Every city has a signature bar that personifies its attitude, atmosphere and the personality of its people. Manchester’s is the Temple of Convenience.
Its name will be demystified with a visit, as the Temple is housed underground in a former public toilet.
The Temple is a favourite of indie band Elbow’s frontman Guy Garvey, who can sometimes be spotted 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”.
Following years of intense research, I’m certain that the Temple has the best jukebox in Manchester, although it’s a close call with its sister bar Big Hands.
If you’re experiencing a dark night of the soul during your visit, consult the writing, doodles and nuggets of advice on the Temple’s bathroom walls. Far too genius to be passed off as graffiti, maybe ‘wisdom-drenched toilet murals’ is more fitting.
Either way, lots of people have been all kinds of drunk in the Temple’s cubicles and their walls are the fine product of Manchester’s wittiest drinkers.
The Temple’s modest but varied international beers (from £ 4.20), lively but intimate atmosphere and one-of-a-kind setting form a rare combination you won’t find anywhere else. In a good way, that is.
Make sure you fall down this much-loved hole while in Manchester.