'Dark times' as Mancunians express shock after 'greatest bar in Manchester' suddenly closes

The venue, on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road, has been a popular drinking spot for students for years
-Credit: (Image: The Footage)


Mancunians have fondly looked back on their university days and nights dancing away on tables after the sudden closure of The Footage bar.

The venue, on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road, has been a popular drinking spot for students for years, boasting offers and being close to the Manchester Metropolitan University campus and the University of Manchester.

But now, the site - operated by Crafted Social, part of the Stonegate Group - has been listed as ‘permanently closed’ on its website. There has been no other announcement on social media about the closure.

READ MORE Mystery as beloved Manchester bar with historic past closes suddenly without notice

A pop-up message on the website’s booking form tells guests that the venue, which it described itself online as 'the greatest bar in Manchester', closed on Saturday (May 25) and thanked guests for their custom.

Following the news, many who spent evenings drinking at the venue have shared their memories on social media. "Dark times! I’ve worked on Oxford Road for 31 years and the footage has always been there," one person commented.

"Aww what a shame, was a stable when I was at uni, I did a revisit of it six years back, took me right back to my student days!" another added.

The Footage, on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road, has 'permanently closed' without much warning
The Footage, on the corner of Grosvenor Street and Oxford Road, has 'permanently closed' without much warning -Credit:The Footage

A number of others said they remembered evenings spent 'dancing on the tables' as they tagged their pals in the news. One said: "legendary ladies night dancing on tables" as another wrote: "Ah those were the days dancing on the tables!"

"Had some cracking nights in here," another person added.

The pop-up message on the venue's website said: “We will no longer be trading after the 25th May. It has been a pleasure serving the community and we shall miss you!”

Just four days earlier (May 23), the venue had been sharing posts on social media promoting the upcoming Euro's and encouraging people to 'secure the best seats and deals' by booking spots at the pub.

The history of the Footage building dates back to 1915 when it first opened as the Grosvenor Picture Palace cinema. Through various incarnations, the venue was last used as a cinema in 1968 before it was taken over as a bingo hall and then a Riley’s Snooker Club. It began a new life as a pub, under the name of the Flea and Firkin, in 1990.

A few years later, the pub was rebranded into The Footage and Firkin, before it was taken over by new owners and renamed The Footage. Stonegate gave the venue a £360,000 refurbishment ten years ago, promoting it as a craft beer and live sports venue. The neo-classical building, designed by Percy Hothersall, was also designated with Grade II Listed status by English Heritage in the 1990s.

The Manchester Evening News tried to contact Footage directly and was told that the venue is permanently closed, but no further details were made available. Crafted Social have also been approached for comment.