Turn any corner in Manchester city centre and it can feel like you’ve teleported into a different city altogether, with Ancoats, in particular, having its very own charm. An extension of the Northern Quarter with a neighbourhood feel to it, Ancoats is home to some of the city’s greatest bars and restaurants – including retro spot Sammy’s.
Opening late August 2019, the 70s inspired bar has been created with serious attention to detail, decked out with yellow geometric wallpaper and wooden panelling that resembles the cafes of the bygone era.
In keeping with the theme of hidden bars and speakeasies that Mancunians love so much, and while a visual spectacle inside, the bar features no signage outside other than a neon sign that gleams the word ‘open’ and a make-shift sign below saying ‘cocktails’. The secrecy adds to the exclusivity of the Ancoats bar scene and feels all the more a treat for guests who do find the front door.
Taking over the space from a local fish and chips shop, the bar front could easily be mistaken for one of the many takeaways that dot up and down Swan Street and Great Ancoats Street.
Sammy’s offers up an array of delicious cocktails, serving drinks in vintage Champagne coupes from its 60s white drinks cabinet that are then shaken up on its glass-topped wooden bar.
The décor itself is curated extremely well and keen eyes will spot finishing touches such as magazine racks stocked with risqué vintage magazines, old fashioned TV sets, Tretchikoff artwork and retro Ercol tables.
The bar was created by owner Sammy Shonn as a passion project following his return to the city after a stint on London’s restaurant scene.
Open seven days a week, this honorary time capsule is worth the venture into Ancoats and will be sure to have you leaving feeling like an extra out of a Wes Anderson film. Just remind yourself it’s 2023 before you head home!
Sammy’s Cocktail Bar, 26 Swan St, Manchester, M4 5JQ
Opening hours are Tues-Weds 6pm-11pm, Thurs-Fri 6pm-2am, Sat 3pm-2am, Sun 3pm-11pm
Cocktail prices start at £7