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Unicorn, Manchester

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user reviews of the Unicorn, Manchester

please note - reviews on this site are purely the opinion of site visitors, so don't take them too seriously.

Paid another visit yesterday, to refresh my memory on this pub, which was as vague as the review I left in 2013.

6 pumps at the bar, 3 on each side. I checked both out and was glad I did, as the one "interesting" option could have been overlooked otherwise. On offer was Bass Bitter (which the older crowd seemed to be drinking), Black Sheep, Adnams Southwold, and Elderflower Ale by Purple Moose. I went for the Elderflower Ale, a nice subtle elderflower taste and very pleasant. Price was £3.20 for the pint. A traditional feeling multi room pub with friendly service from the lady behind the bar.
RealAleRobUK - 8 Sep 2017 14:51
A pretty large pub with a few seating areas that all revolve around the island bar in the middle. This pub seems a bit out of place for the area that it is in (The Northern Quarter) and even in Manchester City Centre itself. Pictures on the walls included Ships, drink offers and what I assume is industrial Manchester. The bar maid was very friendly and the locals seemed friendly enough, most of the locals were older lads who all sat on the benches around the bar (makes getting the next drink very convenient). There was music playing in the background but it wasn't intrusive, what I could mostly hear was people having a laugh. The ales on were- Bass, Theakstons Red Atlantic, Lancaster Black and one called 'Firkin'- which I went for, 2.70 a pint and a decent beer in good shape. I would say this is definitely worth a look in for a well priced, well kept pint and to get away from the hustle and bustle of Manchester City Centre to see a pub with proper locals in it.
Wezzielad - 5 Feb 2017 09:35
This is the sort of pub I look for all over the UK & rarely find. A pub that does not do much more than provide a venue for mates (& the occasional missus) to meet, banter, laugh & relax. Friendly & efficient bar people & polite, if noisy, customers. I had a pint of John Smith's at 2.50, not sure why as its not a favourite, but it wasn't too bad.
Queenslander - 16 Sep 2014 23:09
I can't think of anything specifically unpleasant about this pub, but I didn't find it overly pleasant either. Nothing special and no plan to return, though the ale was fine.
RealAleRobUK - 16 Jul 2013 21:12
Traditional pub, four cask ales available. Worth a visit if you're in the area.
alexw - 10 Apr 2013 18:05
Typical city centre local that was fairly busy on our Saturday afternoon visit. Most people seem to know one another. There are a few different drinking areas. We chose to sit in a corner that was clearly popular with horse racing fans, who had their newspapers out and were following the racing on the TV. Beers on were Bass & Greene King IPA. Has a nice traditional interior. But it's not a pub I'd particularly want to return to.
blue_scrumpy - 17 Feb 2013 21:42
I don't know who wrote the comment below but I'd hazard a guess it's someone connected to the new owner rather than a regular. I've drunk in the Unicorn for years and never had a problem with cleanliness, the friendliness of the staff (the last person who ran it was a landlandy not a manager) or the quality of the beer which has gone from good to average in the last few weeks.
m_j_t - 30 Nov 2012 20:35
What an amazing transformation this pub has had since the new manager has taken over a month ago. The place is now clean, the service is friendly and best of all there is always ale available and the quality has been fantastic. Its hard to remember how bad it had become under the previous manager, but I would now recommend this pub to all fellow ale drinkers who are looking for a traditional pub in a modern world in the heart of Manchester. Thank-you
redordead11 - 1 Nov 2012 21:07
Manchester still does this sort of pub very well. Mother Macs, the Hare and Hounds, The Grey Horse are similar I think. However, the ale lets this place down. It used to be the finest bass in town but sadly no longer, and Saturday afternoon there was no ale on at all. This may be why it escapes the GBG radar. Friendly staff, customers of all ages, a pub for pub people. Apart from the beer which is shame. Still worth 7/10 though.
dry_riser_inlet - 20 Mar 2011 09:26
Traditional street corner local in the city centre, increasingly incongruous in the Northern Quarter trendy area of bars and clubs. It retains quite a bit of character inside, with a central bar serving two long rooms and a snug type area at the back, although the distinction has been blurred due to some opening up. Traditional bar lamps and traditional furnishing add to the character.
Despite always serving Bass, Black Sheep and Copper Dragon, it never seems to feature on the radar of the GBG or other CAMRA publications; a shame as it's a worthy pub. one of the most traditional interiors in the city centre,if not the best beer range. I recommned a visit
Carlurmston - 20 Dec 2010 16:33
Strange comments from edthered, could you name some of the ales you've sampled, since i have never known this pub to provide a vast array of beers.

They always have Bass which is drinkable but only just and ridiculously overpriced i might add. The pub itself cannot be faulted though, an old school gem that has altered very little over the years, THANKFULLY!!

nokegthanks - 12 Aug 2010 22:36
used the pub on several occasions this year when visiting for footy, always a friendly reception from bar staff and locals, great pint of Guinness and have tried several of the real ales all well kept. will be using again this season.

edthered - 12 Aug 2010 22:00
sat 5th dec early afternoon, the pub was quite busy with shoppers etc, this was my first visit and wont be the last. A great pint of guinness and a great atmosphere. splendid!!!!!!!
stevenlufc - 11 Dec 2009 21:46
Traditional city-centre pub with original fixtures and fittings still seemingly intact. Large island bar, off which there are three distinct drinking areas. The secluded corner we sat in had an old fireplace and a service bell. I had a pint of Copper Dragon Challenger IPA which was okay.
Music was being played at an obtrusive volume and seemed at odds with the clientele which consisted mainly of middle-aged men.
Worth a visit if in the area.
holbornboy - 16 Jun 2009 12:53
As a fellow member of Manchester Jazz Society, I agree with brucerob on the layout, staff and beer: Copper Dragon IPA and Black Sheep last night, both OK.
m_j_t - 15 May 2009 15:58
Copper Dragon Challenger IPA was OK yesterday (Bass and Orange Pippin were on too).
oftenscore6 - 28 Dec 2008 15:35
I have been visiting the Unicorn regularly for over ten years now for Thursday night meetings of the Manchester Jazz Society in the upstairs room (all welcome;)) and I don�t think the comments here do it justice.
Firstly, it is one of very few pubs in central Manchester to have kept its original features (inter-war island bar with several small rooms) and to retain a traditional pub atmosphere. The staff are friendly. There are quiet corners if that�s what you want and the seating is comfy.
As for the beer, I have found it generally to be of good quality. Certainly I have not had any problems with Copper Dragon Challenger IPA or Orange Pippin in the six months or more that it�s been on. Perhaps Al just hit a bad pint though periodically in the past when I have drunk the Bass it has been inconsistent - perhaps because of low sales.
There are usually two or three real ales available � Boddy�s and Bass plus the two Copper Dragon at the moment. They did have a spate of problems with supply a year or two ago but there hasn�t been a recurrence recently.

brucerob - 11 Dec 2008 14:25
Unfortable feel to the place and copper dragon that was disgusting! didnt stay long!
AlRobis - 25 Mar 2008 12:27
How difficult is it to keep lager these days Nige? Having clean dispensing lines and serving at the correct temperature is the most basic cellar practice, the Unicorn should apply what 'keeping' skills they have to the cask beers they infrequently have on the go.
anonymous - 12 Jan 2007 11:14
Had a couple of real ales when we went in (also a Saturday), but we had lagers which were excellently kept.
Nige - 21 May 2006 00:35
Multi roomed pub around a central bar near Afflecks Palace. Used to be a real ale pub, but had none on at 7pm on a Saturday?
oftenscore6 - 3 Apr 2006 12:47

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