Renowned for being Manchester’s home to all things unconventional, creative and quirky, the Northern Quarter welcomes a new addition to its night scene. In keeping with this traditional Northern Quarter vibe, Honey Trap is not so different as a concept, but it’s clear it offers something unique.
Thursday night saw the launch party of HTC, the Northern Quarter’s new hideout. A new business venture from the owners of brunch spot Pen and Pencil, HTC is a gourmet kebab house, but downstairs in the Berlin-themed basement is where the fun starts.
Located just off Stevenson Square, muffled music travelled up the steps on entering the club. My preconceptions of the club as an edgy basement bar were already becoming true.
Walking down the steps, the eyes meet an explosive wall of ripped posters and graffiti that pay homage to derelict buildings that house some of the German capital’s hot spots.
Funky and red LED lights lining the exposed brick walls added to the impression of a 1990s Berlin bunker; the only element missing was a cigarette smoke-filled room to complete the illusion.
The night’s soundtrack kicked off with relaxed Latino vibes before transitioning into a world of lo-fi hip hop, set to be the club’s vibe. My preconceived idea of HTC as a remake of a ‘classic techno bunker’ was proved wrong.
The expert bar tenders were friendly and professional while maintaining their cool dealing with the pressure of the free bar all night. HTC’s unique plethora of ‘Disco Cocktails’ are remakes of classic cocktails. I recommend ‘Writing on the Wall’ – a smooth and classy melange of prosecco, vodka and bitter fruits. The spot is perfect for a relaxed and sophisticated after-work drink in the red and dimly-lit surroundings. The weekends will offer something more upbeat, welcoming Manchester’s best hip-hop DJs for club nights.
The upcycled furniture adds to HTC’s ‘rough around the edges’ vibe. This automatically creates a laid-back and carefree atmosphere. With no dress code or social conventions to follow, it’s a welcoming place that focuses on giving visitors a good time.
It’s true when they say ‘a picture speaks a thousand words.’ Liam Heely captured the Launch Night in pictures and his images epitomise perfectly the essence of the club. The happiness through the throwback hip-hop tunes, Heely’s natural shots are of people dancing and laughing.
Honey Trap Club is open four days a week from 4pm Wednesday to Saturday. The bar will be open until 12am on a Wednesday, 1am on a Thursday and 3am on a Friday and Saturday.
The Launch Party was a fun and successful evening. A little piece of Berlin in Manchester, HTC is offbeat yet sophisticated, Northern Quarter avant-garde yet retro.