57 Thomas Street, as the name suggests, has a prime location in the middle of the NQ’s main strip. Run by legendary Manchester brewers Marble Beers, it has long been a favourite for us at TNQR so we were excited to see the results of the refurbishment they completed in December 2015. The bar has been lengthened and the long bench replaced by individual tables with the overall result being a bigger, wider, more spacious bar area and improved seating. The design has the classic industrial NQ feel but in Thomas Street this is understated and feels genuine in contrast to many of the bars that have sprung up in recent years.
The main event at Thomas Street is the beer. The eight draught lines predominantly sell Marble’s extremely good range of own brew with the odd one or two guest ales and these are complimented by a wide variety of bottles making this arguably one of the best beer selections in the Northern Quarter. Some of the taps are rotated with an average selection ranging from lighter session ales to stronger, more specialist beers and most things in between. As you’d expect the prices vary as much as the beers on offer and are standard for the area. Spirits have been added to the menu and we hear the newly opened upstairs bar will include cocktails, hopefully making Thomas Street appeal to a wider crowd and not just us ale drinkers.
A new food menu has built on the bar snacks and platters of cured meats and cheeses to include hot dishes such as hotpot. We’ve not tried the new menu so can’t comment on the new dishes but what we saw pass our table looked good. One disappointing result of the recent renovations is the replacement of the delicious smoky nuts with a vastly inferior alternative; what used to be a staple order with each round of beers is now something to avoid.
We were happy to see the games made the cut with chess and draughts being joined by Shut The Box although we may come to regret this given it took 90mins to complete Shut The Box on our last visit! The bar staff are knowledgeable and fun and with a mix of clientèle this bar is always relaxed and friendly. Thomas Street is equally great for a quiet after work drink, meeting friends before a night out or as a place to spend a long Saturday afternoon.
57 Thomas Street
Food: Nuts, scratchings, cheese, meats and bread
Drinks: Craft beer/lager & spirits
Related City Centre establishments: The Marble Arch
Bongo rating: 8/10