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.
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.