It’s not often on this journey of the Northern Quarter’s drinking establishments that we get to visit somewhere with this much history and whilst seemingly a relatively new addition to the scene having reopened its doors in 2013, this place has actually been around since 1745 according to some sources, thus at over 250 years can lay claim to being one of Manchester’s oldest pubs. But does that make it one of the best?
The previously mentioned refurb/refit has been completed tastefully and very much in line with the historic nature of the place, and what has been done so wrong in other attempts feels less forced and more genuine here, something the management/owners should be proud of. They have also added more space from the original extension with the link to the former bookshop next door now called Scuttlers Wine Bar, (that venue will be covered another time). Unusually for these parts there is also a B&B upstairs, which gives an interesting option to visitors wanting something a bit different from the conglomerate chains that dominate a large portion of the city hotel market.
The bar hosts a pretty generic selection of lagers and ciders from the kegs, although it does include that Manchester staple Boddies, (although we all know this isn’t brewed in these parts any longer). On the wickets you will find a decent selection from local breweries, think Lees, or Holts rather than craftier options from Redbank. But at least it’s local, and if all that’s not good enough, there are also rotating ales from further afield for those that like a change to their drinking routine. The beers are backed up by a selection of wines and spirits not uncommon in this type of boozer, just don’t expect cocktail flaring & sparklers. If that’s your bag I would definitely go elsewhere.
Clientèle as you expect for this type of establishment is on the older side, but I would not say that is altogether a problem, everyone has their tastes and it’s good that even in the NQ there is usually something for everyone. Overall I have a bit of a soft spot for the Lower Turks Head, whilst it’s not likely to be a first choice establishment for some and yes the beer selection could be a bit more interesting, it’s not the worst in town and overall I think they have captured exactly what they are after and it’s one of the best examples of this type of pub around.
The Lower Turks Head
Food: Pub grub
Drinks: Ale/lager & spirits
Related City Centre establishments: Scuttlers Wine Bar
Bongo rating: 6/10