What on earth does this mean? It was a hashtag that new Manchester bar YES had been pushing in the run up to it’s launch on the 20th of September and it kept cropping up as I tried to gain some idea of what kind of place I would be walking into come the Thursday night opening event we were invited too.
Manchester is not a city I know well and I found myself wandering through the streets trying to find this bar which isn’t the easiest to find nestled between the bustling Oxford Road and Princess Street. It’s interesting to note that on the opposite side of the road there is massive new development nearing completion. How these developments turn out will surely shape any long term legacy the venue has, if they’re huge office complexes then the venue might just become a soulless spot for city types after a day of work, if these a flats then the venue could face the all too common noise complaints that provide a challenge to so many venues around the country.
Once finding the venue, #FourFloorsofYES made a lot more sense as, very unsurprisingly, the venue has four floors. This is one of the most banal statements you could possibly make about the space but what is noteworthy and commendable is how unique each floor feels effectively rolling four venues into one.
As you walk in you’re greeted with a beer hall very very similar to the one found in Belgrave in Leeds complete with pizza, craft beer, wooden tables and DJs playing at the far end. Above this is a Live Room that can only be described as instagram bait with bright pink walls, floors, balloons and even the bar (clearly having taken some inspiration from Frank’s in London). Above this again is a really nice top floor bar which is mercifully half covered with doors that in the summer can open out onto the rooftop terrace which is certain to attract young professionals in the summer faster than bottomless Prosecco with brunch. The final floor is the basement which is simply a club with a decent sound-system and a good projector for some trippy visuals, sadly the basement wasn’t that busy but as always with these spaces it will be made or broken by the bookings.
YES is run by NOW Wave and so they are not going to struggle for good bookings and have had a strong autumn season already with gigs almost every day of the week showcasing the likes of Gilles Peterson, Audiobooks and Boy Azooga already.
The Four Floors of YES are worth dropping in on if you’re ever in Manchester. YES allows you to buy the feeling that you are part of an independent artistic group of people while you are there and time will tell if the space will become a new creative hub in Manchester.