Our Odder Review
Up until recently, if you wanted a drink down the end of Oxford Road, you’d probably end up in the fishbowl-esque Kro II. These days though, you’re just as likely to end up in Odder.
If Kro II is a bit sterile, Odder is like Changing Rooms on crack. The bottom floor boasts nice little nooks and local artwork on the walls, as well as a generously sized bar, but it feels more like a reception room than a place you might want to stay in for an evening. Go upstairs and you find yourself in a huge bar on two levels. The décor is completely bizarre. The wall behind one booth might be bright yellow and covered in an assortment of clocks. Somewhere else there is exposed brickwork and embossed velvet wallpaper, watched over by a giant wooden lizard. The bar itself is padded and covered in squares of different coloured leather, making it look like it might be made out of Tooty-Fruities. Sounds awful but somehow it works.
The drink menu boasts a few good choices for wine, plenty of European beers and an eclectic spirit selection. They don’t really do cocktails, but the bar staff are more than happy to whip something up if you ask them. Be warned though – the prices have been lifted straight from the Northern Quarter.
On weeknights, there is always a good sprinkling of students making the place look busy as well as a healthy contingent of BBC bodies from across the road and office workers unwinding. The mixture of people creates a comfortable, “everyone’s welcome” atmosphere. The food menu is pretty damn good (especially the sharing platter) and the pub quiz on the first Monday of the month is a laugh.
At the weekend, the place steps up a gear. Odder is every bit as popular as its Northern Quarter relation, Odd, but with a far less cliquey crowd. You might want to get your glad rags out because the crowd is a good-looking mix of the students you couldn’t pull when you were at uni and the young professionals who they turn into.
All in all, Odder is a great bar. It has all the atmosphere and quirky charm of its sister venue but far less of the iBook-and-Mini clientele. It perks up the far side of town no end, and fits in nicely with Po Na Na and Pure Space’s air of off-beat cool. We like it. You probably will too.
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14 Oxford Road, Manchester M1 5QA
0161 238 9131