Apart from being a beer geek I’m a bit of a history/building geek too, yes especially the history of pubs, closed ones, demolished ones, new ones, etc
I get the train every day into work in Manchester, arriving at Manchester Victoria.
Manchester Victoria was, back in 2010, labelled the worst station in the UK. Not having much experience of other major city stations I didn’t have much to go on other than it was a dank, horrible and poorly lit place where it actually rained inside, the roof being so dilapidated.
Then it got a bit of money and coupled with the expansion of the Manchester Metrolink (tram system, fondly called MetroStink) and the 2nd City Crossing, work was underway to overhaul the station, including a beautiful new roof.
There is a thread on the SkyScraperCity forum that as of writing has 186 pages of the history and the current ongoing work. Some of the buildings are listed and are undergoing renovation.
So when Greater Manchester Ale News went a bit wobbly at the news that a “Tap” outlet was coming to Manchester, this instantly got many wondering where it would be located.
For my sins I’ve only been to the Leeds and Euston Taps (including the cider one at Euston). Both of these are located outside of the station.
My understanding is that the ones at Harrogate, York and Sheffield are actually within the station.
So the question is, which of the 4 Manchester stations will get this Tap?
Deansgate and Oxford Road seem to have already been written off; though a Deansgate Tap would fit in well with the surrounding Castlefield area (though should be wary of Satan’s arse crack that is the Locks) and an Oxford Road Tap fits moulds into the so-called “Manchester Corridor” redevelopment and the general student clientele.
But you really can’t look past Manchester Piccadilly and the aforementioned Victoria stations.
The Victoria area is going through a major upheaval as noted above, plus you have the pub/bar haven that is the Northern Quarter located a stones throw from the station. Though to be fair the NQ does more-or-less link Victoria with Piccadilly.
Victoria, also in the process of electrification, also links up (as does Piccadilly) with Liverpool and Yorkshire and also the overly hyped, unnecessarily busy and largely abused TransPennine Ale Trail.
Plus there is always the East Lancs Railway.
Piccadilly is the major hub – the proposed HS2 route would go in and out (even if it is a typical London-centric Westminster con-job). Virgin trains services operate from this station, so the idea of going from the Euston Tap to Piccadilly Tap in 2 hours is quite fitting. In fact you could probably end up doing a “Tap” crawl, if UK train fares weren’t such a rip-off.
But Piccadilly is more modern, a bit too busy and a bit too sterile.
Victoria has the history and the, well, Victorian surroundings that seems to place it at the top of the pile of being in-line with other “Tap” venues.
I’m biased, I’ll be happy wherever it is in Manchester.
Though after all this, it may end up at Stockport Station.