I visited Manchester for a long weekend with my boyfriend and we did day tours to Liverpool and York. I always wanted to see the birthplace of the best band in the world, so Liverpool was a top priority. After visiting the Beatles sights, we ended up on Hope Street, apparently awarded as the “Best Street in the UK”. We were hungry and looking for a place to eat. All of the sudden we passed by an interesting entrance with a sign “Death Row Diner” and a mug shot above. Ok, now I was really curious and wanted to know what this place is about. We followed the creepy looking stairs down to the basement until we reached an armour-plated door with a little window. The door was closed. We didn´t figure out how to get in, was there a secret code? Luckily someone came out in that moment so we could enter. I am sure there is some stupid trick ;).
Death Row Diner
Death Row Diner (Website) is a burger-joint with a fairly unusual and controversial concept. The bar & diner is designed like a prison. I loved the obscure atmosphere. Red neon lights were illuminating the otherwise dark room and I somehow felt like getting into a dark Quentin Tarantino movie. There are mug shots hanging on the walls as well as prisoner records and a big jesus cross. Furthermore there are cartoons of famous prisoners and telephones were you can listen to those inmate´s last words. As a highlight there is a red neon light installation of the British artist Robert Montgomery, that in my opinion couldn´t fit better to the atmosphere of the Death Row Diner:
Echos of voices in the high towers all wounds explained here all knives bandaged all empires arrested all castles unbuilt all hearts unbroken” author=”Robert Montgomery
Death Row Diner is furnished with simple long metal tables and benches (canteen style), brick walls and metal fences to seperate the rooms and give the real “prison feeling”.
The burgers at Death Row Diner were really good and portions huge. I ordered the Chili Cheese Fries, a real “death sin” but it´s one of my favourites for junk food ;). The dishes were served with the fitting authentic look ;), paper place mats that had a picture of a prison style tray with the last cigarette pack and matches. Of course the food itself gets served in an aluminium tray ;). The prices for UK level are not expensive at all.
To summarize, I really liked the Death Row Diner! I know some people might think the concept is obscene and probably they are right. There were a lot of discussions in the press. A similar pop-up store in London got closed after people were complaining. But I think it´s just a burger place with an unusual fantasy concept and you should know by now that these kind of places always attract me :).