Manchester Bar Reviews – the definitive guide to bars, clubs & pubs in the rock’n’goal capital of the world!

Panacea November 2, 2006

Filed under: Bar Reviews - P — manchesterbars @ 4:18 pm

PanaceaPanacea Manchester 14 John Dalton, Manchester, M2 6JR map

  • Panacea is an award winning restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Manchester.  A basement bar below The Restaurant, Bar & Grill,  the door policy is extremely selective and as a result, it’s very popular with the rich and famous.  This is a great hang out to do a little celeb spotting whilst sipping an amazing cocktail, admiring the beautiful interia and soaking up the rich atmosphere.  
  • Cocktails
  • Food

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30 Responses to “Panacea”

  1. Val & Heidi Says:

    What a difference a day makes!! Came here on a Friday night and had an excellent time of it – no queue to get in and enjoyed the buzzing atmosphere – lots of beautiful people and great decor. Came back on a Saturday, queued for half an hour only to then hear the bouncer say he did not know anyone in the queue and therefore no-one was getting in. What a let down. Avoid this place, people!

  2. ... Says:

    Please remove the CCTV footage link from your website. This is not the appropriate way to promote manchester if that is what is for.

  3. Ryan Says:

    I don’t think that the owner of Panacea was thinking about promoting Manchester when he decided to beat the crap out of one of his customers and leave him unconscious on the pavement.

    They aren’t really promoting or putting Manchester in a bad light, just showing that Panacea may not be the best place to go if you want to stay away from this sort of thugary.

  4. offers independent reviews of bars in Manchester – including those that pay for a featured listing. Being Mancunian’s, we try to ‘tell it like it is’ rather than fall into the PR & Marketing world of similar websites. We’d argue thats what makes us the most popular Manchester bar guide.

    It’s obviously the hot debate on most Mancunian messageboards whether the place will keep its license and whether or not the celebs and the rest of us will continue to spend their money in a Joe Akka venue. By linking to the CCTV footage (on the Manchester Evening News website) we believe it allows potential Panacea customers to make their own minds up whether to spend their money there or not.

    As regulars and fans of Panacea ourselves, we’re not going to comment on whether or not we will be revisiting. We would say however that this is not a pro-Akka or anti-Panacea messageboard and, like with all our pages, we will remove any messages that are not seen to be anything other than an honest bar review.

    And in answer to your comments about this not being a good way to promote Manchester. We disagree – there’s over 300 bars to choose from… many of which have received more votes than Panacea as ‘Best in Town’ and none of which as far as we aware, the owner is in prison for almost killing a customer (whatever the circumstances of the night were).

  5. Ex-Panacea fan Says:

    Interesting debate and fantastic reply from you guys.

    I was a huge fan of Panacea – it’s the closest to a chic New York or European cocktail bar I’ve found in Manchester. The cocktails are wonderful and the design of the bar is superb.

    You are right to publish the video as I for one will not be returning. Especially as Joe Akka has a previous record, I refuse to give my money to such a thug whilst there are alternatives in town – Circle, Cloud 23, Obsidian, Cocoa Rooms to name but a few. Chances are, those that are defending Akka on all of these websites are the ones who’d be holding their ‘heavily abused’ nostrils up if it was the owner of Brannigans, Squares or Teasers who’d done the same.

    If you’re not really interested in who gets your hard-earned money (or credit card debt), then I’d recommend Panacea – it’s a great bar and wonderful for people watching. And after all, it’s bound to be a safer place to visit whilst the manager is locked up in Strangeways!

  6. Ricky B Says:

    Great comments. I was really close to booking a couple of booths for my birthday, but will probably look elsewhere. Places that operate door policies that allow small minded bouncers to decide who takes their fancy, are in a word pathetic. Brasingamans in Alderley Edge did a similar thing and are now in liquidation.

    Sadly Cocoa Rooms is being refurbished at the moment, but I will check out the other suggestions.

    Many thanks


  7. Funny you should mention Brasingamens.

    It’s just been bought by none other than, erm…
    Joe Akka.

    You may want to contact Cloud 23 at the Hilton as a great alternative. As long as you’re dressed smartly, door policy is not as picky, however expect to queue as it’s table service…

  8. .......... Says:

    Brasingamans in alderley edge is actualy now turning into a panacea!

  9. jay Says:

    chavy people in the queue , chave doormen.
    overpriced cocktails (too much ice btw). so disappointed.

  10. Gazza(Leeds) Says:

    I have read the above comments and must say it does give me a little concern that the owner of a bar would do this to one of his patrons, but this is a purely independant view of a bar which i have only visited once and i must say it was a pleasure being in there. This bar managed to pack in celebs and well known faces from sport, televion and music without the air of pretentiousnes that sometimes follows with a bar of this type. It was a very relaxed atmosphere inside and happily drunk away the night chatting to anyone that would hold a conversation with me. This bar would definately be on my return list and in fact i am toying with the idea of spending my christmas eve in there. All that said it really is a shame about the owner/manager doing what he did.

  11. mellie Says:

    I have read what people have to say and i have watched the image and i will not be going to Panncea.
    I am out in manchester on Sat 15th Dec with my freind and we were looking for somewhere different, but after reading all the comments i can say i WILL NOT be going I do not want to give my money to a THUG!

  12. Wunder Says:

    yep, i saw the small chavvy bouncer hold a man to a wall below the stairs while the other chavvy bouncer punched the man. then they laughed about it. We were disguisted.

  13. Another disapoointed Person Says:

    After reading all of the above l will add few comments, firstly my boyfriend and his friends went to Panacea for a night out and for some unknown reason to them, a number of the door staff decided to drag one of them out and repeatedly punch him outside whilst the other door staff watched.. Please ask yourself, if this is how the door staff act, then what would happen if a REAL fight broke out (l think they would love it and watch in glee), no-one in my eyes is safe in the place.

    How is it possible for Joe Akka to be able to manage this club and not only that take over another and manage / own that as well??

    Please do try the Sky Bar in the Hilton, l read a lot of mixed reviews but decided to try it myself in September and enjoyed it a lot. I tried to book a table but theres a long waiting list, so went on a Friday at about 6pm after a couple and a bite to eat in the Living Room. We waited no longer than 10 minutes at the very most and was taken up by the only lift for the bar and sitted. Prices are a little expensive but nothing totally shocking, beer is about £4.50 a bottle but wine and spirits a lot more. One point – if your meeting people in there and they are waiting downstairs, you just tell a memeber of staff and they get to queue jump.

    So – yes l will also be staying away from Panacea and spending my money in places like Living Room/ Sky Bar / Press Club, rather than funding what seems like a place that gets you to spend your money and you get a smack on the nose for your trouble.

    P.s – when you watch the CCTV footage, have a look at the lad stood in the queue who for some reason is getting OFF on Joe Akka punching the customer yet the females stood there seem to be some what mortified… So with people like that stood in the queue, it speaks volumes of what sort of venue Panacea is!

  14. Charlotte Says:

    Me and a friend popped in here one evening after a ball thinking we could treat ourselves as we were very dressed up! Ugh what a horrible place, most of the women looked cheap and nasty. complete wag wannabes and as for the men, they all seemed to be wearing hidious shirts in some shade of pink and a spray tan! Not my kind of place at all, if you want plush surroundings and nice mix of people i’d reccomened room everytime!

  15. megs Says:

    I am planning on going to Panacea next thursday with some friends from out of town. They have heard a lot about it and want to check it out. Will it be crowded, do I need to get on the guest list? If so, how?

  16. coco Says:

    read the introduction people…”Panacea is an award winning restaurant and cocktail bar”. I’m sorry you’ve all had bad experiences but I have to disagree. I’ve been going for years, and I have a lot of friends who have too. I am a girl, do not have a cocaine addiction, nor am I a “wannabe wag”. I’ve never had a problem and in the years I’ve been going, I’ve only seen one fight. Believe it or not, bouncers do not enjoy beating people up…it jeapordises their licences and they risk getting arrested! There’s always 2 sides to every story.

    Bars like Panacea always seem to get the worst press because they are exclusive and the most fun to bitch about. You want to see fights? Go stand outside Moon Under Water or on Deansgate Locks on a Saturday night where drunks fight for fun. Trust me, then you’ll want to escape to somewhere like Panacea.

  17. siobhan Says:

    yeah everyone seen that fight a man was left almost dead and the manager of the panacea got jailed for it. Or are u refering to a different fight.

    as for not having a problem “yeah thats what they all say”

  18. amanda martini Says:

    hey, I love panacea !! every weekend for me and my friends… especially the bar staff are gorgeous! always have a bottel or two of pink champangne and good times!
    love amanda x

  19. Andy B Says:

    This club bar is poor and so show off. The doorman think they are in the remake of the Godfather movies and quite honestly Prohibition across the road is a much better night.

    No one in Manchester who is uses to the ‘nightlife’ go here anymore, it was a case of thanks but you let you doorstaff pick your customers and get out of a nice car close to the door and they turn green and refuse. Sad Bastards, hope it sinks in Alderly Edge also x

  20. JOSIE B Says:

    I visited Manchester from south wales last weekend for shopping and a more exclusive night out. I was not disappointed and had a fab time.

    Really surprised to read the reviews on Panacea. My freind and me were greeted by freindly door and bar staff had a great time just sitting and watching all types of people most of which were smiley and happy. Didn’t see any evidence of drugs in the loos just a few younger girls being sick!!!

    Also I am not a WAG wannabe but a married 38yr old curvy redhead with children and a business so the door policy obviously does not just select certain types and there were all sorts of different age groups in the bar.

    We chatted to lots of interesting people and was pleasantly surprised that went it got quite full there was no pushing and shoving as is usual in busy bars, people were quite respectful. I might be wrong but as the night gets busier then the door staff would probably have to get more selective as the place would end up full of chavs. (i came to Manchester to get away from this!!!)

    Some people might not have had a good experience there but i did so can only give my honest opinion.

  21. JOSIE B Says:

    Forgot to mention that the last time i was in Manchester we were abused by nasty boys/chavs in Sugar Lounge who were then ejected by the bouncers. But we still had a good time there.

    Life is what you make it, go out with a good attitude, don’t be an arsey drunk and you will probably have a good time!!

  22. Max Says:

    I can honestly recommend: Dont go there !!!
    The place is OK, but unfortunately the horrible staff turns it down. Especially the security guys create a horrible atmosphere.
    I saw many, many night clubs all over the world and I can tell you in every city you find better places than this one.

    We where repeatedly told not to lean on a back of a sofa because it was booked by celebrities. Come on, we didn’t even care who they where – it was beyond ridiculous.
    After a while one of my friend was drag out by a security guy without any reason (to be clear – we were not drunk at all).
    Actually, it was a god departure in away, because we couldn’t stand it there for much longer.

  23. LL Says:

    Best cocktails in town..well best bartenders really because to be fair you can get great cocktails in Ithaca , Walrus, Obsidian,Cloud 23, Living Rm, Prohibition – any decent 5* hotel bar Lowry, & Raddison do great ones, actually so does Manchester 235 CASINO.. I mean u get the point.
    Really the things you go to as bar for is 1. the alcohol ( ha! ) 2. the hot bartenders ? Ok that just me – but the other thing is the surroundings – otherwise you’d stay at home and drink right?
    And the setting is very nice – the B-list celebs, ( sometimes A-list – but I mean really that’s all opinion…) the Premiership footballers and the blonde Wags are merely additional selling points if u ask me! But that isn’t the reason I go, and it isnt reason enough for me TO NOT go either.
    U should see it for yourself- its a great night – and I love a bit of Motown ( who doesn’t? ), the prices aren’t wonderful – but it’s what you should expect from a bar of this nature.

    The door policy is a little OTT if u ask me – I still have friends that cannot get in, for absolutely no discernible reason, other than the personal opinion of the Door Staff…However if you get it – its worth it.
    And I’ll be heading to Panacea Alderly as soon as is physically possible. Because despite Mr Akka’s violent streak ( which Im neither openly condemning or commending – I think the law dealt with that matter – its not for me to pass judgement ) he certainly has an uncanny ability to create a great Bar.


  24. anon Says:

    My friend and I decided to try Panacea in Alderley Edge for New Years Eve. Really lovely venue, it is the abnoxious, stuck up attitude of some of the customers and staff that made it a traumatic experience. I had my bag taken, my phone, camera, lipstick, lip gloss and hairbrush were stolen and my bag disguarded and handed into reception. When the incident was reported to reception the lady seemed to think it was funny and that she couldn’t do ‘anything about it’. Also when we asked for our coats back they had been neatly filed on the floor in the cloakroom!! We spent a lot of money on drinks and it was unfortunate that it had to end like that. One saving grace was that someone found my phone and then called my Mum the next day to post it to me. Put a downer on the whole evening and I won’t be going back.

  25. Cew Says:

    I have to agree with the above comment with regards a recent visit to panacea in Alderley edge for a friends birthday.
    We decided to go upstairs to have a look and had left our coats downstairs as we were not planning on being gone for long. When we came back down my coat was missing so I asked the bar staff if anything had been handed in and was directed to the reception. I asked the same question and was met by an angry young man who responded with ‘what do you expect if you are stupid enough to leave it’.
    I agree that we should have checked our coats but I was only asking if he could check if it was there. I went to have another look in the bar area and was followed by this man who shouted at me ‘ you’re a chav get out’ and instucted the bouncers to block my way. During this my friends asked if they could leave a contact number in case anything was found and were handed a business card and told ‘ why should we bother to phone you take this’.
    I am appalled that staff can treat customers in this rude and aggressive manner and still be employed!
    It ruined the end of a good night out for a friends birthday, there was no need for it.
    On the whole the bar was fine, nothing special really. Good for people watching if you like leering older men or women with more stiches in their faces than their handbags. Not much atmosphere though so it’s no loss that we won’t be going again.

  26. A Says:

    Was not too keen on going to panacea cause i heard a lot of different things about the public in there.. yesterday were passing by with a couple of gfs and decided to check it out.. I have to say it was quite nice.. bouncers were nice and polite.. but i suppose they treat you the way you treat them.. Coming from Moscow I am used to a very different type of face control and dress code as any respectable place in there have them.. and trust me they are a lot tougher.. we had absolutely no problem at the door.. Venue was good, cocktails were ok.. and for the people in there.. I have no idea who local celebrities or footballers are and frankly I don’t care.. but the music could be better.. At the end of the day we had a good night

  27. Jenny Barlow Says:

    Everytime we go in Panacea we spend a firtune on champagne and cocktails but we have decided we will not be going in there again because of the way the head doorman treats people. If you like being spoken to like a piece of dirt then call in. You should be able to get in a place if you are well dressed and well spoken and not be intimidated by the small guy on the door with no hair. It is terrible how he speaks to people and shouts at women – I really think he is on a power trip and abuses his position there. If people cause trouble I would expect the doorman to be firm and get angry but he is picking on women that are well dressed and professional people. Terrible behaviour for a man of his position and should be reported

  28. . Says:

    door staff can be reported to the sia licensing authority just make sure u get their badge number which is displayed by law visible to customers on their arm

  29. tracey Says:

    i was absolutely appaulled when arriving at the bar on the recommendation of the staff at cinnabar to be treated so rudely by the doorman!! He initially greeted us with a smile then became some kind of jekyl accusing my affluent friend of having had too much to drink , 1 bottle of beer !! He then refused us admittance! reassuringly we .ad a pleasant evening enjoying the hospitality of other clubs and bars in the area. 100% not recommended.

  30. […] Panacea | Manchester Bar Reviews – Nov 02, 2006 · Panacea Manchester-14 John Dalton, Manchester, M2 6JR map. Panacea is an award winning restaurant and cocktail bar in the heart of Manchester. …… […]

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