It's not the only bank turning bar this spring…
From a community arts centre in a former library to a cycle café in a Victorian railway station, Levenshulme has become something of a venue chameleon; empty buildings reimagined to reflect an area that’s undergoing a slow but steady renaissance.
The latest to get the repurposing treatment? The former TSB bank on Stockport Road, one of many branches to fall victim to online banking. Closed in summer 2017, it’s finally due to reopen…as a bar called ‘Overdraught’.
Beer maven Martha Winder is behind the bar, which will be her second to open in the space of two months: First Draught is due to open in Prestwich very shortly, with Overdraught following in April. Talk about busy.
On her decision to open in Levy, Winder told local site Levenshulme News: “Aside from links to the local area, I’m engaged to a chap who has lived his whole life here and works the Blue Bell - Levenshulme is a fantastic place to put down roots. There are so many people doing so many great things here at the moment and I’m excited to have the opportunity to be a part of that.”
Overdraught will specialise in draught beer (although there’ll be an extensive bottled selection too). But Winder also plans to provide a daytime offering with coffee, pastries, cake, cocktails and ice cream. Although no live music, there’ll also be community events aplenty - including quizzes, game nights and ‘meet the brewer’ evenings - alongside pop-ups with local food vendors.
Talking of pop-ups, Overdraught isn’t the only bar to open in a former bank this spring.
Over in Withington, a group of friends are hosting The Lock Inn: a one-day celebration of craft beer in Withy’s Grade II-listed former bank.
Opening on Saturday 23 March, 5-11pm, the ‘pop-up pub’ will feature several local indie breweries - including Blackjack, Shindigger, Manchester Union Lager, Burton Road Brewing Co. and Pomona Island - as well as Three Rivers Gin, snacks from Boho Utopia café and local DJs throughout the evening.
Hosted in partnership with community developers Step Places, it will take over the main banking hall and follows a similar event held last Christmas: a bar in the vault of the former NatWest as part of the Curious Collection craft fair.
What with the Old Bank Residency’s café too, it seems that old banks are becoming the hot new spots to drink... appropriate then to get loaded?