One of Manchester’s growing number of Tiki havens, we recently hit up Hula on Stevenson Square on one of those, accidental all-day bongo fest type of days, and what a day it was! Descending the stairs into Hula’s basement transports you through time & space into a 50s-inspired Tiki heaven, and whilst the décor is distinctly (as you would expect) tikified, it is still somewhat unique & definitely a step up from the cut and paste bare brick & reclaimed wood that is so pervasive in these parts; run of the mill this place is not.
Drinks wise it’s all about the cocktails as one would expect, and largely rum based ones at that. You’ll get no complaints from me about this, that sweet dark nectar is my spirit of choice so mashing it up with tropical fruits & setting it on fire will always go down well. The selection of sharing drinks is impressive, if pricey, and the “Volcano” we ordered is a drink of epic proportions, it’s just a shame they no longer have the volcano shaped dishes of old, apparently all broken or stolen over the years. Whilst with all bars of this type, the selection of rums available is the main event on the back bar, it’s well enough stocked with other choices that there should be no need to go thirsty, and the fridges have a selection of bottled & canned beverages for those unwilling to partake in the cocktails.
The atmosphere in here is all about the party, and that is reflected in the clientèle & the music. The funky beats were even enough to get some of our crew up & dancing (which is not a common sight) but speaks volumes for the fun atmosphere they manage to create down there. Of course this also means it can be a bit on the rowdier side on Friday & Saturday nights & don’t be surprised if confronted by a gaggle of Hens clucking about the dancefloor either.
Overall, Hula is good for a quick fruity pit stop or indeed a destination bar in its own right, which is why I suspect this place normally has a queue thronging outside on the weekends. If you are looking for a bit of fun, some dancing & fire in your drinks then you could do a lot worse than putting in a visit to this place. Yes the Zombies at Keko are probably just that little bit better, but Hula has got space for you to bring more than just a couple of friends, throw some shapes and have a real party.
Classification: Tiki Bar
Drinks: Rum cocktails, spirits, beer
Related City Centre Establishments: RosyLee, Tusk, Walrus, InFamous Diner, The Fitzgerald
Bongo Rating: 7/10