New Wigan bar celebrates George Orwell's dystopian nightmare 1984

Sam Taylor, co-owner of new Orwell themed bar, 1984
Sam Taylor, co-owner of new Orwell themed bar, 1984

Our beer expert Andrew Nowell predicts visitors will love bar's Big Brother theme...

Big Brother will be making sure Wiganers enjoy a night out at the town’s newest bar based on the dystopian nightmare of one of George Orwell’s best-known books.

New nightspot 1984 opened in the railway arches beneath Wigan North Western at the end of last week with a focus on cocktails served in a relaxed, industrial setting.

The place is the brainchild of Michael Brennan, who suggested the Orwell theme as 1984 is his favourite book, and fellow businessman Sam Taylor.

The menu in particular is full of literary touches and Michael hopes the idea for the bar will help 1984 stand out among a series of leisure and drinking businesses now calling the arches home.

He said: “It’s exciting to have it open. We’re a bit nervous but once we’ve got going it will be fine.

“I just love how relevant 1984 as a dystopian novel is to politics today all over thw world. I’ve always wanted to open a bar and decided to combine that with my favourite book.

“We’ve got cocktails based on the themes and characters from the book. There’s one called Winston’s Hideaway which is a reference to where he keeps his diaries and things from the shop he isn’t allowed to have, and we’ve got a Big Brother Iced Tea.

“In the book Winston also goes into a pub which is very traditional and old-style. We’ve tried to incorporate that into the bar while also keeping it modern and fresh.

“Every arch here has something different. Wigan Central focuses on real ale, Hideout Wigan has its extensive wine list, next door will be a tapas bar and we’re primarily concerned with cocktails.

“We’re going for something that resembles a cafe feel. It will have a calm, relaxed atmosphere but you can still have a good time, with none of the rowdiness of King Street.”

Michael and Sam are also stocking a range of lagers on tap, three or four guest ales and a number of bottled lagers in the fridge along with Rekorderlig cider from Scandinavia. There will also be a full range of premium spirits.

Michael has previously run a cocktail bar in Lancaster while Sam has 10 years of experience in bar and catering work. They are bringing the new business to their hometown as they both live near Trencherfield Mill.

The duo also applied for a licence at around the same time as Plata Tapas, which will be next to them at the railway location and run by Ashton resident David Davies and his business partner David Brunt.

Earlier this month Plata posted on social media showing the construction work in progress and saying the bar and kitchen was about to be fitted.

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