We’re taking a tour of the drinking holes around Old Trafford where fans can enjoy the atmosphere, get a couple of pints and mull over the finer points of what’s to come on the pitch.
The second in the series is a famous old stalwart, The Trafford. After closing for much of last season, and briefly for this, it’s back with a real bang after a £250,000 revamp, a lick of paint and some offers on pre-match shots. What’s not to like?
So where is it?
Virtually in the shadow of the stadium it’s on the corner of Chester Road and Warwick Road, opposite the Ford garage and in spitting distance of the chippies across the road. It’s the ideal spot for a pint close to the ground and perfect for those making their way up from Old Trafford Metrolink station and the car parks near the cricket club. If your seat is in the south side of the stadium you can stay in the Trafford as close as possible to kick off and amble down Sir Matt Busby Way just before three. Or at least you could before the increased turnstile security at the ground.
Can I get a decent pint?
You can get exactly what you need before the footy. You’ll find the usual Fosters, Guinness, bottles of Heineken etc and pay no more than you would do in town. The bottle bar outside when the weather’s good was always a nice touch and now after the refurb has been permanently installed inside. Don’t be fooled by the melee near the bar on a match day – with the number of staff working and new multiple pouring machines you’ll definitely get served quickly. If you really want to get fired up for the game, there’s offers on shots with three sambucas or two Jägers for £5. Why not eh?
What’s the atmosphere like?
Top quality. As is the case with any pub close to the ground you’ll get some regulars and some day trippers. The Trafford always has a good mix, with many of the Irish contingent congregating here pre-match creating plenty of revelry and a fun vibe. It’s always packed and often the doormen run a one-in-one-out system on busy match days. When you do make it inside from the Warwick Road entrance, you can easily find yourself in the midst of the die-hards. Always an experience and not always for the faint-hearted. And make sure you know the words of the songs if you’re planning on joining in.
How authentic is it?
You don’t get more authentic than this. It’s been a fixture on the Old Trafford pre-match scene for years. I’ve been going off and on myself for at least the last 10 seasons and always leave satisfied. The new refurb has brought it up to date with some of the other offerings in the area meaning it now has a family area but still retains the old charm through the walls adorned with memorabilia. It’s also a much brighter space now than it used to be with the walls a lighter colour compared with the older deep mahogany and new lighting.
Should I try it out?
The next home game is Burnley on Boxing Day. And there’s nothing like topping up with a festive pint before the lads take to the pitch. The Trafford has atmosphere, history and a family-friendly update – perfect for Boxing Day. And any other match day.
699 Chester Road, M16 0RP