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Hula Tiki Lounge, Manchester, UK (bar)

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Name:Hula Tiki Lounge
Street:11 Stevenson Square
Zip:M1 1DB
Phone:Tel: 0161 228 7421

Basement bar in the Northern Quarter of Manchester, UK.

• Sunday, Tues & Wed - 5pm – 12 midnight
• Thursday - 5pm – 1.00am
• Friday – Sat 5pm – 2.30am.

Half price cocktails between 5-7 pm most days

I've not been there yet as it's only opened this month. I'll do a full report as soon as I get the chance.

"Manchester’s independent bar scene will get another injection of youth this autumn, with Hula set to open in October, aiming to bring a bit of Tiki charm to Stephenson Square. Inspired by the bars that popped up in 1940s America as servicemen returned from overseas duty loaded with exotic souvenirs and a taste for a cocktail, Tiki will attempt to bring a little tropical nostalgia to this rapidly expanding little extension of the Northern Quarter. ‘Beach – kitch’ is the expression they use, while promising colourful drinks, good time vibes and reggae island sounds.

The 200 capacity venue will sit in the basement of 11 Stevenson Square, a refurbishment conceived and managed by Bernard Carroll, the man responsible for the interiors of many of Manchester’s other top bars, including Panacea, Sugar Lounge and Walrus. It’s meant to look like a beach hut, apparently, with wallpaper inspired by sand and palm trees, a stone fronted bar and many artifacts and trinkets from around the world, as well as a huge tropical fish tank, all aiming to make you feel like you’re a million miles from the wet, grey streets from whence you came.

Perhaps unsurprisingly, cocktails will be the main selling point on the drinks front, with manager Alex Johnson having created a unique menu. The likes of Pirate’s Booty (‘strawberries and watermelon, brought together with a slug of cane spirit overflowing with waves of fruity delight’), Head Shrinker (rum shaken through with coconut water and honey to give an unforgettably fresh experience with an intense punch’) and Sweet Leilana (‘rose petals and coconut rum with a whisper of lychee carried on the breeze’) will no doubt help the punters forget their week at work and relax into the tropical Hula vibe.

Available in huge vessels, intended for sharing, the cocktails sit alongside a drinks menu that offers over 100 varieties of imported rum. Owner Mark Andrew, who also runs Walrus, says, 'We hope that Hula will both compliment and propel forward Manchester’s alternative scene within Stephenson Square. Hula will be the only basement bar in Manchester where you can order a banana daiquiri whilst admiring the tropical fish!'"

Hula will be opening in October 2009."

Oh oh, "Reggae Island Sounds"....
Trader Woody

I finally managed to visit a couple of nights back, hitting the bar pretty early in the evening as I was going on to see a band elsewhere. (Broadcast at the Deaf Institute, in case you were wondering!). Even early on, there was a good number of people checking the place out, which is always a good sign. Basement bars often have a difficulty getting a foothold in a busy bar scene.

Anyway, these are obviously still early days and it probably needs to accumulate some Tiki clutter to increase the Tiki bar vibe, but at the moment, they are obviously concentrating on getting the drinks right. To my mind, that's getting the priorities right. The bar is well stocked with about 80 different rums, and they hope to expand the range even more.
I had two Zombies (Buy one get one free during happy hour) and they were well made - nicely balanced, served very cold and with a suitable kick.

A worthy addition to the rapidly expanding UK Tiki scene.

Trader Woody

On 2009-12-10 01:26, Trader Woody wrote:
A worthy addition to the rapidly expanding UK Tiki scene....

And WHY rapidly expanding NOW? I would venture the guess that it is the same cause and effect as in the golden days of Tiki: Just as the success of Don and Vic was the genesis for many other entrepreneurs to do like them, so has the success of the Mahiki --the buzz about the drinks, the celebrities, and booming business-- created a desire in the English bar scene to do alike. The U.S. needs a success story like the Mahiki's.

On 2009-12-10 04:31, bigbrotiki wrote:

so has the success of the Mahiki --the buzz about the drinks, the celebrities, and booming business-- created a desire in the English bar scene to do alike.

Yep, I'm convinced the success of the Mahiki has everything to do with this. It's been popular with the rich/celebrity set from word go. Having members of the royal family partying there early on pretty much set the scene. They have shown it can be done & money can be made.

It's interesting to note that most, if not all of the new British Tiki bars are owned by people who are already running successful, but more conventional bars. This should at least mean that the quality of the drinks is high and that they are run efficiently. Of course as this goes on, there could be all sorts of bandwagon-jumpers coming out of the woodwork, so it's up to Tiki Centralites to help "sort the wheat from the chaff" & post their opinions here.

As for needing a Mahiki-esque place to lead a new revival in the US, I'm sure it can happen, but once again, it needs to have famous people falling out of it every other night to make headway in our celebrity obsessed culture. The perfect recipe would be to have one owned by someone famous bang in the middle of New York, Vegas or LA, such as the Viper Room.
It'll be interesting to see if it ever happens, but I'm sure the success of the Mahiki hasn't gone unnoticed over in the US.

Trader Woody

Here are their current flyers.
Nice work!

Trader Woody

Pages: 1 5 replies