Manchester Independent Coffee Shops – Pot Kettle Black Cafe
About Pot Kettle Black
PKB is not your usual artisan, independent coffee shop, and it’s owners are nothing ordinary either. The place is owned by St Helens Rugby League stars Jon Wilkin and Mark Flanagan. The name of the cafe itself is an interesting one though.
Maybe the owners had an interesting take on modern coffee or cafe culture when they named the place? Who knows. The name stuck anyway and the cafe opened in Barton Arcade at the end of 2014, serving coffee to city centre shoppers in Manchester.What a superb location for an establishment like this too. Barton Arcade is a Victorian shopping arcade construction in 1871. It’s glass and iron beauty has been refurbished and sold several times and survived well, in 1972 it was granted grade II listed status.
You can tell by looking round the small shopping arcade that it used to be a hive of activity and shopping in older times. Now it seems the life cycle of the place is coming full circle; a collection of little independents restoring the tiny shopping centre to (almost) it’s former glory.
The Food & Coffee at Pot Kettle Black
So, what is it like to go there for lunch or a drink? The menu is simple yet effective with a solid 12 ways to enjoy your brew. From Cappucino to nice and Boozy you are well and truly covered here.
Strength wise I’d give the blend a 3-4 on the commonly used “out of 5” scale in the UK. An easy, smooth drink that goes down well with textured milk. Served with a small glass of water, the flat white was a really enjoyable, warming drink. The sort that can bring you back up after a heavy night, or warm you all the way through on a freezing cold day.
When it comes to the food you won’t feel let down. The breakfast muffin is a great start to the day. A toasted English muffin layered with Cheese, egg and Chorizo, and what a flavour. The spicy sausage is an excellent addition to the sandwich and certainly helps to cure those weekend hangovers and feeling lazy mornings.
Accompany an item like this from the menu with one of the stunning coffees available and you’ve got the perfect warmer for those cold weekends.If you are coming at the weekend it’s advisable to come a little earlier than normal. The place was almost full of customers at around 12pm during my visit. There is a large community table directly opposite the entrance though; ideal for extra seating during busy periods. If you also like to read the paper during your lunch you will be thankful for the extra table room. Speaking of newspapers the latest reading material is usually placed around the cafe for you to enjoy with your break.
Getting to PKB and the Barton Arcade
How do we get there? Quite easily. Ideally located slap bang in the middle of the Manchester shopping district and accessible from Deansgate and Exchange St side, you won’t struggle to find it. It’s actually just round the corner from the Exchange Theatre. For those using a sat nav to direct you, the post code is M3 2BW.
Travelling here from afar and staying in the city centre? My best advice would be to take public transport. Parking prices can be ridiculous in and around the centre and most areas are easily accessible by foot and the free shuttle bus services. Plus, if you decide to get public transport you don’t have to worry about driving through the sometimes crazy traffic Manchester has to offer.