A Pub With No Beer
A Pub With No Beer
By: jbhthescots@mac.com, Categories: Words & Images, Comments Off on A Pub With No Beer



Some headlines just write themselves. My heart skipped a beat a year or so back when I learned that an old Glasgow Pub favourite, which has been closed for a number of years, was going to open its doors once again – rising, I thought, like the proverbial pub phoenix from the ashes to quench the thirst of hard-working Glaswegians.


The Mitre Bar in Merchant City was a small and intimate city bar – so small and intimate, in fact, that it was a full house with half a dozen punters in it. It first opened in 1927 and served generations of thirsty Glaswegians until the key was finally put in the door for the last time around a decade ago. The pub lay a graffitied mess in a street that has seen better days. It’s probably no different from the countless thousands of other pubs around the country that have had to pull their last pint and bid their fond adieus as they go to the wall.


Alas, I was to be disappointed on hearing further details of its re-opening. While it was a re-opening of sorts, it was only as an exhibit in the new £75 million Riverside Transport Museum on the Clyde, and not as a working pub with beer for sale, as I had hoped for. The entire pub; fixtures, fittings, signage, lock, stock and beer barrel had been removed and relocated to become part of the Museum’s Flagship exhibit – a typical Glasgow High St from the early twentieth century complete with a grocery store, butcher, cobbler and even The Rendevous Cafe from Glasgow’s Duke St that has also been given the Mitre treatment and moved brick by brick to the museum.


But for the purists for this wonderful city pub, there lies – not far from where it originally served the public – one of its landmarks: its original neon sign has been erected in the back alley of Tontine Lane, not far from Douglas Gordon’s “Empire” sign, as seen in a recent blog entry.


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