Described as a cafe, bar and music hall, The Deaf Institute works wonders in a marvellous setting.
Housed within the former Adult Deaf and Dumb Institute which is Grade II listed, bar-owners Trof caused some controversy when they named their new bar after the building's original purpose. However, all that fuss has died down now and all anyone talks about now is what a great bar the Deaf Institute is. Employing all the style and skill already apparent at Trof's Northern Quarter and Fallowfield joints, the bar is set out over three floors. The ground floor has the all-important bar off to one side with tables in the middle and booths for more intimate socialising around the side. There’s a cool basement area with black leather banquettes and its own bar too.
But it’s the upstairs bar (The Music Hall) which will make you catch your breath. The room is decked out in red velvets, black and has skylights set into the high ceiling which flood light down onto the off-white sofas during the day. Thanks to its high ceiling there’s even space for a small balcony high above your head which is encased in glass and, most interestingly of all, there’s a tiered spectator-style area at the back of the room, making the possibilities of this space endless. Indeed the Deaf Institute holds live music nights here featuring up-and-coming talent which are always packed quite literally to the rafters. The room is also clearly vying for the unofficial competition of which bar can house the biggest mirror ball in Manchester — the enormous thing dangles from the ceiling spattering the gorgeous bar flies below it with fragments of light.
And yet it gets even better. There’s a stunning, decked, south-facing smoking balcony outside, which comes into its own not only in summer but also at night for a spot of star gazing.
The local scenester crowd can't get enough of the effortless cool that flows throughout the Deaf Institute. It’s all about the skinny jeans, beenies and beards (yes, in the city of shaven men) for the boys and it's indie-rock chick chic all the way for the girls. Wherever you look the young, lithe and beautiful are having a fantastic time and anyone with a beer belly needn’t apply.
The food is fantastic and there's plenty of it. The chocolate brownies go down a treat with a latte or mocha at any time of the day, the big breakfasts are £4.95 and there are upmarket versions of student-friendly snacks like fried egg sarnies and fish finger butties. The bangers and mash with all the trimmings is hard to beat though at a reasonably priced £6.95.
On tap you’ll get San Miguel, Peroni, Boddingtons, Guinness and Hoegaarden and their own proprietary Trof lager and cider. And the Deaf Institute does a massive range of bottled beers and ciders too including Peroni, Beer Lao, Erdinger Weiss and Dunkel, Duvel, Coopers Sparkling Ale, Tusker, Sierra Nevada, Innis and Gunn, Anchor Steam, Delirium Tremens, Dos Equis, Alhambra Reserve, Crazy Ed's Chilli Beer, Sam Smith’s Cherry Beer, Sam Smith's Organic Ale, Little Creatures Pale Ale, Schlenkerla Smoked Beer and Weston’s Organic Cider. Enough in fact to make you feel drunk before you’ve even started!
The Last Word
If you have a problem with nights out in Manchester merging into each other you clearly haven't been to the Deaf Institute yet. Memorable nights out come as standard here.