Disorder: New Joy Division-themed bar splits opinion on social media

The owners intended for the bar to be "a love letter to Manchester music"

A new Joy Division-themed bar in Manchester has divided opinion across social media.

The bar, which has opened today (February 17) in the Northern Quarter of the band’s hometown, features a mural of late frontman Ian Curtis in the corner and a green neon ‘Unknown Pleasures’ sign – in reference to their landmark 1979 debut – on the wall. Described by its owners as “a love letter to Manchester music” by its own, it is serving Japanese fusion dishes with ‘Manchester vibes’. Located downstairs is a ‘dive bar’ setup, with a DJ booth and a stage area for bands to play.

Happy Mondays’ Bez and Rowetta will be DJing alongside a handful of bands tonight at the venue’s grand opening.


A tweet by the Northern Quarter’s official Twitter account has been viewed over 1.7million times, but the reaction has been mixed.

Writer Nooruddean Choudry, who is local to the area, tweeted: “I don’t want to shit on anyone trying to make a go of a business venture in this economy, but in general Manchester needs to stop worshipping its cultural past. It’s the antithesis of the spirit all these bands shared. They were young and exciting and different, not looking back.”

In response to Choudry’s tweet, another Twitter user added that he thought the idea for the bar was “deeply cringe” for trying to cater to “balding middle class dads rather than young people”.


A third user noted that the bar reflected Manchester’s “biggest problem culturally”, namely its preoccupation with the past. “A city obsessed with a nostalgic view of its identity, failing to keep an eye on how the vacuum of what it is now was being occupied by corporate greed and expensive flats.”

Others were confused about the bar’s food offering. “The menu should be a tribute to the era,” one Twitter user suggested. “Smash, tinned soup, beans and sausages in a tin, cabbage boiled to death, Angel Delight etc. or have a bloke on a dirty white coat selling hot dogs from a cart.”

Some people defended the idea, however, with one user arguing it should be appreciated more in the midst of a difficult economic climate.

There’s a lot negative comments about this but personally I think that if people enjoy it and it does good then good on whoever is running it, especially in the current climate. If the ‘This is everything that’s wrong with Manchester’ brigade don’t like it then don’t go,” another Twitter user added.

Earlier this month, Joy Division and New Order were jointly nominated for induction into the Rock & Roll Hall Of Fame. Peter Hook said that he hoped the nomination could be an “olive branch” for his estranged bandmates. He estimated that he hadn’t spoken to them in 11 years due to a fall-out over a royalties row.

You May Like