So farewell then, to The Cornerhouse. A Manchester institution of 30 years standing that served up arthouse cinema, a mean veggie lasagne and a semi-decent range of reassuringly expensive, foreign beers.
I’m going to miss the gaff a lot. It was one of those places that was always busy without ever getting packed to the point there was a queue at the bar or you couldn’t get a table. With its view from upstairs over the junction of Oxford St and Whitworth St, it also provided one of the best people watching spots in the city – the perfect place to while away a couple of hours watching the rain outside whilst marvelling at the sheer volume of bearded patrons sat alone, silently engrossed in their MacBooks.
The Cornerhouse could easily be accused of being pretentious – but it was good pretentious. It wasn’t posh or intimidating, it wasn’t in any way up itself… it was just a nice, quiet bar in a brilliant location that was different to every other drinking hole in the vicinity. The fact it was first and foremost a cinema and gallery meant that it was free of the hen and stag do crowd that clog up the rest of Manchester city centre every weekend. Right up until its closure, it remained an oasis of civility whilst gangs of lads from Rawtenstall in bad jeans queued at the cashpoint opposite before heading to The Ritz to watch Jake Bugg.
Yet now, for reasons I haven’t bothered to research, it’s gone. Somebody has decided to re-brand it ‘HOME’ (from their website: “HOME is for curiosity seekers, for lovers of the dramatic, the digital and the deeply engaging; for radicals and reciprocators.”… errrrr okay) and they’re moving down further down Whitworth St towards where the Hacienda used to be. The building they’re vacating is apparently being taken up by Manchester Met in the short-term, though it’ll no doubt be a Tesco in 5 years time. The new place might be alright, and will be a definite must visit when you need to scratch that ‘subtitled, black and white film with nuns’ itch… but it’ll never be as good as The Cornerhouse (RIP) was.
Copyright Red News – May 2015