OUT.MCR Review: BLVD, Manchester.

Manchester’s Phoenix Rises From The Ashes Of Neighbourhood…  – BLVD

Name – BLVD

  • Location –The Avenue North, Spiningfields, Manchester M3 3BZ

It’s fair to say when Neighbourhood disappeared early this year it left a gap in the nightlife diet of Manchester. NBHD has previously been a staple food, a go-to for the revellers who flocked here and also those who lived within the city walls. Having closed under a typically cloudy Mancunian sky to say we were tentative when we heard the previously-fantastic venue was to reopen, would have been an understatement. However, Manchester, we give you BLVD, your very own phoenix from the ashes, and trust us it’s bloody brilliant.

It’s uncomplicated and unspoilt, and immediately it guarantees a queue this coming Friday for opening night. Similar in layout to predecessor but altogether more polished, BLVD turns up with a supercharged drinks menu and a mouth-water offering of fusion food. If you’re going to be there this Friday, you’ll understand exactly where I am coming from, and if you don’t order a Sunset Boulevard cocktail, I’m no longer your friend. Seriously, if there was a way of getting some of the much-needed sun beneath the bleak autumn manchester skies, this is it. The punchy and aggressive pineapple flavour is mellowed brilliantly by a mix of Disaronno and coconut rum. It’s a beach day, in a tumbler, and it does down like you wouldn’t believe.

The food is everything you expect from a top-end manchester bar-come-restaurant, it’s smart, witty even, and well thought out. Light enough to encourage you to eat and stay put for the oncoming party, which will hit like a double-decker bus. The gin and tonic infused oysters were genius and a brilliant place to start. I followed them with the Chicken Bang Tang, which was delicately flavoured miniature chicken wings with a punchy coriander and lime dressing. The Lobster Dan Dan large dish was still light enough to encourage a night on the tiles and trust me that’s very difficult to achieve. As the drinks continued to flow, it became increasingly evident that a LOT of thought has gone into this refined process of partying, eating well and drinking thoroughly.

To top BLVD off, like the glistening toffee apple which accompanies their Poison Martini, is the fabulous team the owners have put together. With bar staff who walk you step-by-step through the cocktail masterclasses, they serve up, waiters and waitresses who already know the menu like the back of their hand. The front of house staff are as proud to be there as the bar itself, and that shows in the experience you will take from this brilliant venue. I had fond memories of this unit, set perfectly in one of the best locations in manchester. However, it’s well and truly time to put all of those in a box somewhere, lock them away and look forward, because BLVD really is set for take-off, and this place is about to blow your mind.