Revolution, Parsonage Gardens has had a refurb. Not one of those ones where they change a few lamp shades, add a booth and get sponsored by a drink label for an excuse to throw a ‘relaunch’ party. This is a complete overhaul. They’ve clearly spent a lot. If it even tweaks the clientele it will be money well spent. Not that the crowd at Revs was particularly offensive, but just like the previous decor, it was just a bit dull.
“THE NEW DECOR IS SO MUCH BRIGHTER. ARE THEY TRYING TO ATTRACT DAYTIME CLIENTELE?”
Bars have to keep it fresh to keep up with todays standard. Sometimes you’ve got to spend a little to make a lot. Revs behind Kendals however, is just another Revolution bar. It serves a purpose. A correct purpose, it’s not trying to compete with anyone. It has part of the f&b market that nobody really knows what it is but nobody can take away from them. It’s always been a pretty generic, safe bar to perhaps start the night or meet your group at. Choose your daft vodka shots, chin them and move on. You might want to stay longer now. The new decor is wonderful.
Considering Revolution Bars is quite the chain, they’ve handled the re-fit with tender loving care and attention to detail. The new decor is so much brighter. Are they trying to attract daytime clientele? They have changed and extended the food menu and the cocktail menu had gone cosmonaut.
Revs have gone a bit Revolucion De Cuba with some of the presentation such as the menus, tin cups and jugs. Even a few tables are a bit al fresco and floral. A good mix of our city favourite interior designs have been thrown in there. The hanging light bulbs, chairs and reclaimed walls collectively resemble something Living Ventures would produce. We counted 10 different style chairs and 10 different style hanging light throughout the venue. A bit desperate? Whatever, it works.
The pics speak more words than we can write re the decor so let’s introduce the stepped up food menu. It’s a definite improvement, diverse and includes all the usual Americana bar food favourites as well as the city’s cosmopolitan favourites. Small plates which is a cosmo tapas fav amongst groups of girls (3 for £13), Revolution Noodles (£8.50), Mac ‘N’ Cheese which unfortunately doesn’t have the truffle oil we’ve seen at All Star Lanes (£7.95) it’s also available as a side (£3.95), Fish & Chips is pretty decent however a little expensive compared to Abode Café Bar & Grill (pictured £9.95).
The burgers and hotdog have to be the most featured part of the menu and certainly a favourite ‘dish’ for a mid beer session. Highlights include The Dirty Dog; a premium bockwurst sausage in a 10 inch brioche roll smothered with chipotle pulled pork, French’s mustard, ketchup and topped with crispy onions (served with skin-on fries £7.95), The Bourbon Bad Boy; doubled beef burger basted in bourbon chipotle sauce stacked with bacon, American cheese, vine tomatoes and onion rings (served with a mug of Cajun dusted skin-on fries £11.95).
OK, your favourite bit, the cocktails. Not just vodka cocktails, either. Revolution Bars call themselves connoisseurs of vodka (not sure how true that statement is) and lovers of everything else. Cocktails used to be quite a niche. Certainly an art and more sparse to find than today. Every other bar (if not, every bar) do them. I presume the more ‘chainy’ a place is the less likely the staff are to evolve a role. I imagine there’s more red tape if you will. Revolution knock up cocktails to the mass, they don’t produce taste sensations that match the love put into the decor. But they have many refreshments to choose from.
All around £7 give or take 50p, ‘Disco cocktails’, premium classics, Mojitos, Mules, Collins, sours, teapots, shakers, pitchers, copper jugs and vodka shots (obviously). They do have quite the variety of premium vodkas and they sell spirits by the bottle (Red Bull £10 supplement, tonic and ginger beer £5 supplement).
Highlights include; Morning Glory £7.50 (bartenders swear by it), The Jammy B*stard £6.25 (very cheeky) Vodka Rev Bull £6.50 (a recipe for a rammed dance floor – a double shot of Stoli vodka with a full can of Red Bull), copper jug of Prickly Jasmin £19 (served with tin mugs but they’ve ran out “because people nick ’em”.
Off the Christmas Spirit menu, try a Velvet Jack £6.50 (Gentleman Jack whiskey shaken with Chambord liqueur and lime juice then topped with lemonade and a dollop of cranberry sauce). Also The Hot Voddy (£3.95) Absolute Orient Apple vodka blended with Krupnik Honey liqueur and fresh apple juice, then spiced with cloves, nutmeg and cinnamon. The perfect way to warm up after all that Christmas bustle.
Have a Christmas 6 shot stick (£12) and move on and I’m sure you’ll go back, even to sit on a different chair.
Revolution Bars, Parsonage Gardens, Southgate, Manchester M3 2LF
Follow Revolution Bars on Twitter @RevolutionBars / @RevsPG