There’s a stylish new late night bar in town – but it’s in a familiar setting.
Firefly has launched as a new Californian-inspired night-time restaurant and bar concept, by the founders of FoodWell at their New Bailey development in Manchester.
Every night, the FoodWell venue magically transforms into Firefly with a focus that’s much more music led, a raised DJ booth and bottle and table service.
With a flick of a switch the FoodWell neons turn off and Firefly really ignites, setting a cosier scene, serving up a different menu and some delicious looking cocktails.
Founder Christian Coates wants to offer his customers the taste of a night out whilst allowing them to enjoy the ‘balanced lifestyle’ that FoodWell has sought to celebrate since launching earlier this year.
He says the new bar concept was developed in response to customer demand.
From 6pm every night the stylish 130-cover restaurant, yoga studio and heated terrace is transformed in part to a hip destination for a proper night out.
Bosses have also transformed the former deli space at the entrance to the venue into the Cali-inspired new Firefly bar.
The late night dining menu is primarily made up of Californian tapas – small plates inspired by cuisine from around the world that pay homage to the state’s diverse culture.
Having recently experienced the joys of daytime dining at FoodWell, we decided to pop down and check out the new concept for ourselves.
There’s a big visual difference straight away. The bar is kitted out with tiny little fairy lights, imitating fireflies and the atmosphere is buzzing. Kudos to the brainchild.
Christian tells us that the name came from the vibe they wanted to achieve. Relaxed and unassuming by day but, as darkness falls, transforming into something illuminating and remarkable by night. They’ve certainly achieved that.
The drinks menu mirrors the source of inspiration, California, featuring cocktails such as Cali Cali and City of Angels as well as an extensive tequila selection if you really want to let your hair down.
The evening menu takes things up a notch from the daytime FoodWell menu. Coconut chicken katsu curry (£14), white miso grilled chicken (£13) and roast Gressingham duck served with blueberry amaretto jus (£18) are just some of the larger plates on offer.
But it’s one of the tapas dishes that has become a firm favourite already – the popcorn halloumi with honey and truffle drizzle (£6.50) is an absolute taste sensation. We guarantee that one portion won’t be enough.
The cheese bao’ger (£9.50) is an interesting concept that works surprisingly well. You guessed it, a flame grilled cheeseburger served in a bao bun with pickles, chipotle sour cream and a fiery green salsa.
The large plates, particularly the blackened monkfish (£18) and sticky glazed blade of beef (£18.50), are sublime and served with exceptional attention to detail.
Firefly is a great addition to Manchester’s nightlife scene, complementing the existing health-led restaurant and wellness venue with a perfect place for pre-drinks and beyond.
Nocturnal party people will be pleased to hear the bar is open until 3am, so you can fill your boots with healthy food and fun cocktails until the early hours.
One New Bailey, New Bailey Street, Salford M3 5JL