Tucked away down a side street on Stevenson Square, The Fitzgerald is a speakeasy-style bar – and a little tricky to find. Under a low-lit sign, head upstairs along a corridor which leads into a candlelit room filled with mismatched furniture. Closer inspection reveals the tables to be made from old Singer sewing machines, with deep armchair dotted around. Both bar and new cocktail menu take inspiration from the roaring 1920s. We tried as many as seemed reasonable, including ‘My Dearest Zelda’ (£8), a bourbon and lavender combo named after Fitzgerald’s wife and inspired by a cocktail described in his famous novel, The Great Gatsby and a glass of South Side Fizz (£8), made with Tanqueray, lime, mint and sugar syrup. There’s a story behind this one too. Apparently, it was the preferred tipple of Al Capone and his crew, who notoriously ran Chicago’s South Side in the 1920s. Fitzgerald Bramble (£8), is another gin-y choice, with additional blueberry and lemon. The house rules are listed on the wall, suggesting guests don’t sleep at the tables, don’t talk politics and speak easy, not loudly. The result is an excellent atmosphere with silent films starring Charlie Chaplin projected onto onto one of the walls – a brilliant cover for pauses in conversation. Another bonus is that on Wednesdays and Thursdays, there’s free live jazz from 9pm.
The Fitzgerald, 11 Stevenson Square, Manchester M1 1DB. Tel: 0161 228 6629, www.thefitzgerald.co.uk
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Published on: Tue 11 Sep 2018