Manchester's Blinker, Project Halcyon Distillery, Schofield's and Speak in Code shortlisted for major awards

These Manchester cocktail bars are among some of the best in the country.
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Manchester is well represented among the nominees for this year’s CLASS bar awards, one of the UK’s most prestigious bar awards. 

All four of the finalists for the Best Bar in the North category are Manchester city centre bars and they are no strangers to industry awards like this - even though they have all only opened in the last few years. They are Blinker, Project Halcyon Distillery, Schofield's and Speak in Code. 

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That’s not the only category Manchester is mentioned in, either. The CLASS awards also celebrate the people working in the bar industry. Sterling’s Paola Mariotti is nominated for the Front of House Star of the Year; Yadney Fernandes, also of Sterling, is nominated for Emerging Bartender of the Year, as well as Project Halcyon Distillery’s Reah Owen; and brothers Joe and Dan Schofield, the masterminds behind Schofield’s, Sterling and Atomeca, are nominated together in the Bar Innovator of the Year category. 

Schofield’s in Manchester has made it into a list of the world’s top 100 barsSchofield’s in Manchester has made it into a list of the world’s top 100 bars
Schofield’s in Manchester has made it into a list of the world’s top 100 bars

Other categories, which sadly do not contain any Manchester finalists, include manager of year, cocktail of the year, drinks menu of the year and bar food menu of the year. The ceremony to announce the winners will take place on Tuesday, April 16 at Battersea Arts Centre in London. 

About the bars 

Schofield’s was the first Manchester bar to make it into the top 100 bars in the world back in 2022. Opened just one year before, it was the first bar in Manchester by brothers Joe and Dan Schofield, two expert mixologists who had previously worked in some of the best bars in the world. 

Speak in Code is a speakeasy-style bar on Jackson’s Row near the Town Hall. The bar has a loose music theme, with a playlist of classic hip-hop and menus that look like vinyl sleeves. Last year, they ranked as the 8th best bar in the country. 

Blinker Bar is nominated for Best Bar in the North, along with three other Manchester bars, in the CLASS bar awards 2024. Credit: Blinker BarBlinker Bar is nominated for Best Bar in the North, along with three other Manchester bars, in the CLASS bar awards 2024. Credit: Blinker Bar
Blinker Bar is nominated for Best Bar in the North, along with three other Manchester bars, in the CLASS bar awards 2024. Credit: Blinker Bar
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Blinker Bar in Spring Gardens gets its name from a lesser-known cocktail that consists of rye, grapefruit and raspberry. Last year, they ranked 41st in the Top 50 Cocktail Bar rankings. They emphasise seasonality with a menu that changes monthly. 

Project Halcyon is located in the former Granada Studios next to the Science and Industry Museum. It boasts its own laboratory, where they make their own spirits and tinctures. They also offer stillroom sessions, tasting sessions and cocktail masterclasses.

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