Bar fringe is on the continuation of Great Ancoats St. On the borders of the Northern Quarter, edging towards the more industrial Ancoats, this busy ring road isn’t the prettiest part of the city. Scraping the surface, however, there’s plenty of fun to be had. Ancoats is in the process of transformation from a dodgy outlying area of the city centre to a zone of post-industrial chic. Whether you call it redevelopment or gentrification, its resulted in new bars, theatres and restaurants a-plenty.
It is in this setting that sits Bar fringe; a pub that has been there for years, watching these changes through its window. Its location makes for a very diverse crowd. From bikers to postal workers to students, this is a bar that’s open to all. The decorations are just as eclectic – covered with Manchester-related memorabilia, cartoons and, most surprisingly, there’s even a motorbike on the ceiling.
I go there for the beer; they offer an awe-inspiring selection of over 50 continental beers, mainly Belgian, as well as changing lagers and guest ales, some of which are local. And all for reasonable prices. There’s also a small beer garden out the back – a lovely place on a warm summer evening. Handily, its opposite Band on the Wall (seearticle), meaning it’s a perfect place for a pre- (or post-) gig pint.