On paper, Cottonopolis could be yet another Northern Quarter bar – its shabby chic industrial interior and artisan ales aimed squarely at after-work and hipster crowds.
Thankfully, it’s not. Now just over three years old, Cottonopolis is still among its competitors due to its inventive merging of concepts. In this case, the buildings’ industrial Northern heritage and trends in recent years for fresh, quality Pan-Asian food.
Cottonpolis’ meticulous interior also testifies that it was conceived, designed and planned down to the last light bulb – in short, it feels loved. Attention to detail also shows in its name and logo – a signature Manchester worker bee referencing the city’s unprecedented industrial growth in the 19th century.
Sitting on one of its high stools, among rustic wooden trimmings and seasoned brickwork, you really feel the working past of the building.
Rather than stick with the insular English way of eating, i.e. one big plate of food per person, Cottonopolis encourages the gregarious dining habits of Spanish and Japanese cultures, with small tapas/sushi-like plates dotting the menu.
The dishes are fresh and of uncompromising quality, with small plates ranging from £7 – £9. Sushi, sashimi, gyoza and yakitori go down well with the varied ales on offer – from Hawaii’s Big Wave to Chicago’s Goose Island and Krušovice tank.
Cottonopolis has made a brave move to marry the world’s two greatest cultures (Japanese and Mancunian – you know it’s true) and continues to thrive in the ever-competitive Northern Quarter.