Discover the spirit of downtown Brantford

Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
Brando’s Beach House bar, a popular spot in town for students.

After a long and hard school week, students need to let off steam. For some students, this can look like curling up with a good book, taking time to watch a movie with friends or indulging in a bit of retail therapy. These are all great ways to unwind from midterms, discussion posts and research papers, but for some students, a night out on the town is exactly what gives them the energy for another week ahead of schoolwork.

Flashing lights, thumping bass from loud speakers and close friends dancing their nights away are the perfect formular for a great night out. In Brantford, there are many bars and pubs that meet the needs of all students, but not many students venture out past the downtown core, which is unfortunate because there are great spots for good friends and cheers just beyond campus. One of these great hidden gems and local favourites is Manny’s Place.

Manny’s Place is located at 125 Stanley St. and specializes in live entertainment, karaoke and live music every Friday and Saturday night. Manny’s is the only bar in the city that provides a full sound and lighting stage for the bands that play in it. As owner Manny Capinding said, “We give the full concert experience.” Bands from across the province travel to this bar to showcase their musical talent, and locals show off their own singing abilities on open mic nights as well.

Capinding said the bar scene in Brantford is very lively and the bar owners are all great friends who support each other’s businesses and genuinely care about their customers.

“I’m great friends with pretty much every bar owner in the city. We do a lot of fundraisers for people in the community,” he said, adding that locals use bar venues for celebrations of life. “If somebody lost a loved one and they’ll reach out to one of the bars that they frequent at, they’ll hold a celebration of life there. So a lot of local bars will open their doors up to the community in that way.”

Manny’s has a slew of regulars who filter in and out throughout the week, but he also hopes to attract more students.

“We’ve been trying to find a way to reach out to the students to let them know there’s other places that that will provide a lot of fun for them outside of the downtown core,” said Capinding. “There’s a lot of bars that branch out and provide all kinds of fun.”

There is something to do almost every night at Manny’s and it is all centered around live entertainment.

“On Thursdays, we do open jam, so we get a lot of musicians that come out and they get on stage,” said Capinding, adding that many solo artists at all levels of experience are welcome and all they must do is sign up. “It is just a bunch of musicians doing their thing on stage, just playing music.”

As the school year comes to a close and some extra adventure is needed, students might find themselves travelling beyond Market and West Street.

Serena Anagbe / Photo Editor
The Vegas bar in downtown Brantford.

This article was originally published in print Volume 23, Issue 8 on Thursday, April 4.

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