Manchester’s Best Independent Music Venues: The Eagle Inn

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Set back from Trinity Way in the middle of a construction site, the Eagle Inn is not a place you are likely to stumble upon.

Unpretentiously located in the middle of Salford’s utopian future is a pub with dwellings that date back to the mid 1800s.

The Eagle Inn is a place for true beer drinkers, the kind of bettors who take refuge in the terra cotta buildings of the past and set the world right in sunny beer gardens.

It has existed in the same location since 1902, when owner John Stone ran the pub while tending to a nearby coal yard selling paraffin – giving it the nickname “the lamp oil‘.

Since then the Joseph Holt Institute has passed through the hands of many, but now the Eagle Inn is rightly described as a ‘hidden gem‘, surrounded by an abundance of newly constructed apartment blocks and industrial units set back from Trinity Way.

You wouldn’t fall for it. It survives its regulars and the whispered words of mouths that cannot remain silent about its mischievous and truly undeniable charm.

In 2012, 25-year-old musician and Salford enthusiast, Esther Maylor reclaimed the aging venue with the aim of putting it back on the map as a street boozer built for the city’s creatives.

“The first time I walked into the pub, I was served by a guy with half an ear,” she laughed. “I asked for a glass of wine and he disappeared for about 20 minutes before returning with a dusty bottle of Rioja that his wife had probably won in a Christmas raffle.

“I had to uncork it myself and he poured it into a MUG. It was kind of inevitable that the place fell into my hands!

With neighbors like Blueprint StudiosEsther’s vision was to create a pub that would welcome musicians from across the road with warm, welcoming arms.

“There was a lot of room for growth and that’s what I wanted to do, I didn’t want to have a pub that was already quite established, I wanted to create a small project for myself and I definitely did that with The Eagle,” she explained.

Stepping into the room is like slipping your keys in the front door after a long day at work. The pub’s presence sets it apart from the intimidating cocktail bars of the city center, and it’s the kind of place that harbors intimate conversations with people you’ve only known for 10 minutes.

Its wide selection of craft beers served from its central bar has also put the pub on the map as one of the best, and paired with packs of Pombears which can be bought from some of the friendliest bar staff around. Northwest, you will feel at home.

When Esther took over the space, the first major development she made was to transform the last remaining terraced house which was attached to the pub in a concert hall which would continue to be a catalyst for local talent.

“It’s hard for pubs to survive without having that extra supply, be it food or music. It made more sense to me for The Eagle to have a live venue, mainly because that’s my background, but also because it is so difficult to find us,” continued Esther.

“We are located very far in the middle of a construction site, so you literally don’t bump into us. The pub needed the help of bands and musicians to attract people to the area.

Over the years, The Eagle has seen people as Irish post-punk, DC fountains take on his intimate stage, alongside other iconic acts, including Stephen Fretwelland longtime friend of the pub, Guy Garvey.

“We even had a few members of the Red Hot Chilli Peppers here having a pint,” Esther told me. “Next year I’m planning to do a series of concerts involving people who you wouldn’t normally expect to play The Eagle, which should be very exciting!”

This weekend marks 10 years since the day the Eagle Inn was in the hands of Esther, so what better way to celebrate than a stellar FREE party all day featuring some of the best musicians in town.

Beginning at 3:00 p.m. on Saturday April 2, The Eagle Inn will host sugar stone, Dakota AvenueManchester legends cover band, The skiveall alongside the set of Esther, tiger side which beautifully mimic the baggy 90s sounds of a Salford boozer.

There will be wonderful food House of Habesha all day, at the service of the best authentic Eritrean and Ethiopian cuisine and DJs will keep the party going in the venue’s newly renovated outdoor space until the early hours.

“It’s really just a celebration of the Eagle,” Esther concluded.

“I just want everyone to come down and have fun. Everyone is welcome, punters past and present, staff old and new, just anyone who’s ever had a love for The Eagle, really. We’re also going to be doing drink deals, so hopefully people will come and have a great time!

The Auberge de l’Aigle is open Sunday to Wednesday from 3:00 p.m. to 12:00 a.m., Thursday from 3:00 p.m. to 1:00 a.m. and Friday to Saturday from 3:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m.

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Events to come

Dancing on architecture
friday april 1st
Hailing from the depths of Liverpool, Dancing to Architecture first and foremost creates music to dance to. Influenced by funk, soul, rhythm and blues, they’ll be bringing their driving bass beats to The Eagle this Friday!

Little brother
Wednesday April 13
Irish singer-songwriter, Junior Brother is the pseudonym of Co.Kerry native Ronan Kealy. Her traditional Irish folk fuses with her poetic vocals creating haunting melodies that are raw and austere, nodding to her heritage.

Trespassers will be celebrated
Monday April 21
On the 90th anniversary of the Kinder Scout Mass Intrusion, the Working Class Movement Library is hosting a symposium on the “red” politics of mass intrusion in the 1930s and its resonance and legacy for the “green” policy of the climate emergency of the 2020s. The symposium will be led by a panel of current and former activists and researchers familiar with historical politics of land ownership and landscape belonging, and contemporary politics of land and climate justice.

Olivier Lomax
Saturday May 21
Oliver Lomax is a poet based in the North West. Her work spans film, television and her own books titled ‘A Portrait Of The Artist As A Young Nan’ and ‘The Dandelion Clock’. In 2020, he released his first spoken word single Don’t laugh at my Astro Turf Dianehailed by BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson as “An ungodly hybrid of John Cooper Clarke and Mark E. Smith”.

Alphabetamines
Saturday May 28
Powerful punk couple, The Alphabetamines embark on their first-ever UK tour in May, and they stop at the Eagle Inn. With the growls of 2007’s Pete Doherty still present in their music, the duo put a new stamp on rock and roll heartbreak, with their songs delving into the difficulties of love and addiction.

All tickets can be booked here…

Events at the Auberge de l’Aigle

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