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25 Aug 2020 - 6 minutes

How to get a taste of the Big Apple here in Manchester!

Manchester state of mind blog header

New York! Alongside London, it’s arguably the most famous city in the world. New York isn’t just a’s a culture. New York is a way of life. Frank Sinatra sang: “if I can make it there, I’ll make it anywhere.”

We couldn’t think of anywhere more fitting to finish our ‘Summer in the City’ campaign. Like the Big Apple, Manchester is more than just a city. It’s a culture, it’s a community, it’s home! To acknowledge this link, a historic partnership was signed between their the two cities at the beginning of the year.

The agreement between Marketing Manchester and NYC & Company aims to bolster tourism between the two destinations. It includes a number of plans that involve strategy around arts and culture, sports and LGBTQI+ travel. The deal makes Manchester the first and only non-capital city to have an agreement with the NYC tourism board. Unfortunately, COVID-19 got in the way and now overseas travel isn’t such a good option. But not to worry, because you can still get a taste of the Big Apple here in Manchester.

The rooftop bars

New York is known for its iconic skyline of soaring skyscrapers. With little space to spread out, everything in New York is vertical. As such, they’ve had to get creative with their outdoor dining and drink spaces. Cue rooftop bars!

Although Manchester isn’t quite as built up as New York and has plenty of space on the ground for great alfresco spots, it still boasts an impressive number of rooftop-retreats perfect for those after work drink. Here are just a few of them...

Interior of The Ivy rooftop bar and terrance in Spinningfields Manchester


Situated in Spinningfields, The Ivy Roof Garden is open all year round so that you can dine under the sun, stars or rain seven days a week. The Roof Garden is also fully heated and covered for the colder days and air conditioned for the warmer ones. Guests can enjoy food and cocktails among an abundance of florals, foliage and colourful fabrics, all creating an enchanting and weather proof garden oasis in the heart of Manchester.

Rooftop of Atlas cocktail bar at the end of Deansgate in Manchester

Situated in the railway arches of Deansgate, Atlas Bar has been a Manchester icon for two decades, and has matured into an elegant, quality bar specialising in gins from around the world; over 520 at the last count! This is the largest offer in Manchester city centre - right on the doorstep of AXIS! Atlas boasts a beautiful rooftop terrace to enjoy the best of Manchester’s weather, come rain or shine.

Rooftop bar and terrace of El Gato Negro in Manchester


El Gato Negro’s home in Manchester is a historic three storey townhouse on King Street. On the ground floor you’ll find beautiful al fresco pavement dining along with a well-stocked bar and dining space. The crown jewel of El Gato Negro is its stunning roof terrace with a retractable awning and its own bar, perfect to catch the rays on those hot, summer days!

The theatres

It’s time to start defying gravity, dream a dream, cut loose and delve into the wonderful world of theatre. New York may have Broadway, but Manchester has its own thriving theatre scene. From major West End productions to independent shows, there’s something for everyone! And with indoor performances now allowed again after lockdown, here are some of the theatres and venues to keep your eye on...

The auditorium at Palace Theatre in Manchester


The Palace Theatre is one of the city’s main theatres, and can be found where Oxford Street intersects with Whitworth Street. The Palace and its sister theatre, the Opera House on Quay Street, are operated by the same parent company, Ambassador Theatre Group. Many of the most successful West End shows have graced its stage, from Les Misérables to Mamma Mia!

In 2019, The Book of Mormon UK tour opened at the Palace Theatre, marking the first time the show had been performed in the UK outside of London.

Looking down at the stage with people performing in The Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester


This grade II listed building is located in the city centre and includes both the Royal Exchange Theatre and the Royal Exchange Shopping Centre. The theatre usually puts on an average of 350 performances a year of nine professional theatre productions. The programme is varied and includes classic theatre and revivals, contemporary drama and new writing.

View from the stage looking out into the theatre at HOME in Manchester


HOME is a centre for international contemporary art, theatre and film. It was formed by the merger of two arts organisations, Cornerhouse and the Library Theatre Company. HOME commissions, produces and presents a programme of contemporary theatre, film and visual arts. Its programme features new commissions, international collaboration, off-site and interdisciplinary productions with an emphasis on innovative visual storytelling and cross-art form collaboration.

The LGBTQI+ scene

In the early hours of June 28th 1969, police raided the Stonewall Inn, Manhattan. Patrons of the Stonewall and other lesbian and gay bars fought back when police became violent. The riots were to become one of the most important events leading to the gay liberation movement, and New York has since become a beacon for the gay community, with one of the world’s biggest LGBTQI+ scenes.

Like New York, Manchester is also well known for its LGBTQI+ scene and has one of the largest communities in the UK. Centred around the cobbles of Canal Street, there are a variety of bars and venues to enjoy no matter how you identify.

G-A-Y bar on Manchester's Canal Street

G-A-Y shares sister venues in London and is one of Manchester’s main gay nightclubs situated at the end of Canal Street. It has a good variety of music and live acts and is open every night until 4am.

Canal Street at night with people drinking outside of Bar Pop


Bar Pop is independently run, owned by a drag queen and boasts the largest in-house entertainment team in the North West. Bar Pop is proud to be an inclusive bar for its patrons and staff.

Exterior of The Brewers LGBTQIA+ bar on Canal Street in Manchester's Gay Village


Formerly KIKI and Void, the Brewers is Manchester’s newest cabaret venue. Set over two floors, visit the Brewers bar for cocktail and live entertainment or dance the night away in the Brewers Club.

As Jay Z sang in Empire State of Mind, ‘There’s nothing you can’t do now you’re in New York.’ Well, as you can see, the same applies right here in Manchester. These streets will make you feel brand new, big lights will inspire you!

And if we’re inspired you to make the move, take a look at our website and book a viewing to visit one of our open-plan, 2-bedroom apartments at either AXIS or Manhattan. Come and be a part of it!

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