So Esquire House has failed in its bid to get permission for a beer gardenRead More
One of the unfortunate side-effects of the work going on at Queen St station is that the station pub has shut. It's a shame. The staff were great and I have memories of sitting there for hours in the 1990s when it was the Clyde Bar. I used to delay my trips back to Aberdeen - where I worked for a while - for hours so I could have a few pints in what was an absolute dive of a bar. Happy days indeed.
Met up with an old pal last night for a couple of pints in The Drum and Monkey on St Vincent Street. It's a popular place for office workers and tourists and you get served pretty quicky. At £4.50, a pint of Schiehallion isn't cheap but it was cold and tasty.
We drained a couple of jars and headed to Yesbar on Drury Street. It opened in 2011 and Vespbar but was rebranded in the run-up to last year's Independence Referendum. Populated by a young, hip crowd, it has a friendly feel, runs comedy nights in the basesment and is definitely worth visiting ... no matter how you voted last year.
It's all change in the new-look Lauders in Sauchiehall Street. Actually, the new-look Lauders doesn't seem too different from the old Lauders but there is one major change. The "LADDIES" sign on the men's loo has gone and the toilets now bear the name "Gents".
Just as well perhaps. I've seen dozens of women disappear through the door thinking they were on their way to the "LADIES", only to be dragged to safety by one of the friendly male locals.
So BJs in Anniesland is no more. Months after a 4x4 smashed through a window, the pub has shut up shop for good. It was never one of my favourite pubs and quite often you'd pass by to see police tape outside after some brawl or disturbance. But it's one fewer Glasgow pub which presumably means job losses and I'll bet most of the punters will just move on to the Wetherspoons over the road.
That's worrying. Here's hoping a new boozer takes its place .
Visited Newcastle for the first time this week at the tender age of 43 and I was mightily impressed by the place. Beautiful city and I good pubs too. The Crown Posada pub was a particular highlight with a lovely wee snug area where I supped a pint of Grafitti IPA. Headed over the road to Brewdog and was well impressed by the beer and friendly staff. I think I'll be back in the Toon very soon.
Lots of 1990s tunes took me back a few years when I popped into Maggie Mae's on the Trongate. If you like your music, this is a good, bustling bet in the Merchant City. Don't go at the weekend if you fancy a cosy chat, though. It can get very, very loud.
I enjoy a pint of their lager so I'm pretty chuffed to read today that Scottish brewers Innis & Gunn are to open their own bar in Edinburgh's Lothian Road in July. They're promising another 5 boozers around Britain by 2017. Here's hoping Glasgow's high on their list of possible new venues.
This Glasgow weather is really getting me down. I can't believe that I'm still wearing a winter jacket in the middle of May. I was caught by the freezing rain in Partick and dived for cover into Sparkle Horse in Dowanhill Street.
It's the former Dowanhill Bar and is a warm and friendly place to stop for a pint while storms rage outside. Pleasant bar staff and locals and there's a selection of board games if that's your thing. It's a bit of a hidden gem but is just yards from Dumbarton Road and well worth checking out.
Visited the new West on the Corner very late on Saturday night. It's an impressive enough boozer. Nicely lit with plenty seats and tasty West beer. But I did feel a few nostalgia pangs for its predecessor at this Woodlands address, The Halt Bar. It wasn't as nearly posh and
had seen better days to be honest, but its circular bar was a favourite with bar flys and its nooks and crannies made it the perfect place to escape for an hour or three. Oh, and the music venue next door ... now the restaurant part of West's latest venture ... was a sweaty little gem.
Here's a question. What can you can do in Glasgow when you finish work at 10.30 at night?
It's too late to go out with my partner or pals and the kids are tucked up in bed. So playing with them or reading them a goodnight story is out. But once a week I enjoy a swift pint before I get the 6A bus home.
Auctioneers shuts at 11 so I usually visit the Counting House or Camperdown. It amazes me how busy they are even late on a Monday or a Tuesday night. The Counting House is teeming with students most evenings and they seem very happy to be in there. It's a cheap way to have a few jugs of cocktails before going on to a nightclub, I suppose. But I'm nearly 44, I don't like cocktails and the last club I was in was the dearly departed and sorely missed Clatty Patts on Great Western Road. And that was about 12 years ago.
So I opt for the Camperdown. It's darker and more atmospheric you normally get served a bit quicker than in the Counting House where sometimes you wait for what seems like an eternity.
I normally go for an Innis and Gunn lager or a pint of Caesar Augustus and settle down with my paper for 20 minutes of peace. It doesn't last long though. Soon I'm sprinting across West George Street to get the bus to Knightswood Cross. On board are a mixed bunch of passengers made up mostly of restaurant workers, people on their way home from a night on the town ... and me.
I'll admit, it's not exactly life in the fast lane but it beats a late night workout at the 24-hour gym in Jamaica Street. That won't be happening in this lifetime, believe me.
This is the beginning of my online look at pub culture. ... mainly in Glasgow where I live but also on my travels around Scotland, the rest of the UK and beyond. I started reviewing pubs last year when I was employed as a journalist on the Evening Times in Glasgow. You can read my published reviews below. I decided to leave the paper in December and now I'm in a position to launch this website and extend my love of pubs into something more personal. If you have any suggestions then please get in touch.