Manchester Student Nightlife - Oxford Road Corridor

The temperatures have taken a turn for the worse, the X factor is back on our screens and the students are back in town. Three fundamental signs that summer is well and truly over and winter is coming...Made you think of Game of Thrones didn’t I. 

For all those coming to study in Manchester, whether you are new to the city or returning to tick off another 9 months from your degree course, welcome! Let’s put the thought of winter to the back of our minds for the minute and concentrate on the positives of what this great city of Manchester has to offer you.

The city is filled with so much history and culture from the galleries to the museums and libraries to the buildings themselves. We sit at the top of a few European leaderboards. We are the city with the busiest bus route in Europe, we have one of the largest student populations and we also have the biggest municipal park; Heaton Park. So there are plenty of nearby green areas if you feel like a breath of fresh air.

Though let’s be honest, that is for another blog. What you really want to know about is the legendary Manchester student nightlife right? Where are the best areas? Where can you find the best deals?

Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. This is part one of our guide to Manchester student nightlife. In this blog we’re going to start with the Oxford Road Corridor.

Very near to the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University campuses is where we start our tour. Whether it’s for a quick break in between classes or a night out, there are a lot of options.

Just off Oxford Road and opposite All Saints Park is Grosvenor Street. Here you can find Sandbar and Pub/Zoo on one side and The Deaf Institute and Footage on the other. With local craft ales on tap, a large selection of whiskeys, (if that’s what you’re into) live sports and a mix of themed nights and live music to go at, it’s certainly a kick off point.

The Deaf Institute has Guinness on tap which always makes it a winner in my book. Keep a close eye out for events such as quizzes going on around here every week as well if you feel like showing off some of that general knowledge to all your new friends.

Heading further down Oxford Road into the heart of the city of 24 hour party people, you will come to the next array of bars and clubs. Avoid the string of take-outs on the way! As delicious as it all looks, (and trust me there is nothing more satisfying than a Popolinos after a few too many) we can come back to that later. You’ll also see one of our four homes4u branches on the right here where we have been since 2002. Remember to pop in if you have any property questions, we’re here to help!

Revolution is the next stop on Oxford Road and vodka is the drink of choice here. With flavours ranging from Dr.Pepper to popcorn you’ll be sure to find yourself a favourite.

Around the corner on New Wakefield Street you will hear the thumping loud music streaming out of Sound Control. It’s a three storey venue that holds more than you might think! The progression of Sound Control seems a fitting one. Starting as somewhere that fixed instruments, it turned into the place to buy instruments and it is now the place to hear them being played! Rumour has it this is where Reni read an ad to auditions for the Stone Roses in 1984 back when it was called A1 Music. The rest as they say is history…

The Font Bar is just a few doors down the cobbled street with an impressive range of cocktails starting from just £2! Next door, Black Dog NWS is the first of a chain of three Black Dog venues in Manchester. There is a bowling themed sister joint on First Street and the original is based in the Northern Quarter and open until 5am on Saturdays! (More on that in the next blog…)

The NWS venue is a New York style diner that similar to Sound Control is split over three storeys. A basement club sits below pool tables and two more bars; one on the ground floor and one on the first floor that also has an open roof terrace. This place is always offering out discounts to students, so be sure to keep an eye out.

Under the train tracks across from here sit two more city centre boozers. One, a slightly worse for wear pub called the Thirsty Scholar that is probably older than most of the students that drink in it, is a lovable dive. The other is a brand new tiki bar called The Zombie Shack. Now Manchester isn’t exactly known for its tropical climate but it has a fair few tiki themed bars dotted around. This one stays true to the theme, with plenty of bamboo, torches and totems in sight and generous, strong cocktails on the menu.

A brisk walk to the other side of the Oxford Road train station, tucked within the railway arches under the tracks is where we finish the tour. Walking past the whiff of late night burgers and ice-cream on Oxford Road from Archie’s and the old home of international cinema in Manchester, take a sharp left when you reach the Sainsbury’s. On the left you will find Gorilla and opposite The Ritz.

Gorilla is another of the many recent live music venues that has established itself very quickly. As well as a bar at the front of the venue that is always packed out with a mix of students and professionals alike, it also boasts a large stage and live venue in the back. It has played host to loads of DJ’s and artists over the last few years, the immediate memories for me are of seeing DJ Jazzy Jeff there, nostalgia of my ‘formative’ years shall we say. Ever heard of him? Summertime, Will Smith? “Now this is a story all about how, my life got flipped, turned upsid…” No? Just me then…

Anyway, back to the last popular spot on our bar crawl; The Ritz. An oldie but a classic. A staple of Manchester nightlife from the cheap drinks right down to the sticky, springy floor, it has been part of the city’s history since 1927. Now a Grade II listed building, the list of famous names that have performed here is impressive. The Beatles, R.E.M, The Stone Roses, you name it they’ve probably played here. Nowadays the venue often hosts events run by third-party entertainment brands such as Propaganda, GoGo, Voodoo and Erasmus Parties.

 Phew, so that's the Oxford Road corridor and its just a small portion of Manchester's nightlife. Keep your eyes out for our next installment and if you are around Oxford Road, pop in and say hi at our city branch!


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