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Exclusive first look inside Municipal – Deansgate’s most instagrammable new bar

Unique features include gold banquette seating, an Instagram swing, a hidden basement gaming area - and a £10k toilet

A new bar is opening this month on Deansgate, taking over the former CP Hart bathroom showroom – and it’s all about ‘chilled elegance’.

Called Municipal, the visually striking new opening will offer 72 seats on the top floor and 16 seats in the basement, with a range of quirky Instagram areas plus full table service on both floors, VIP area (booking only), lounge area and bar seating.

Reclaimed and recycled materials feature heavily when it comes to the decor, which makes for some truly unique little areas throughout the venue – including gold banquette seating, lots of flowers and foliage, and an Instagram swing which is guaranteed to be a hit on social.

There’s even a high-tech £10k loo downstairs – a nod to the venue’s previous incarnation as a bathroom showroom – while an intimate basement games area for a maximum of ten people will have its own private entrance and bar.

Guests can expect a chilled coffee culture throughout the day with 2 Brothers coffee engineers from Altrincham, with little foodie treats to match.

Cutting edge cocktails and local craft beers feature some leading independents and brewers from the municipals of Manchester such as Didsbury Gin, Stockport Gin, Thomas Dakin, Shindigger and Seven Bro7hers

Creative cocktails, from £8.50, include the likes of Tropic Like It’s Hot, made with passion fruit rum,  pineapple juice, passion fruit syrup and cranberry juice, and Pretty In Pink – a Negroni with a twist combining pink gin, sweet vermouth and Aperol shaken with ice.

There’ll also be a Municipal Classic Cocktail, which will change every month – and a special I Love MCR cocktail will fuse peach Schnapps with vanilla vodka and strawberry puree. 50% of the proceeds will go to the I Love MCR Charity Foundation, which raises money and awareness for great causes across Greater Manchester, when it’s needed the most.

There will be live music every Saturday, and a series of ‘concept nights’ such as an Ibiza night featuring a saxophonist, or a retro 80s school night, where guests get the chance to dress up.

Monday nights will see the venue host a pop-up supper club with a Palestinian brand called Where’s Romero serving fresh, vibrant dishes for £40 including a drink. 

The first date has already sold out.

They’ll also be offering a Palestinian afternoon tea, featuring a more unusual selection of savoury treats than the usual sandwiches and scones, served on Tuesdays and Fridays between 2pm and 4pm. 

When it comes to service, it will all be about old school hospitality – think orders being taken with a pad and pen rather than an iPad, with an emphasis on human interaction and conversation.

David Sharp, owner of Artisan Hospitality Group who are behind Municipal, also owns Artisan Bar in the new cookhouse development in Warrington and cut his teeth working in hotels in Manchester from the age of 15.

He has gone on to build a career in hospitality working in America, Asia, and Europe.  

For David, the exciting new venture is a chance to help those at the start of their hospitality journey.

“My ethos is all about working with people who are starting out, to help them,” he says.

“I still remember now the people who helped me when I was starting out, and I want to give that back.

“Municipal means a collection of towns in a city – and we’re a collection of people, from artists to independent drinks producers.”

Welcome to the neighbourhood, Municipal.

Municipal opens on 12th July at 267 Deansgate, M3 4EW.

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