Our Barca Review
Barca reopened during summer 2009 after a spell of closure and no doubt was encouraged by the refurbishment of Dukes 93 and the opening and subsequent success of Albert's Shed.
The interior layout has not changed, with the bars still dividing the ground floor in two, but the decor and furniture have seen a complete overhaul, with a mix of wallpapers and a variety of seating styles. Unfortunately, many of these chairs are of a quirky, post-modern design and are actually uncomfortable or awkward to sit on, making choosing a seat something of a lottery and even forcing people to wander around trying them out until they're happy. There're also too many individual chairs, creating a furniture clutter, and not enough sofas for some cosy shared seating.
The plasma screen, which is discreetly placed at the furthest reach of Barca, is a welcome addition but the management have neglected to place any chairs in an ideal position to watch it, unless having your head turned at a fixed 90 degree angle appeals.
Our Thursday night visit was apparently a comedy event, according to some posters, but no stand-ups were seen. Perhaps the events are cancelled but the marketing was still in place. The most impressive new addition were the gents' urinals, which have mood lighting built in and make the necessary a bit more entertaining. It's a back-handed compliment though when the facilities in the basement are the only truly memorable feature.
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Arch 8 & 9, Catalan Square M3 4WD
(0161) 839 7099