29 Bloom St, M1 3JE.
8. The Molly House
A beautifully decorated, cosy spot in the heart of the Gay Village, The Molly House offers an alternative experience for the community to enjoy, serving cocktails, tea, real ales and even tapas. It has more of a wine bar feel to it during the evenings (and a lovely wine menu, too!), with tasty dishes such as croquetas, marinated octopus, and chorizo on offer, as well as a menu of fantastic burgers – which have been met with fan acclaim. The Molly House, 26 Richmond St, M1 3NB.