Every city has a signature bar that personifies a place’s attitude, atmosphere and the personality of its people and Manchester’s is the Temple of Convenience.
Its name will be demystified with a visit, as the Temple is housed underground in an ex-public toilet.
The Temple is famously a favourite of local band Elbow’s frontman Guy Garvey, who can sometimes be spotted sitting at the side of the bar. In the band’s song ‘Grounds for Divorce’ he describes it as “a hole in my neighbourhood down which of late I cannot help but fall”.
My favourite thing about the Temple is its jukebox. After years of intense research, I’m certain it’s the best in the city, although it’s a close call between Temple and its sister bar Big Hands.
Coming in at second favourite? The writing, doodles and nuggets of advice to be found on its bathroom walls that are too genius to be passed off as graffiti. Maybe ‘wisdom-drenched toilet murals’; either way, lots of people have been all kinds of drunk in the Temple’s cubicles and the walls are the end product of Manchester’s wittiest drinkers.
The Temple’s modest but varied international beers, reasonable prices and lively but intimate atmosphere in a one-of-a-kind setting is a rare combination you won’t find anywhere else.
In a good way that is – make sure you fall down this neighbourhood hole while in Manchester.