The Stretford Sip Club – a Living Room with a License.
A self-titled ‘Living Room with a License’, you wouldn’t be blamed for not knowing of the Sip Club in Stretford, close to Manchester’s City Centre. In fact, subtly is what Sip Club is all about, and by writing about it, I feel like I am exposing a much-protected secret. You wouldn’t know that a venue of its nature exists where it does. As Sip Club sits upstairs from a local ‘Trading Places’ Estate Agent, you’d have to be in know to know of this inconspicuous hidden gem. Contrary to a name that sounds dangerously close to a place for more adult entertainment, the Sip Club offers cosy comforts over titillation. Who’d have known that a humble living room would host one of the trendiest settings for food and drink in Manchester?
The feel of Stretford Sip Club is very much of an exclusive member’s club but without the exclusivity. Sip Club is open to all, well all that know of it. Sip Club is community focused, and that’s not just in its residential locale, but also in its ethos. The Club only sources its produce from local providers, whether it’s the drinks or the bar snacks. Sip Club supports small businesses whom are just as passionate about the local community as they are, whether that’s local cask ale, or local cider from Moss Ciders, all served on tap in the living room with a license itself. The result of this endeavour is truly the feel of a home a way from home. The atmosphere is informal but electric; you certainly have the sense of being ahead of the crowd. It amazes me that there aren’t more venues of its type around. The idea is simple but effective, if there’s a shortage of locals, then when why not make a living room the champion of everything local? Although Sip Club doesn’t yet have a kitchen license to prepare hot meals, it does provide locally sourced snacks such as regional crisps and even a ‘Manchester Platter’ of ‘Houmous, Chutney, Cheese and Pork Pies’. This is of course Manchester – made not in culinary origin.
Join the Club with Attendance at the Limitless Events.
Yet, it wouldn’t be called a Sip Club if it just was a simple bar, what makes the club a club are the regular events it hosts. These events reflect Community interest and Sip Club allows its space to be used by enterprising individuals free of charge during the week. Events have ranged from Gin tasting sessions to workshops, so its always smart to check in with what’s coming up. You can also use the space for parties, without the formality of a function room or the hassle of hosting it in your own home. The ‘Common Room’ s generally available for free but there is the cost of £100 deposit based on £150 drinks sales. There is also a clear up fee if you choose to provide your own catering.
You can also use the Sip Club as a weekend Internet café. The opening hours are Tuesday – Friday, 1800 – 23:00 and 14:00 – 23:00 on Saturday and Sunday.
For a novel and alternative to suburban bars, I recommend the Stretford Sip Club; home of a humble living room come bar, come versatile space full of well-informed and creative regulars.