New cocktail bar brings a smile to Broomhill
There’s plenty of good pubs in Broomhill; think of The York, The Notty House and the micro wonder that is the Itchy Pig, but we reckon there’s definitely space for a great cocktail bar to sink a few lovingly made snifters in. That’s why news that new bar Boulevardier recently opened its doors has got us hyped for the trip up the hill.
The new Glossop Road gin bar and lounge, named after the classic rye whisky-based negroni, which happens to be the owners favourite tipple, is nestled on the main road, and is offering a top-class list of unique cocktails, gins and wines.
The industrial feel of the bar is mixed with comfortable and luxurious furnishings, which offer vibrant pops of colour, and these plush surrounds is where we caught up with owner Matt Ward, who, after years of working behind bars in pubs and restaurants is setting out on his own venture for the first time with the intention of putting a big smile on resident’s faces.
Matt told Exposed: “I want people to walk in as a customer and see somebody that’s happy. The one thing I don’t like about bars, from a personal point of view, is when you walk in and nobody’s happy. They’re not happy to be there.
“I want people to come in here and feel a nice relaxing atmosphere. We try to keep it nice and warm, especially at this time of the year with the weather, so I want people to walk in and take their coat off straight away and feel comfortable here. We’ve got nice comfy chairs, and the drinks are outstanding.
“It is my first business on my own, and obviously I’m nervous, after such a tricky time with COVID. But that’s given me the impetus to do something for myself. I just sort of thought, why not?
Matt’s background is in bars and restaurants, in places like The Florentine just up the road in Fulwood, but to this point he hasn’t had the opportunity to indulge his passion for cocktails.
“I’ve worked in pubs and bars for years,” says Matt, “Some did cocktails, and that’s why I got into it. But in terms of nightclub bars, I have haven’t really done that before. Obviously, I have a passion for cocktails, so when it came to making a bar myself, I didn’t just want it to be a pub, I knew I wanted to have a cocktail bar.
“The idea really came from going up to Edinburgh with my partner for a bit of a holiday. We went to a little bar, similar sort of feel to here, but it just felt so welcoming, I didn’t want to leave. When I saw this unit in Broomhill, I thought there is a Broomhill pub crawl, but there’s not necessarily anywhere for a date night, for example, or cocktails pre and post meal. I think this fills that gap.”
From the hidden-away, private booth, which looks like prime real estate to share a cocktail with a few friends, to the fine glassware and exciting list of cocktails and wines, the venue has an opulent, but welcoming feel.
The cocktail menu matches the vibe, and has been kept to a few less well-known, or twists on classic cockatils. Table service is offered, but Matt encourages people to come and explore the bar to pick their own gins or ask for a cocktail that isn’t on the menu. He tells us his experienced staff will be able to find the perfect drink to suits anyone’s tastes.
Matt said: “We’ve got signature cocktails on the menu at the moment, but if you came in, you could ask for anything really, within reason, and we should be able to make it for you.
“That goes for the gins as well. We’re not just a lemon and lime sort of joint. The guys who work here know their stuff and they can tweak it with all the different botanicals we have behind the bar to suit somebody’s personal tastes.”
The wine list is equally striking and has been lovingly compiled by Le Bon Vin, and if cocktails aren’t your thing, you can still enjoy a nice pint from the bar’s single pump.
“Now that it’s open, it’s been quite good because the nerves have dissipated a little bit,” says Matt, “because they are slightly different cocktails, or they’re not really well known classics, when you put it down on the table and you see people’s face when they enjoy it, it’s like actually now I think I’m good. Now I know where I’m at. You know that it wasn’t a wasted venture, and all the time put into making good cocktails has been worth it.”
For more info on Boulevardier, go chuck them a follow on socials.