The Manchester is an American gastropub located in the South End neighborhood of Charlotte, NC. The menu and decor of the restaurant share similarities with the food and style found at an English pub. You can enjoy lunch or dinner daily at The Manchester. They are open late until 2 a.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday. One unique characteristic of the restaurant is their speak-easy called Room 1812. Located in the basement of The Manchester, this prohibition era speak-easy offers handcrafted cocktails and other premium beverages. In order to enter Room 1812, you must pass through an outside entrance or find the hidden door inside The Manchester. A password is required to enter Room 1812, but can be easily obtained on their Instagram page.
The Manchester has two seating areas for dining and drinks. A front room houses a large bar with adjacent seating for a cozy and casual atmosphere. The main dining area has a more intimate feel with ambient lighting. There is ample space for large groups of twelve or more guests. The menu is a mix of bar classics, pub fare, and a few upscale entrees. I particularly enjoyed the lightly fried flounder and fries (fish and chips). A few friends praised the salad options available. I recommend trying the Kale and Brussel Sprout Salad or the Baby Spinach and Fried Goat Cheese Salad.
If you are looking for a place to have a drink before or after dinner, Room 1812 is a great option. I recommend acquiring the password and knowing where the entrance is before visiting. I accidentally rang the kitchen delivery door trying to find it for the first time. The decor and lighting inside 1812 takes you back to the prohibition era. Their drink menus are a creative tie-in to the theme of the bar. I enjoyed watching the bartender make a Smoked Old Fashion using a smoke box. My friends and I tried a number of specialty cocktails including French 75, Southern Sidecar, and the mentioned Smoked Old Fashion. All of the crafted cocktails we had were delicious. I do not believe you can make a bad choice ordering off the 1812 cocktail menu. There are multiple seating areas around the bar for guests to mingle.
The Manchester and Room 1812 offer different atmospheres and experiences for many occasions. Both parts of the restaurant were able to accommodate my group of a dozen individuals. I liked the experience of having a drink in Room 1812 and then walking upstairs through the secret passageway for dinner. My first experience at The Manchester and Room 1812 exceeded expectations. I would recommend this establishment to anyone who is fond of speakeasies or gastropubs.