In this challenging time it’s easy to forget our normal lives, the places we used to go and the things we loved doing. We thought it was time to reminisce over and support the venues that will no doubt be struggling in the face of the Covid-19 crisis, by writing them love letters. With the aim of staying sane in the present, we’ll delve into our past experiences at Manchester’s best clubs, creating hope for the future by making sure they’re still there when we come out the other side of this storm. Up next… Yes.

This fine establishment is perhaps one of the most missed on our list of venues. Where else can you get a great lunch and a cocktail for under a fiver? But we’re not here to talk about Yes’ cheap drinks and food deals (although we’ve gotta mention the half price pizza slices ’til 6pm, 99p tea and coffee and £5 vegan burger and chips deal when lockdown ends).

Since opening in September 2018, Yes has already established itself as one of the best gig venues in the city, putting on those niche and cooler acts you just wouldn’t find anywhere else. The smoking terrace fills with people dressed like the band on downstairs – you’re sat wondering if the girl sat next to you is the keyboard player. It’s clear that Yes plays the role of the indie teenager who knows all the best new bands you’ve never heard of. We caught Mildlife in the vibe-y pink room last May – an energetic crowd of all ages took their atmospheric funky jazz and ran with it. It was the understated party we’re missing from lockdown, a place where you can let your hair down but not feel uncool.

Head downstairs and you’ll see the LCD Soundsystem lyric “If I could see all my friends tonight…” adorning the wall… Could that line be any more fitting than in this crisis? A recent instagram post rephrased it “If I could Zoom all my friends tonight”, well played sir. The ground floor bar is a cosy but upbeat shindig on weekends, where the DJs skilfully tread the line between cool and fun. Not to mention the playlist they have on in the day – which is a never ending trove of shazam-mable hype. Keep walking down and you’ll hit the basement and find a hot and sweaty club room, which has seen many a headline DJ and themed party, which also hosts smaller bands.

Yes is comforting on every level and we miss every one of its four floors. The whole place has a glossy cleanliness which you need at somewhere that serves food in 2020. There’s USB charging points everywhere you look – but it doesn’t seem to kill the vibe, probably because the decor and chat are on point. Tons of plants hang from the ceiling and the pizza menu is full of Talking Heads and David Bowie references. The boring Margherita is called ‘Gary From Admin’ – a tongue in cheek dig at the city centre’s clientele. It does feel like a hipster paradise. There’s very few dickheads, which is quite the feat considering its city centre location – you’d think the cheap pints would bring ‘em in. Maybe they feel uncomfortable being surrounded by such finely dressed humans. Maybe they’re actually all called Gary and work in admin.

38 Charles Street, Manchester, M1 7DB
, Tel: 0161 273 2725
Leo Burrell
Published on:
Tue 5 May 2020