Whenever a friend from out of town comes to visit, I take them to Night & Day. Why? Because it encapsulates what real Manchester is all about: within these four walls there is no pretence, no faux industrial heritage, no 21st century makeover. Night & Day is what it is, is what it was and is what it hopefully always will be.
Located on Oldham Street in the bowels of the “old” Northern Quarter, this live music venue/pub/bar/cafe is one of the best places to hang out in the city. In an area that prides itself on bohemian appeal, this is as boho as it comes: split leather seats, diffused retro lighting, a plethora of musicians tuning their instruments and a bar that would be comfortably at home on New York’s Bleecker Street. Even after a short daytime visit to Night & Day, you emerge blinking into the light, unsure how many minutes have passed.
The live music programme combines a selection of local talent and nationally-known names. Here you can see the Fossil Collective, a two-piece from Leeds, on a Saturday and the Grammy-nominated John Fullbright on a Sunday.
Although it’s been a while since I ate here, the menu looks as inviting as ever (I particularly like the menu’s cover – hurrah for a cartoon of a cat leaping over a burger). And, unlike many other venues of this ilk, Night & Day caters for vegetarians – non-meat eaters can choose from a variety of dishes including a homemade spicy beanburger, grilled halloumi and a vegi brekkie option.
So, whether it’s night, day or somewhere in between, get yourself down to proper Manchester. You won’t regret it.
By Helen Nugent
What: Night & Day
Where: Oldham Street, Manchester
More info: www.nightnday.org