As reassuring as it to witness huge investment in Manchester city centre, it’s especially heart-warming to see exciting new ventures popping up on the outskirts. Like Coal and Cotton, which has just opened its doors in Boothstown.
Its co-owner, Jason Green, who’s lived in the area for years, couldn’t be happier with how the launch has gone.
“I’m a local lad myself and I think people have been waiting for something like this to open around here,” he says. “The feedback has been amazing, and it’s been really busy, which is incredible.”
Previously The Greyhound, the pub has undergone a huge refurbishment, reportedly costing £750,000. There’s now a striking mural running the length of a wall overlooking the beer garden and a gorgeous floral display providing a pop of colour at the front entrance.
Inside, it’s been stylishly redesigned with exposed walls and plenty of texture, and an emphasis on creating a cosy atmosphere. The seating area next to the fire is somewhere you’d be very happy to spend a few hours on a chilly day.
Everyone’s welcome, including dogs (‘with well-behaved owners’ it notes on the website), and there’s live music at the weekends.
Although it’s early on Sunday afternoon when we pop in, there’s already a lively atmosphere and for Jason, it must be gratifying to see a wide-range of customers, from young families and groups of girls grabbing a bite to eat to a few lads catching up over a beer and older patrons propping up the bar.
This isn’t just a pub, though. There’s also a gin distillery on-site where the Boothstown Gin is made.
“I actually had the idea a couple of years ago, but things fell through at the last minute,” says Jason who has years of experience in the bar and restaurant industry.
“But as things often do, it’s actually worked out better doing a Boothstown Gin (not Worsley Gin, which has since been trademarked).”
The Boothstown Gin is inspired by the local 19th century botanist and herbalist Joseph Evans who used his concoctions, including a gin and strict instructions to ‘drink and sing into the night in order to restore red cheeks and smiles’, to help members of the community.
People can buy by a bottle or sip one of the many gin cocktails available on the extensive menu such as the Boothstown Bramble with lemon juice and crème de mure and Botanical Garden with lemon juice and St Germain, both £6.90.
There’s even an afternoon tea with a gin fountain, and a list of wines and beers for the non-gin drinkers.
Food-wise, there are plenty of pub favourites on the menu, which Jason describes as “British classics with influences from around the world.” Dishes include fish and chips, Lancashire cheese and beef bourguignon pies, ox cheek and chestnut risotto, stone baked pizzas, vegan options and Sunday roasts.
All credit to Jason, the menu is very reasonably priced, with pizzas from £7.95 and mains from £9.95. He jokes some people have told him he could easily charge more for the quality on offer, but that’s not of interest to him.
“It’s really important to me that I’m from the area, and I think it means something to the locals, too. I’m not someone who’s just swanned in with no thought to the impact.
“I want to make the place accessible and affordable, and somewhere people will look forward to visiting.”
Coal and Cotton, 44 Leigh Road, M28 ILR