I love this pub (I know I am being completely subjective but with choosing bars and pubs I guess it must be by definition), it has exceptionally cheap beer. This makes me sound like a raging alcoholic, but let me defend myself before you decide that my second favourite spot is the park bench with my other tramp friends, as this pub not only serves incredibly cheap beer, but also has some of the best decoration in the whole of Manchester (as long as you like heavy oak walls and architecture and a cramped "this was made for the midget people of yesteryear" feeling).
Outside is sometimes like fighting your way through Mordor, but the enormously rotund bouncer tends to keep away the worst dregs of society and the plastic glasses make sure you will at worst come away moaning "why did you go and do that for?". If you are feeling a bit "Alan Bennett" then you can go to the adjoining pub, The Old Wellington, but you will only do this once when you realise the price of beer has doubled by walking all of twenty feet into a place not dissimilar to Sinclair's.
I recommend Sinclair's to anyone who wants to drink beer and pretend they are in an episode of Blackadder and sat in Mrs Miggins Pie Shop. Thoroughly great boozer.
If you're ever in the Arndale or on Market Street and feel the need for a drink (or is that just me...) you could do a lot worse than Sinclairs.
The drinks are absurdly cheap, for a start. Is this the cheapest pint in the city centre? I think it could be. There's a large beer garden and a number of cosy nooks and crannies to wedge yourself into inside, making it a great spot for a few drinks with a bunch of mates or a quiet get together with just one person.
Of course it gets busy at peak times - bargain prices and handy locations draw crowds, that's a no brainer. But the times I've visited, on weekday evenings and midday weekends, it's been happily busy with seats to be found.
I'm not a pub person. But there are things a pub must do for me to enjoy.
: good beer
: cheap beer
: nice atmosphere
: plenty of seating
Now it ticks all the boxes. The cheap beer is locally brewed but to be honest it's nice and goes down very easy.
There is lots & lots of seating but the majority of it is outside.
Great on sunny days not so great on non sunny days.
The one problem I have is that due to it's popularity even with all it's seating it gets busy.
So now when I do fancy that beer (which isn't often) and I'm in Manchester & it's sunny it's pretty much sure that I know too give it a miss. It's a shame cos it's really good cheap beer ! :(
I love Sinclair's! Why, you ask? Well firstly, it's situated close to the Manchester's majestic cathedral and gardens, which is easily one of the city's most beautiful areas. Secondly, it's one of the oldest buildings in town, with an exterior that wouldn't look out of place nextdoor to Shakespeare's Globe theatre. And lastly? drinks prices are ridiculously cheap compared to most pubs in the city centre. Win!
On a sunny day, Sinclair's beer ample garden gets absolutely rammed, often spilling out onto the street. However, there's always a great atmosphere, which I feel even when I'm just walking past on my way to the Arndale Centre - and it never fails to tempt me!
Sitting inside the pub has its advantages too - not only is it a shorter distance to the bar (always a bonus), it's set across two floors with several little nooks and crannies, low lighting, wooden walls and traditional decor. I can imagine it being haunted by some headless Elizabethan horseman, but that doesn't put me off, in fact it just adds to its charm (plus, I ain't afraid of no ghost).
Most of the time, drinks are served in plastic pint / half pint glasses but it's a small price to pay for paying a small price. Also, it can be a bit difficult to get to the bar sometimes, so those with claustrophobia and/or bad B.O. should wait in the beer garden.
The food menu consists of basic pub grub at reasonable prices. I recently ordered a cheeseburger, chips and salad which was around £6. It was OK but nothing to write home about. To be honest though, this place isn't really about food, it's more about the cheap booze and great setting.
A good real ale pub and some great ciders on tap that are not too overpriced for the city centre!
Sinclair's is usually very busy however the atmosphere is always good and I usually find myself chatting and meeting new people as a result of having to share tables with strangers.
The only down side to Sinclair's is it does attract some dodgy characters wandering around outside asking you for money and cigarettes.
£2.06 pints of reasonable lager. What's not to like?! Even their expensive stuff (organic Pure Brew is £3 in a 330ml bottle) is still cheap by the standards of the area. Crowd is also very, very varied. Not 5 stars because they don't really do anything that's not a beer, at least not that's good. This is being very, very picky though!
Along with the Chop House,Sinclair's is my favourite non-Metal Pub. I like the outside and I like the inside. I like the prices and I like the chairs. I like the floors and I like the ceilings and I like the windows,but I don't like flares (WTF were Mancs thinking in the early 90's???)
Sorry for the digression.
The last time I went in I got two beers and recieved change from a fiver. How did this happen? Don't they know that drinks in a City centre should cost as much as is humanly possible whilst making the customer cry?
It's a great place to sit outside in summer with a beer watching the fools spending way too much money in Selfridges,safe in the knowledge that you are getting merry,but not becoming poor.
Maybe that should be their tag line "Sinclair's,we make you merry,not poor"......
Sinclair's is one of those places that has gained a huge following both inside and outside Manchester but, as ever, I'm not sure I agree.
The pricing, yes, is pretty solid stuff. No arguments here. The location, yes, is impressive; located next to all the favourite shops it's a great place to stop and rest weary feet, it's about 3 minutes from my apartment, and there's a whole bunch of history related to the area regarding the IRA bombings.
Yet I never find myself suggesting Sinclair's as a drinking spot. When the football is on it becomes a mecca for drunkness that I just can't handle; the amount of police who have to gather around reflects how threatening the outside area here can become. Visiting on St.Paddy's day there wasn't so much a feeling of being threatened as there was a feeling of "isn't it a bit cold to be stood out here/why are you so drunk on a Sunday?" This feeling comes with the entire St.Paddy's day celebration. The seating situation both inside and out get get pretty cozy when you're visiting on a busy day and, as it would, the tight spaces make it a sticky atmosphere when winter rolls around and heating gets ramped up.
The main reason Sinclair's is only geting 3 stars and not 4? No toilet roll in any of the ladies loos. Shoddy work when you know it's going to be a busy day.
great little pub! Awesome atmosphere & cheap pints... one note: BRING CASH!!! They stop serving food pretty early (I'd say no later than 4, maybe earlier) and after that it is cash only. I felt so bad because I went in there and ordered a pint before I knew...stupid American! Luckily a nice local gentleman next to me paid for my beer. There was a very interesting/funny crowd of local men in there and the bartenders were quite friendly. I would highly recommend this place to come and get royally pissed for cheap! The restaurant next door (recommended by the bartender) was great too (they do take credit).
So if you are in Manchester, check this place out....but don't be an idiot like me; BRING CASH!
When I think of the Oyster Bar my first thought is that you must describe it by what's on tap, and to describe by what's on tap you must take a brief history lesson (but don't fret there won't be a test)
Samuel Smiths Brewery was owned by John Smith (Yes the big brand we normally associate the name 'Smith') who left it to his Nephew Samuel who re branded it to Samuel Smiths Brewery, one of the reasons for this being this that John Smiths Brewery moved onto bigger (but I would not say better) things.
See History can be fun... when it's about beer, or Zombies.
So when Samuel took over the Brewery this is where the magic happened, Johns Smiths brewery grew from strength becoming a uber brand. Samuel Smiths stayed small, quaint....Tasty.
Which brings us to Sinclair's Oyster Bar, It's a Sam Smiths pub and what that means to you is taste. The Beers are superb I have gone along bar, only not having had the Cider (though reports tell me it lives up to its beery brothers). What Sam Smiths also means is an easing on the coffers that is so welcomingly received in the centre of Manchester you feel like you must be committing some form of crime or sin, because indeed they only serves Sam Smiths beers which is known for its small prices, and elsewhere behind the bar you won't see a brand that you regularly recognise from spirits to softs it all feels very bespoke helped with traditional (read old school) labelling.
Depending what you drink you could quite possibly come away from the Bar with 4 drinks for less than a fiver, a fiver I hear you cry, yes a fiver. This pub is slap bang in the middle of the City and does it try to swindle you out of your weekends beer money for the privilege? not a jot! instead it slaps you in the face with flavour.
Sadly this pricing of the pint is a double edged sword and the pub becomes a victim of its own success, this place is rarely even half empty unless the weather is terrible, while it shares quite a large beer garden and is itself two floors, it is filled without even breaking a sweat. If you are heart set on trying this place getting a seat and enjoying the surroundings of a ye old pub (a Hobbit pub to you young folk, the only thing missing is the hay on the floor) then may I suggest waiting for when the football is on, as with there being no TV's about you often find that the place will heave before a match and 5 minutes before kickoff droves will leave in search of watching people run around a field.
The Staff are certainly a friendly bunch happy to talk, their knowledge of the beer I could not confirm nor deny, as there isn't enough there for you to have to make decisions on, and also after a few trips you realise it doesn't matter what you order anyways because it all tastes great.
The Food I no nothing about, so I shan't dwell on what I can't tell you.
What I will leave you with is, have a mass produced bitter before you go, then have a Sam Smiths and let the taste buds ride.
Thank you Manchester for giving us all the Oyster Bar. How on earth does this pub combine an amazing setting with dirt cheap drinks and a brilliant atmosphere?
Somehow, it does it. We discovered the Oyster Bar soon after moving to Manchester and have been regulars ever since. It's perfect for a pre dinner or clubbing drink, and in the summer the swathes of outdoor seating provide the ideal setting for a lazy evening drinking and talking to friends. You're in the shadow of the Cathedral and the Manchester Wheel, and it's brilliant.
In the winter, it can be difficult to find a spot to sit inside as there's not too much space despite it being set out on two levels. Oyster Bar is just that popular! However, it's warm, cosy and full of character.
Drinks wise, you can get a pint of locally brewed lager or ale for less than two pounds, and it tastes really great. The Oyster Bar is amazing - get involved.
Oh, Sinclair's. How excellent and awesome are you? Let me Yelp the ways...
First off, this place looks fantastic. Look at the pictures! Maybe most people going to a pub could probably give a toss about how it looks on the outside as long as the drinks are good and the service is decent, but Sinclair's gives you great aesthetic in and out. Right in the middle of all the new, typically modern buildings of city centre you've got this excellent, old-world style pub that's just oozing character. The outdoor patio is spacious too! What could be better?
Well, how about the inside? SInclair's interior is all dark woods, nook-and-cranny rooms everywhere, fireplaces, and embossed wallpaper. It feels a little like the "Clue" movie mansion meets Swiss Family Robinson treehouse meets classic English pub. And I risk sounding too overenthusiastic and cheesy when I say that I can't get enough of it, but truly, I can't get enough of it. Too bad I'm always showing up later in the day and getting kicked out of the upstairs as they're shutting it down. I suppose I'll just have to start boozing it up earlier in the day so I can soak up all that atmosphere as my liver soaks up all that beer. Hehe.
As a Yank residing in Britland, the exchange rate between the weak-as-hell dollar and the stronger-than-thou pound is always at the forefront of my mind. Not so at Sinclair's, where I can get a tasty pint for just £1.50 - a price that even this broke bint can afford! That's probably the best bit about this place is how cheap it is for such quality ales and lagers. And that's probably why it draws such a huge crowd on most days.
I've stuck to a strictly liquid diet on my adventures at Sinclair's, so I've got nowt to say about the food here...wait a minute, is there food? Are there oysters? I can't stand oysters anyway, so for all you Walrus's and Carpenter's wondering if the oyster bed is tasty or not, please refer to other more thorough Yelp reviews about Sinclair's, and I apologize for my ignorance (and distaste) to the subject.
Anyway, Sinclair's is not to be missed if you're looking for a great place to park it for a while and enjoy a frothy pint at a nice price. Check them out; you'll be happy you did! Maybe even as happy as I am! Hehehe.
If you walk into Sinclairs, you walk straight into the past. This incredible ramshackle Tudor building has outlived its contemporaries and become one of Manchester's most loved and respected institutions.
Locally brewed beer is served with a traditional menu of pie, burgers, chips and of course their famous Oysters. It's still relatively cheap compared to its town-centre counterparts and you can't help feeling instantly at home.
I have a friend.
I know, I know.
He's thinking of revolutionising the literature scene. He has his sights on the world, but he's starting with Manchester. I don't know how he's going to do it, but I can't wait to find out.
He put out an open-call to like-minded sorts, instructed anybody who's interested to meet him at Oyster Bar at 14.00 for a talk. Look out for the man in the long red scarf, he said.
What follows does not concern us (yet). The point I'm trying to make is, Oyster Bar is "that kind of place".
The sort of place where encounters occur - the sort of place which can survive IRA bombings and which, quite happily, can be moved down the street on a brick by brick basis - nothing will be thought of doing this - its importance is understood.
A relic from a time when pubs were much more than a place in which to get drunk - they used to provide an opportunity for the rich and the poor to meet free of any societal bounds and share warmth, good times, stories, music...they were hubs of importance.
Unlike most relics, however, Oyster Bar retains this feel. And it feels fantastic.
And that is saying nothing of the cheap drinks and delicious food and the simple joys of a pint in the sun - why are there not more sunny days in Manchester? At least we have such wonderful places for shelter when it rains.
A cool looking, city centre located building and outdoor seating should make this a five star review. The main problem is down to its success, i.e. too busy for its own good and can be impossible to get seats or even served at certain times and days. Any nice weather and the place is packed and inside is rammed with people at the bars.
Others times, or if you get there early, seats are available. Obviously because its Manchester, and we can't trust them with glasses, everything is in plastic if you go outside and also on weekends if you're staying in they hide all the real glass ones (Reminds me of an embarrassing time when my dad refused to pay for two pints they gave us in plastic and left the pub).
Another annoying thing is random dress codes imposed to keep football fans out. Whenever a big game is on, bouncers stop anyone wearing football tshirts or tracksuits going in. Stopping for a drink with friends on the way back from the gym is usually fine, though I have been refused entry before for this reason. Grrrr, otherwise a great pub and very cheap. WIthin the same building/beer garden is The Old Wellington, which features in the good beer guide and is an alternative bar to get served when the Oyster bar is too busy.
+Central location beer garden in great setting
-Too busy sometimes
-Randomly close outside seating such as on St George's day
-Crappy dress code
Without a doubt the Oyster Bar is the best pub in the city centre. Maybe even the best in Manchester. Possibly even the best in Greater Manchester.
I've been coming here for over 5 years and have never been disappointed. In the winter it is nice to find a table in one of the cosy warm upstairs rooms and while away a couple of hours before carrying on with Christmas shopping or heading to the markets. In summer you can sit in the sunshine with a mixed crowd of happy Mancunians (but ignore the beggars who sometimes try to take advantage of said drunk and cheerful Mancunians).
James has explained the history of the place, which is also depicted in photos on the walls of the pub. Emma-Louise has already informed you of the wonderfully cheap and tasty unbranded drinks. I can certainly recommend the wheat beer. The prices seem to change fairly frequently but last time I was there you could still get a pint of lager for around £2, although all drinks seem to cost a strange amount like £1.86.
Sinclairs oyster bar, it's rammed its always rammed. Doesn't matter what time of year it is. Even when the human race is long gone I'm pretty sure this pub is still going to be rammed. Even when the universe has finally stopped expanding and has collapsed in on itself I'm sure this pub will occupy an alternate reality and still be rammed. But any way the constant standing up aside, sinclairs does some nice ales and the lark.
Drinks are okayish but aint cheap (it is the city centre), service will usually be with you as quickly as possible as well. They do actually do oysters here, I had them once and they are actually nice (if its your cup of tea, at the end of the day it is a sickly little sea invertebrate). Go if you can tolerate a few hours on your feet.
I love the little story that comes with Sinclair's. The building is a recreation of the original, it's bricks and mortar picked up and moved to this now ocation after the damage done in that explosion. Amazing, very old bricks and very impressive looking it is. I dream of building a house or a village with a few of these looking buildings!
Rarely do you walk past and there's not a person in sight, soaking up the rays or not, on the wonderful outdoor benches. A great place for people watching too. Right by the wheel and the triangle area, Sinclair's is a great location to just relax after a long working day. The inside takes you back, projecting an oldly worldy feel with the low ceilings downstairs, the wooden beams and the carpets. A very village feel in the bustle of city centre life.
Sinclair's does everything homemade in the sense there are none of your usual big brands here. The beer and spirits are not of the usual nature, a nice little personal touch, allowing the unadventurous to branch out a little. One time we felt like sharing a few bottles of wine which didn't go down well for the plastic water jugs they had to be poured into as we insisted in sitting outside on a sunny day. Nice one for health and safety etc!
Sinclair's is recommended for a beautiful summer's evening, get down here as soon as the sun's out, it'll probably disappear soon along with the seats if you're not quick.
Once the -ber and -uary months are all out of the way you'll notice Manchester city centre filling up with people wearing aviators and wayfarers, cut off jeans and summer dresses (although not usually all at once.) In all likelihood they will be heading out to Sinclair's Oyster Bar, the little pub with the massive outdoor seating area.
This is the perfect place to take a break from a long trawl around the nearby shops (Selfridges, Harvey Nicks and the Arndale Centre are all within spitting distance) or for a few drinks before the evening performance at the nearby Royal Exchange Theatre or even just to sit with a cider and a little light reading (it's not drinking alone if you have a book. Ahem.)
Sinclair's only stocks Samuel Smith lagers, ales and ciders so you won't find any Fosters or Strongbow here, just stuff that tastes a lot like them. Price-wise this is about the cheapest city centre bar there is (except Wetherspoons in the Printworks - but then there you're not outside, and you're also in Wetherspoons.) A pint of ale or regular strength lager is less than £2, 'pure brew' (export strength, 5.5% or so) is a little over this, as is a pint of cider. They do serve food here but I haven't heard good things (best to just pop down to the deli in Selfridges food court and pick something up to accompany your tipple.)
The building itself is attractive looking from the outside but inside leaves a little to be desired, really best visited when you can do your drinking outside.
Well I think this place should have the full five stars really. Sam Smith's pubs have really helped out the drinking population.
Sinclair's Oyster Bar is literally the only place in the city centre you can get a cheap drink and not pay for it by having to sit in horrendous surroundings.
Pints begin at a mere £1.40, and the gorgeous lager is just £1.72. All the drinks are Sam Smith's own, even the wines, spirits and soft drinks. Their bottled tonic water is lovely, and even spirits and mixers are cheap.
To add to the joys of this place, it shares a huge beer garden with nuerous tables with the pub next door The Old Wellington, in which i used to work. Don't tell anyone but I always prefered this place. Opps i've posted this review on line. Oh well!
They even do Oysters! They havent always got them because it depends on deliveries of fresh ones, but keep your finger on the pulse and try them because they are cheap and delicious.
I remember getting back from San Francisco ($5 per beer) to Manchester and buying a round at Sinclair's, like Guy said, £10 for 7 pints. Incredible value! Admittedly that was a few years ago, but the place is still the cheapest in Manchester.
The beer is excellent and so is the atmosphere and decor. Definitely my favourite drinking establishment in central Manchester.
I love this pub... the ale is amazing and the price makes it even sweeter. The food isn't quite so good... let's face it... this is a really old building... a traditional ale house... it's not a gastropub... no matter how hard it tries...
I love the low ceilings, the beams, the alcoves, the winding stairs. It's always busy and pushing through the 2m width of the pub when it's packed with people queuing for drinks and you have 5 pints in yours hands is half the fun.
I can't help but feel it's lost something since the smoking ban though... It was one of the first pubs to enforce a smoking ban and although you can now breathe much easier inside (the low ceilings made the smoke very thick in the old days) there's just not the same atmosphere. The smokers are well catered for outside though with the patio and all its heaters.
I love this ye olde England rambling pub. It's perfect and full of quirkie charm. A great and welcome alternative to the run of the mill chains of bars Manchester's bursting with. Attracts a good crowd at the slightest beam of sunshine, plenty of possers in designer sunnies outside and all year round, the clean shaven suit types. Oh, it's a great place to grab a sofa an set up camp people watching and chatting with friends or find a cosy nook with your partner.
Staff are friendly and drinks well priced.
Every single time I go to Sinclair's for a drink, something crazy happens - be it a drunk woman rubbing my (bald) Dad's head for good luck, to a naked man running around the outdoor drinking area with a traffic cone on this head (yes, this really happened), it seems that Sam Smith's selection of fine ales, combined with the finest Central Mancunian oxygen, makes people do...strange things.
Still, if you're hanging around the Exchange Square area and are looking for a halfway decent tasting pint of Nut Brown Ale, there are many many worse places that you could direct your attentions to. Sinclairs is particularly buzzing on a Friday night, and it can often feel as though everyone in Manchester gravitates there as soon as the offices close. Sadly, despite it being called an Oyster bar, I've yet to meet anyone who's actually tried its Oyster-filled foodie delights!
The pub itself also is packed full of charm, filled with secret little rooms, oak panelling, bumpy floors and winding staircases. All in all, this is a true beer flavoured oasis situated amidst a sea of chain-store-filled mediocrity.
I loved it here! The wheat beer was probably the best I've tasted, the atmosphere was brilliant, and the staff were really friendly and chipper. Hot Steve wasn't so much for the lager, it tasted a bit funny, but the fact that it was so cheap almost made up for it.
It was too packed to explore properly thanks to Pearl Jam playing round the corner but we stopped for a pint and I'll definitely be back next time I'm t'other side of t' Pennines.
cheap beers, v poor barstaff, traditional old school pub, no spirits or v little - a mixed crowd on a budget in centre town
Sinclairs is the definitive summer pub. Cheap as chips (because it only serves Samuel Smiths drinks) and just perfect for a balmy evening as the sun sets behind the city skyline.
The only bad point? It gets busy. Like, supremely busy. The after work crowd, the afternoon drinking crowd, students and shoppers alike manage to more than fill the ample outside seating area and it can be rather difficult to get a seat if there's even the merest hint of sun!
I've never actually sampled the oysters though.
Ok, I'll admit it: I'm completely obsessed with Sam Smith's pubs! Why? Well, their Alpine lager, cherry beer and wheat beer is too good to resist. Their prices are great too, particularly as many of their pubs are such gorgeous old places. The Oyster Bar is no exception. A small-ish mock tudor building, it has beautiful wooden fittings, lots of nooks and crannies to hide in and a wonky old staircase that leads up to a second floor.
However, despite having two floors and a huge beer garden, this pub is nearly always rammed. It's probably a combination of it being so cheap and so close to the city centre! Because it's always so packed, I don't really visit it very often. It's a shame though, as it's a lovely little pub!
Sinclair's Oyster Bar is a strange ol' place. I mean, it's got a great outdoor seating area which you'd argue is great for summer. However, as it's mostly in the shadow and Manchester has a habit of tipping rain on you, then it's a bit pointless. If we're lucky enough to get some sunshine, then the flies that have been hanging around the nearby water feature of the Exchange Square come and buzz round your head, presumably to try and make off with one of the Sam Smith's ales you've bought.
Maybe that's why commentators have referred to the place as 'buzzing with activity'.
That all said and done, if you're over 5ft tall and more than a centimetre wide, once you've squeezed through the front door, there's a great little Olde Worlde pub inside, with rickety floor and snugs to get drunk in. It's very charming and a tourist would swoon at the whole thing for sure.
As for the oysters... well... I'm not even sure they make them. Have you had them? Leave a comment because I've yet to see anyone slurping down mucousy fishness whilst glugging a pint.
It doesn't surprise me that there are so many reviews on this pub. It is an absolute belter.
Amazing, for such an old, beamed building that it was physically picked up and moved after the IRA 1996 bombing. Don't look for a pub that tries to be traditional - this is the real thing.
Also, don't make the mistake that I made the first time I waltzed and as for a Guinness, or in fact any other brand of beer - they do their own, and very good it is too. 'Pint of stout, ta. Nice one. Sorted,' if you want to fit in.
Inside is a collection of rooms on two levels, but sitting outside in the square is well worth it and will be busy even when cold. Watch the Manchester shoppers bustle by while you sample possibly the cheapest pint this side of Bulgaria.
I went in here today and had a yummy sunday dinner. The vegetables were cooked to perfection and the meat was scrummy. It was only £4.95 each for the big dinner.
My Dad had a cherry beer which was really nice as well. They had a big selection of special beers which would be nice to sit and sample for the day. There was plenty of seating in and outside. We managed to get seated straight away for a sunday lunch.
It was a bit cold inside, next time I'd think more about where I was sitting. A really nice pub in the centre of Manchester to while the day away.
Good heavens...I remember when this old boozer was in a different location and different decade...time and space fiddling with my brains again. I'm not sure whether either Louis Vuitton Carrier Bag shop, Issey Miyake's Eyelash Perfume or the 'Twilight Ladies' skirt section of M & S now trade on the grave of Sinclair's original carbonated water footprint. But cometh the regeneration game and these places had to make way (some of which were consigned, frankly for the better, to history).
I actually preferred the old shambles square this and the Wellington Inn used to straddle : decent record store, cheap supermarket and the old Mancunian spirit wiling away a post Saturday afternoons shop with decadently cheap lager (Sam Smith's Ayingerbrau Lager) on the classic pub benches outside. Rough round the edges this certainly was and it remains at it's best in memory alone.
You can still see evidence of this pre 96 Manchester area in the Ramada Hotel complex on Deansgate...but not for much longer as this too is soon to be razed in a huge redevelopment of the site.
Despite a bit of an edge on the occasional Saturday afternoon (I have witnessed one or two 'fisticuffs' there in the past) the outside area (facing the god awful a*se end of the Harvey Nics building and the fine Selfridges/M&S building) remains nonetheless a top spot for catching up with friends and acquaintances over a few cheap drinks.
Given it's age (dates back to around 1720) it's no surprise that the building lovingly creaks when you step inside her and given that medieval folk were at there highest 4'2, you no doubt crack your bonce on the way in/out.
I have yet to slip Mother Sinclairs oysters down my gullet (I'm going to give them a go this year) or tasted the food I think it might be preferable to eat next door in the dedicated restaurant of the Wellington Inn.
Definitely another Manchester institution that pretty much anyone of drinking age has entered.
Read up on the history and jump in if you've never been...as Daryl points out, you'll somehow manage to drench yourself in the ale so leave your Sunday best clothes at home....it's like a fairground ride that never was.
The Oyster Bar is a bit of a Manchester landmark, and like many others it's a place that should be fantastic, but just isn't.
Since it's a Sam Smith's pub, the beers and ales on offer here are great and pretty inexpensive. The building itself, too, is a little gem. Winding staircases into snug nooks and crannies mean an intimate and old-fashioned cosiness is found throughout the inside of the building. The massive beer garden out front, with picnic table style seating will be likely where you find yourself, thanks to the pub's popularity with all and sundry, and it does the trick just fine too.
The real shame about this place is, thanks to its central location and cheap prices, the fact that it's almost always rammed full of people. There's rarely space to move, especially on sunny days, and the punters can sometimes be a bit rowdier than you'd really like. In the end up, I've often left feeling that there's nothing really special about this pub, other than a particularly long line at the ladies.
A real tradional pub, with low ceilings, creaking floorboards, and tiny doorways; that's all part of its charm.
Very cheap drinks and a massive outside seating space. Takes a bit of time to get to the bar just because its teeny but once your served, nice staff and good for a chat with mates.
Great pub when the sun is shinning as you can sit outside, serves its own brand of beers,ales, wines so its cheap compared to many pubs in Manchester.
Give it a try one sunny weekend.
One of the cheapest pints in town and definitely the largest central beer garden, Sinclair's is a reasonable after-work boozer and at it's best in the summer when the large outdoor seating area lets you soak up the city centre atmosphere.
Most drinks are served in plastic glasses (as most of them are going outside) which puts off snobs, and whilst the drinks are cheap there are actually a couple of nice lagers and a good cider on tap. That said, there is very little atmosphere unless you catch a warm summer's evening, and the rest of the pub is nothing to shout about.
Let me introduce you to the legend that is the Ralph. Everybody should have a Ralph in their lives. You know those people who are always warm and welcoming no matter what? However dreadful their day has been, they'll go for a drink, giggle with you, tell everyone the party's heading back to her place, everyone's welcome. They'll tell you hilarious stories about the drunken or hungover situations they've found themselves in, and if you've got a piece of good news, no matter how small or insignificant, they'll hug you tightly and tell you how brilliant you are. Well, to me, the lovely Ralph and Sinclairs are synonymous.
This was a place where I'd sat on the patio benches in the height of Manchester heatwaves, simply because of its convenience city centre-wise and its large outdoor area. But sometimes you need a friend like the Ralph to really explain how good a place is. I met her after she'd finished work there one evening (and have many times since), and she told me how much she loved the place and how cheap it was. A city centre pub? Cheap? Had I been ordering the wrong things or something? Evidently so - Sinclairs has an excellent house lager which the Ralph was quaffing, and a truly scrumptious house cider which I plumped for. Both are cheap as chips and taste twice the price. This cider is far nicer than branded options like Strongbow, in fact it's on par with that fuzzy Scrumpy Jacks or Merrydown you can get in the shops. Flavoursome and goes down easy. (I shan't make rude jokes here, we've had enough threat of innuendo today already.)
I'll update the review when I've tried the food which I'm assured is lovely, seafood being a speciality, but as a place to chill out, watch the world go by and drink some delicious beverages, it's pretty darn perfect. The location just behind Selfridges means that during a heavy shopping trip you can head over here for some much needed grub or wine, however this also means that at weekends it can be extremely rammed and exceptionally stressful. But plough through the crowds and get yourself a drink, and if you have good friends like mine, they'll have already reserved a bunch of seats upstairs for group chuckles and banter. The trick is indeed to get there early.
Sinclair's is a distant first when it comes to good beer with classic British Seafood. It's nice to see a small restaurant/pub keep it's original look as it's surroundings become more modern. The ale is just simply delicious and a perfect compliment to eating the best fish n'chips in town. The indoor seating is nice especially the second level and on nice sunny days the outdoor patio is great area to relax and people watch.
If any bar has earned its stripes over the years it's Sinclairs Oyster bar- the place it utterly unstoppable and will probably outlive all of us.
FIRST built in the 16th century, this ye olde drinking den surviving countless street riots during times of political unrest to become a much cherished pub amongst the local constituency.
However in 1971, not feeling the love, the council threatened to tear down this living museum of hangovers in a spot of 'regeneration'.
Met with a fair amount of criticism the plans where shelved and the building was instead raised 15ft above its original position so that it fit in with a revised blue print.
The pub's next test would come in 1996 in the form of an IRA bomb. The blast destroyed pretty much everything in the local vicinity but, when the dust settled and the smoke cleared, Sinclairs was standing, alone and unbowed.
But more was to come. With more regeneration in mind the council's next proposal was to move the pub 300 metres down the road. Given that a fair built of rebuilding was now a necessity, the plans went unchallenged and so in 1997 the pub was moved brick by 500 year old brick to its present location and reopened to deserved fan fair in 1999.
How can you not go for a drink in this pub?
Come Armageddon, nuclear war or End of Days, I know where I'll be!
Sinclairs Oyster Bar is as central as you can possibly get. A striking building that has been around for centuries! This place is not anything you expect a city centre pub to be. Its oldy worldy essence can be felt as you from its exterior to the ales it sells inside. I spent most of my time seated outside with a Guinness in my hand and the sun beaming down on me, however when I did venture inside this place was a little wonderland. Tiny rooms and winding staircases reflect the true age of this pub- be careful to mind your head and shoulders at all times. This place provides a welcome break from the poncy chain bars found nearby and was a great break from the horror of shopping all day mid summer.
This user has arrived from Qype, a European company acquired by Yelp in 2012. We have integrated the two sites to bring you one great local experience.