Font Bar, 7-9 New Wakefield Street, Manchester, Lancashire, M1 5NP
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 12pm-1am, Sun 12pm-12:30am
Visit their website here.
Font bar is a longstanding student favourite and with good reason, its quirky decor, prime Oxford Road location and matchless cocktail offers take some beating. But Font has not got complacent; in fact, it has been going through a lot of change in the past 18 months.
While it has a firm student base, General Manager, Matt Dutton, 30, said Font’s constantly rotating real ale selection and updated cocktail menu, now attracts swathes of young professionals too.
Font is famous first and foremost for its unbeatably cheap £2 cocktails and it shifts silly amounts of them according to Matt. But while firm Font favourites such as the Dr Pepper (Amaretto and cherry brandy, £2) remain, boozier and more expensive additions have been added.
However, with the most expensive cocktails on the menu priced at £4, Font still has by far one of the cheapest selections you are likely to come across. The Sailor Jerry’s Mojito (Sailor Jerry’s, ginger beer, mint, lime and syrup £3) is one of the best sellers on this new wide-ranging menu and was absolutely delicious, the sweetness of the rum perfectly counterbalanced by the fire of the ginger beer.
The Bitch on Wheels, which can be made in a variety of ways, but in this case combined coconut rum, Jaeger, vodka, pineapple juice and lemonade was an absolute bargain at £4 and tasted absolutely delicious. Non-alcoholic cocktails such as the Virgin Mary, Calypso and Milkshakes are also available for those after a quieter night.
Font also stocks an impressive range of real ales, bottles and craft beer, including some regional brews, such Magic Rook from Huddersfield and Hard Knock from Cumbria. The best-selling Titanic Bitter was delightfully smooth and came in a hefty glass tankard, quite removed from the plastic glasses student bars serve drinks in all too often.
Matt said Font has made a big push to bring standards up this summer, aiming to create well-portioned, comforting home-food, at a reasonable price. A new American-inspired section has been added to the menu, fitting in comfortably with old favourites like burgers and pies.
The New Yorker, £5.50, is an example of the changes Font has been making. The toasted bagel filled with hand-carved salt beef, melted Emmental cheese, pickled gherkins and mustard, was beautifully presented and came accompanied with a miniature American flag. The bucket of wedges tasted as good as they looked, as did the bagel itself.
The Chicken Burger, £6.50, featuring spicy, deep-fried chicken breast , served with back bacon and Monterey Jack cheese was nice, if slightly fatty, but this should not really come as a surprise considering it was deep-fried. People know what they’re in for with this one, and it’s doubtful they’ll be put off. The sides of wedges, salad and homemade coleslaw were all beautiful and abundant. Excellent value for money.
On offer for dessert was Red Velvet and Death by Chocolate cake (both £3) and we treated ourselves to both. The portions were unbelievably generous, especially considering the already huge mains. They were lovely and rich, reminiscent of birthday cake. The frosting on the Red Velvet cake was particularly delicious.
Font is well worth a visit. Just £2 for a cocktail is ridiculous by anyone’s standards and neither taste, or alcohol content has been sacrificed to achieve this. The food is comforting, cheap and tasty – perfect for a casual meal after lectures or work.
The drinks are impressively varied and well-priced and Font’s cool interior means they can be enjoyed in comfort and style. Definite thumbs up from MM.