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Let’s cook! A brilliant Breaking Bad-inspired bar is coming to Manchester


World-famous Breaking Bad-inspired bar ABQ launched in London two years ago as a pop-up, with a waiting list of over 65,000 tickets. The bar proved so popular in the capital that the pop-up become permanent – and now Manchester will get a taste of the action when an ABQ pop-up arrives in the city this spring.

Named after Albuquerque, New Mexico, where the TV series was set, ABQ is the world’s first immersive molecular cocktail bar, where wannabe Walter Whites or Jesse Pinkmans can make and infuse their own drinks.

The Breaking Bad bar is set up in an RV – American motorhome – and fans of the hit show get to ‘cook’ their cocktails. Non-alcoholic options are also available for those who prefer to keep a clear head.

The RV can accommodate 30 ‘cooks’ who enter the makeshift laboratory to cook cocktails using molecular mixology techniques. After getting a welcome drink, patrons are given manuals with instructions to cook two more cocktails. Think hazmat suits, dry ice infusion, and a whole load of acid and chemicals.

Previous ABQ pop-ups in New York, London and Paris have sold out, with a strong community of over 100,000 in Europe, and anticipation is high for the yet-to-be disclosed site in Manchester.

“No doubt ABQ is one of the most interesting and fun projects we have built in the last few years and I am happy that finally it is going to be open in Manchester,” says Seb Lyall, founder of Lollipop, the collective behind ABQ.

The ABQ bar includes Breaking Bad-themed tipples such as The Lab, a concoction of lemon vodka, maraschino, lemongrass, thyme, rosemary and cardamom, which can be garnished with a dry ice infusion of lemon and lavender with creme de violet bubbles. Other highlights include Blow, with vodka, cointreau, rose water and butterfly tea, which budding mixologists can mix and garnish themselves.

Lollipop specialises in creating immersive bars and restaurants. The company ethos is to build an interactive and experiential setting, which redefines user experiences. “We want to bring back ‘the fun’ in going out and we believe drinking is not the only thing which makes for a good experience,” Seb added.

Tatler described ABQ London as “the best thing we have seen in a while.” Lollipop’s other recent projects which have made headlines include The Bletchley (dubbed “the bar of the future” by CNN), and The Bunyadi, the world famous naked restaurant in London.

Breaking Bad, the cult television series created and produced by Vince Gilligan which has inspired the ABQ bar, premiered 10 years ago.

The story focuses on the story of Walter White (Bryan Cranston), a struggling high school chemistry teacher who is diagnosed with inoperable lung cancer and turns to a life of crime to secure his family’s financial future by producing and selling crystallised methamphetamine.

The show went on to win numerous awards including 16 Primetime Emmy Awards and two Golden Globes, and in 2013 it entered the Guinness Book of World Records as the most critically acclaimed show of all time.

The first series is currently being broadcast on AMC.

Mancunian fans don’t have long to wait to get their fix. ABQ Manchester is expected to open its doors in April for a limited period only.

Ticket prices range between £25-£35 which includes two hours and three cocktails inside the RV. A waiting list will be in operation, and reservations will be opened on a first come first served basis.

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