Movers and (Cocktail) Shakers
The name slips off the tongue like a silky cocktail…..Zaranda! Manchester’s newest niche market bar, is named after an African village famed for its art. Zaranda is also a girl’s name meaning popularity, and a shaking device used in Spain – not bad origins for a music and cocktail bar, based on Lapwing Lane in leafy West Didsbury.
The double fronted bar is in the centre of West Didsbury, opposite the Metropolitan. It is only a mere 100 yards from the Burton Road Metrolink station.
Zaranda is also perfectly placed to attract an eclectic crowd from Chorlton, Didsbury village and the city centre.
Zaranda’s official VIP launch was managed by Laura Graham of local media firm Vital Publicity, and saw Coronation Street stars Sue Cleaver (Eileen Grimshaw), Brooke Vincent (Sophie Website) Katie Mcglynn (Sinead Barlow) and Ali Mardell (Emma Brooker) and from Hollyoaks Sarah Jayne Dunn (Mandy Richardson) and party with DJ EMA (Emma Wilkinson), who played a special disco house set to the packed venue. EMA was accompanied by Lucian AKA Trumpet Fiesta and Rachel Lasham on percussion.
Also in attendance was Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord, and Heart North West Breakfast radio presenter, Lorna Bancroft.
Zaranda has a desirable selling point; a state-of-the-art acoustic ceiling, ensuring the sound projection is second to none, and was provided by acoustical contractors Quietstone, based in Macclesfield.
The specialist installed ceiling provides a clearness and quality to the sound, above any other venue in South Manchester.
The sound quality for this music-centric-bar doesn’t end there, with the audio system designed by one of Manchester renowned music promoters, Masons.
The music at Zaranda will be wide ranging, with all tastes catered for by DJ’s at the weekend, or local live musicians providing a mixture of house, dance, jazz, blues and classical, as well special guest singers, during the week.
The attention to detail in Zaranda is impressive, with African red colour plastering on the dance floor. Warm deep blues and complimentary copper colours have been used well throughout the bar, and the feature light fittings and furniture – simple but sophisticated.
Zaranda’s design consultant Ruth Walsh makes no bones about the fact she feels some of the surrounding venues are “ too blokey” and feels the house policy of no harassment of any kind will make Zaranda a first choice for women.
She said: “I want people to stay for a complete evening of cocktails, music and dance, in a safe and happy environment.”
Zaranda is also a founder member of the Operators Standard, created by Manchester’s Night Time Economy Advisor, Sacha Lord.
The scheme was developed after consultations held by Sacha, in which workers and operators in bars and restaurants, were invited to share the issues affecting them and their industry.
Zaranda aims to elevate cocktail drinking way beyond that on offer elsewhere, and launch night will see the bartenders serve up a creation with a true Mancunian theme; ‘Sting Like a Bee’ which contains lashings of Manchester Rum, plum sugar and lemon.
Four full time and three part time staff are headed by manager, Gary Pearson.His message is simple: “We take our cocktails seriously, and are proud of our opening menu. Not only do we use great Winter flavours, we source local products in support of Manchester brands.Our team will be getting involved in creating the spring menu, and I can’t wait to see what we come up with!”
Owner Mark said: “There is a real passion amongst the independent retailers here for the village, and to support each others ventures. The quality of the restaurants and the variety of the nightlife makes Didsbury a desirable destination both to live and to socialise in.”
Author : Emily Fitzgibbons
Editor at The Glossy Magazine | Journalist & Office Manager at Salutions Limited