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Canal St. take over our blog today to talk about some of the great venues in Manchester's LGBTQ scene ahead of Queer Contact Festival

We are so excited that this week we are at the first stages of the easing of lockdown with non essential businesses being able to open. So we thought why not push forward more positive and hopeful vibes by asking Canal Street to give us a list of 5 places to visit once the world fully opens!

We’re delighted to have Canal St. as our media partner on Queer Contact Festival 2021. We have a long standing relationship with them, working together on numerous occasions over the years, they’re one of the leading ambassadors for LGBTQI+ culture in Manchester.

Over the past few weeks Canal Street have been previewing different artists (most recently Ella Ottomewo, who curates this year’s Outspoken) as well as interviewing artists including Nathaniel Hall, who appears at the festival in conversation with Russell T Davies.

5 Places To Visit On Canal Street

As the end of Lockdown draws ever closer we take a look at some of the venues we’ve missed the most and where we’re most looking forward to revisiting once the restrictions are lifted. We, of course, encourage you to visit every venue in our beloved Gay Village but we’ve now narrowed it down to 5 for this month and look out for more in the coming months. In no particular order:

1) Via

Via, Manchester serves as a bar, restaurant and even nightclub so is perfect at any time of the day or night. Whether you’re looking for day time drinks with something comforting to eat or a drag show this is one venue you can’t go wrong at. As the venue that sits almost directly in the middle of Canal Street it is also one of the venues with the widest appeals and we can’t wait to see Via fully reopened again. This is one venue I will definitely be sat outside of come the 12th come rain or shine and I encourage you to do the same! 

2) Eagle Bar Manchester

Eagle serves as Manchester’s premier gay men’s fetish club with a variety of events to serve everyone’s taste. Whether it’s the weekly Sunday Service with drag hosts such as KY Kelly, Mary Mac and Myra DuBois (that beautiful lady off the tele) or fetish underwear nights such as Jock or Stretch there is certainly something for everyone. Be sure to have your membership cards brushed off and ready to go as no doubt Eagle has a number of events lined up to make the rest of 2021 the party we deserve. The events put on by Eagle provide something for everyone and body type is no issue in this highly inclusive bar which will help you embrace whatever kinks you may or may not have! 

3) New York, New York

The famous Party Palace and its fabulous landlady Tracey have been serving up brilliant entertainment for years and we certainly look forward to getting back in there to get the party started. New York, New York recently opened their refurbished side bar known as District Bar, this comfy space is perfect for those looking to unwind with a cocktail and chill out whilst the party gets underway next door. 

4) Velvet Hotel, Bar and Brasserie

Velvet has been serving up delicious food and gorgeous cocktails for as long as I can remember. This elegant bar, restaurant and hotel is just what you need if you’re looking for something which is a little bit more sophisticated. This 4* hotel is a popular choice among visitors to Manchester for its luxurious rooms which can include balconies and penthouse suites. Don’t let the party in the rest of the village put you off, you’ll get a very good night’s sleep in this beautiful venue and then you can wake up to a stunning breakfast before getting started on your day. The long islands come highly recommended.

5) Richmond Tea Rooms

The famous Tea Rooms are a must visit for anyone who has even the slightest sweet tooth. Whether you’re looking for a delicious cream filled cake, cheesecake or chocolate brownie there is something to delight every cake lover out there. You might want to pop along for Afternoon Tea which has famously had celebrity visitors such as David Walliams in attendance before. This venue offers something totally different to most of the venues we’ve talked about as they’re not a late night venue but they certainly will be a highlight of your day. 

That’s a wrap!

All the venues on Canal Street need support after a very difficult year so be sure to pay them all a visit as it’s been a difficult year for one and all. This list is by no means a definitive list and quite frankly I’ll be paying a visit to all of them, I can’t guarantee I’ll do that in a single night but I’m very happy to give it a try!

Daniel Carter, Canal St Contributor.

#canalstmcr #mcrgayvillage

Read more about Canal St. here.

See what to expect from Queer Contact here.