Bassano Bar

First Street is rapidly becoming the place to go for a night out. It’s already got some great places to eat and drink – Indian Tiffin Room, Liquor Store and Laundrette spring to mind.

Now it’s getting a little taste of northern Italy with The Bassano Bar, a pop-up opening at Pizza Express.

Local drinks enthusiast Dave Marsland has partnered with the pizza chain and Italian drinks brand Nardini Grappa to create a bar that will host a blend of classic Italian cocktails, a few with a Mancunian twist.

“The opportunity arose last year to come up with a concept with Pizza Express that would offer a more drink-focused element to the company, working in harmony with their current food offerings,” says Dave.

“An extension of this is the current Bassano Bar down in London, a pop-up owned and created by Nick Hopewell-Smith, which opened last year to huge success.



“There are certain cocktails and serves that you will see in the original Bassano Bar in London such as the classic Negroni, but the menu served up in Manchester will focus on more classic twists using a combination of Nardini Grappa and Aperitivo expressions, Campari, Aperol and Antica Formula.”

Whilst the idea has its roots in London, and the name takes its inspiration from the home of Nardini, Dave wanted to be sure that it had had a definite Mancunian stamp on it.

Sitting alongside Italian cocktails we all know and love such as the rich and bitter Negroni, the light and fizzy Aperol Spritz, and the fruity Frizzante Frutta, you’ll find the The Ha├žienda Sour and the Manchester Negroni featuring local gin producer Three Rivers – something that the Bassano Bar now replicates in London with East London Liquor Company.



“I wanted to make sure that we used a locally sourced gin that would offer up a great local talking point within one of Italy’s most famous cocktails. There’s also the Hacienda Sour, created with the location of First Street in mind, as well as the style of the Pizza Express site that we’re a part of, with its yellow and white striped furnishings and yellow wing-backed chairs on the terrace.” 



And don’t worry. Even if the weather we’ve had this week doesn’t last the whole summer, the Bossano terrace is under cover to avoid any unnecessary dilution of your cocktail or dampening of the atmosphere.

Now you can enjoy an aperitivo with hint of Veneto before you head in for your dough balls and pizza, or digestivo with a Mancunian twist before your head home. Saluti!

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