Farewell Manhattan34?

I’ve been hearing reports that Manhattan34 in Leicester is no more. Comedy gigs for this weekend were relocated to a new venue on the 25th, and a sign in the window says that the property has been taken over by a letting agent on behalf of the landlord. Although in early June, the venue said on social media that they were getting a new look and refurbishing, it looks like sadly that plan hasn’t come together. All of this is not officially confirmed, but … well… it’s been emptied.

Manhattan34 Leicester
Image taken 28th July 2023

The Perfect Storm

I’ve written a lot about pub closures recently, but of course, pubs and breweries are only part of the story. We are seeing rafts of well-loved hospitality businesses closing their doors. They are unable to go on with rising costs in the post-Covid atmosphere. And as customers’ money is tight too, many of us can’t afford to go out as often as we might have done a few years ago. A perfect storm for the industry.

The possible loss of Manhattan34 is another closure that hits hard personally for me. It is been a part of the fabric of my life for a very long time now, through a number of different owners. After-work drinks and getting to know some of the best bartenders in Leicester as they perfected their craft. Later I would do a bit of marketing and PR for the venue. I loved taking pictures of the beautiful cocktails and learned a huge amount about spirits from the team there.

My favourite experience was doubtless the industry bourbon tasting from Buffalo Trace’s Drew Mayville which was a real eye-opener for me. It’s not an exaggeration to say that events like this were pivotal in my journey to becoming a professional drinks writer.

But best of all, I made great friends there. I hung out in Manhattan before awards ceremonies at Athena, I celebrated birthdays and promotions and more. And I made lifelong pals will the skilled bartenders who worked there. Remember when Charlotte and I filmed a cocktail masterclass for giggles?

If this is the end for Manhattan34, then thanks for the memories. Another great venue lost.


Bestselling author and freelance drinks writer. Champion of pubs and breweries. Occasional printmaker.

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