We Dive at Dawn
Riddle explores this Manchester basement bar
Review by Andy Barnham
Descending the stairs to DiveNQ Manchester one feels akin to Alice entering the rabbit hole; check your sense of reality at the door and accept that what will be, will be. A basement bar in Manchester’s Northern Quarter (hence the NQ) DiveNQ is an American style liquor bar with extras, and what extras they are.
The central element of DiveNQ is a long bar which is surrounded by various versatile social areas. In addition to the long bar, DiveNQ offers a seating area, a dining area as well as a corner available for private hire. The long bar itself serves what one would expect in regards to beer (including Blue Moon with a slice of orange, this reviewer’s favourite), spirits, cocktails and wine. In keeping with the American theme, it also offers root beer and a respectable selection of bourbon and tequila. The cocktail list has been invented specifically for DiveNQ by their own mixologist with many being twists on old classics, the ‘Castro Collins’ substitutes Havana 3Y.O. rum for gin, but those critical of their cocktails should head for Manchester’s other cocktail specialists and order something less tricky.
With DiveNQ opening its doors at midday daily, the seating area offers the faithful somewhere to put their feet during the week be it while watching the multitude of sport that is shown (sports fans beware, commentary many be eschewed in favour of music on the sound system) or while waiting for the 5pm Happy Hour to start (Monday to Friday only). For those who like their weekends somewhat louder, at weekends the area is cleared of the tables and chairs and turns into a club with a live DJ mixing (R&B, house, soul and funk) tunes until 5am.
For those who find a liquid diet doesn’t quite hit the spot and need some substance with their drinks, DiveNQ’s food menu reads like a what’s what of comfort food, from tacos to mini sliders, with nachos and clubs (club sandwiches) thrown in. And in case guests would like to indulge in something of the green variety, in addition to all the meat there are also salads on offer.
Tucked away from the main table/ dance floor is the separate private area, with a maximum capacity of 50, complete with dedicated large screen and bar. Partitioned by heavy red drapes the area has its own chairs and seats which can be cleared if required.