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This is not an exhaustive list, but more
of a list of places we have drank – there are some
very well-regarded pubs that are not on this list. Make
of that what you will…
I've tried to lay them out in a logical
order for a pub crawl, but given that Central and Queen
Street are only 10 minutes walk away from each other these
can easily be mixed and matched.
Note: if you are a visiting
away supporter, check here
for an interesting, sociological guide to "pub culture"
(mostly aimed at London and the south-east of England)
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Queen Street Station
The Iron Horse, West
Nile Street – a perennial matchday favourite of Scotland
fans, this is an otherwise typical (i.e. karaoke on a Sunday
night) city centre pub that can get very busy before and
after games, and not always pleasantly so. Bouncers (usually
very friendly) on the doors, and often full by 10.30am (opens
at 8am Mon-Sat), but on the plus side, they often run buses
straight to the ground.
Nile Street – Another early opener and right over
the road from the ‘Horse’, Alfredo’s is
the more genteel option. This long pub opens up a wee bit
around the bar at the back, and we hope the pricey breakfasts
and long waits to get served are now a thing of the past
as it competes with the pub over the road for the Tartan
The Vale, Dundas Street
– The better of the two pubs on the doorstep of Queen
Street at the Dundas Street exit (off the mainline trains
and turn right). Very popular with large tranches of out-of-town
Tartan Army, possibly for its eclectic bottled beer range,
this is a very functional single room basic Glasgow boozer,
with obscenely low prices. Note: if you’re in the
market for a very cheap glengarry hat, the Army Surplus
store up the steps (next to the Celtic Shop) used to knock
them out for under £20.
The Phoenix, West George
Street – out of Queen Street and turn right. Once
a NATA favourite for meeting the Inverness Boys in. Used
to be called The Hogshead.
The Counting House, George
Square – Massive Wetherspoons pub on the corner of
George Square. Once had an ambivalent attitude towards football
colours, but now seems to have seen the light with Scotland
games. Very popular, and very handy for Queen Street (and
on the way to Central).
Queen Street – Not universally popular, but this chain
Irish pub does offer excellent Guinness. Next pub down from
the Counting House.
The Ingram, Queen Street
– across the road from O’Neills and The Counting
House, the Ingram is a very ornate pub with a couple of
well-kept real ales and the usual selection of other drinks.
The Pot Still, Hope Street–
a cracking, but small, pub with a great selection of whiskies
and some great real ale.
The Station Bar, Port
Dundas Road – not next to the rail station, and around
500 yards north of the bus station, this excellent back
street local has well kept beers and some big tellys.
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Glasgow Central Station
The Horseshoe, Drury
Lane – claims to one of the longest uninterrupted
bars in the world, this is a favourite of Glasgow meedja
tart Ally McCoist, and once hosted Travis practice sessions
upstairs. Opens at 10am, but can get very, very busy. One
for midweek matchday lunchtime drinks (although then you’ll
be vying for space with the “suits”).
The Buchanan, Howard
Street– don’t. Honestly, don’t.
Fat Boab’s Ale Hoose,
Howard Street– at the back of St Enoch’s Square,
and therefore handy for the station, this bright-and-breezy,
friendly pub is a favourite with students, but is usually
not too busy for a lunchtime drink.
The Scotia, Stockwell
Street – NATA’s seminal favourite pre-match
watering hole. A small, tight pub with plenty of character
and pie and beans for around £1.50. Check out their
own website. Loads of character (and Glasgow’s oldest
pub, to boot), and home to the Glasgow folk club, this place
is definitely worth a visit, as is…
The Clutha Vaults, Stockwell
Street – sister pub of The Scotia, and just over the
road on the corner by the bridge. A slightly different shape,
and more open, which is better for nutter-watching (“anyone
want to buy a carpet?”), less so for enjoying a quiet
Victoria Bar, Stockwell
Street – right next door, and just around the corner,
to the Clutha. Another pub with a musical heritage and some
cracking old-style gig posters on the wall.
The Steps Bar, Glassford
Street – amazingly historic art deco style pub, halfway
between George Square and the Scotia Bar.
Blackfriars, corner of
Bell Street and Albion Street – insanely popular pub
with a fantastic selection of real ales and continental
Square – very popular with certain echelons of WESTA
and the Glasgow-based Sporran Legion members, this is your
WEST Brewery, Templeton
Building, Glasgow Green – this isn’t that close
to Central Station, and considering the surrounding area,
I’d recommend cabbing it in and out, but this German-style
brewpub is well worth a visit for its fantastic (but pricey)
beer and cracking food. A good lunchtime bet before a midweek
game, but possibly too out of the way for Saturday 3pm kick-offs.
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Near the ground
Due to the vagaries of public transport
in Glasgow, more and more fans are wisely choosing to sup
their last pints (often preceded by a few, mind!) closer
to the ground. I have looked at three different areas for
- Victoria Road -
far and away the most popular area
Road - close to Vicky Road, but slightly further away
- Other areas -
this is an amalgamation of 4 pubs that form a semi-circle
around the east of Hampden. I've not been in any of them,
but it's still worth letting you know about them.
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A very popular drinking area for the Tartan
Army, and around 15-20 minutes walk from Hampden (see directions
from Queens Park station). Again, I can’t vouch for
all of these, but the following are pretty popular:
The Pandora, corner of
Victoria Road and Calder Street – Ridiculously popular
pub, a big favourite with the users of the TAMB. Get here
early or don’t get in (bouncers enforce a one-out,
one-in policy when it’s full). Expect a fantastic
atmosphere, Tartan Army karaoke, singing and camaraderie–
the price for this is long waits at the bar, obstacle courses
to the toilets, and the toilets themselves… consider
Victoria Arms, corner
of Victoria Road and Allison Street – Used as an overflow
for The Pandora, however it has been known to shut its doors
to all but regulars, particularly after games. If you do
get in, it’s very friendly, and very reasonably-priced,
with a big screen, lots of seats and good service.
Tir Chonnail, formerly
O’Donnells and Nickie Tams, corner of Victoria Road
and Torrisdale Street – the closest pub to Queens
Park station. I haven’t been in since the refurbishment
(or the last two name changes), but before then it was a
pretty standard southside boozer.
Sreet - (next to Queens Park Station), come out of Queens
Park and turn right before doubling back on yourself –
McNeills is a two-storey grey building, and was formerly
owned by ex-Celtic and Scotland captain Billy McNeill. This
was a great place to drink in the past, although again Rangers
fans may not feel quite as comfortable, although reports
reach me that it has lost some of its allure since Billy
sold the place on.
The Queens Park Café,
Victoria Road – tea and scones? Not quite - situated
at the end of Vicky Road closest to Hampden, the QPC is
not a café but a large, multi-roomed boozer. Once
the pub of choice, then fell out of favour – now it
seems to fill up quite quickly, and relies on plastic glasses
to satisfy the packed clientele. Not a bad place, but not
the best either.
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If drinking here, allow extra time, as
it’s a good 25-minute walk (either via Langside Avenue
or Vicky Road).
Allison Arms, Pollokshaws
Road – a NATA favourite, this traditional pub is a
great boozer, but has fallen out of favour with the Tartan
Army over the past few years. I like it because of the name!
Road – an enigmatic single-roomed pub with a ladder
in the Gents, and a Ladies toilet added as an afterthought.
Possibly the best Guinness in Glasgow!
Corona, Shawlands Cross
– a standard pub, best known for being the boozer
next door to…
The Shed, Shawlands Cross
– this nightclub has played host to some legendary
WESTA pre-match parties over the past few years. Ticket-only,
these tend to go to members of the established Tartan Army
clubs very quickly.
Budda Southside, Langside
Avenue – the walk from Shawlands Cross down Langside
Avenue will bring you up to a large pub on the right hand
side called Budda Southside. Never been in, but there were
plenty of Tartan Army using it last time and it has a reputation
for drinks deals and a warm welcome for Scottish fans.
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I’ve not been in most of these, but they are there,
and are handy (of sorts) for Hampden. The following are
observations based on the outside of the pub, the location
and other people’s opinions:
The Brazen Head – Just about the
first pub you’ll get to if walking from the city to
Hampden. The Brazen Head stands forebodingly on a major
road junction in The Gorbals, and is famous for being Glasgow’s
only Italian-Irish theme pub. Very much a Celtic pub –
there have been rumblings of trouble recently (the integral
“nightclub” has had problems with it’s
licence renewal. I’ve seen from many a taxi window
and never felt the need to go in. It has it's own website
here, which may give you an inkling of the customers' inclinations!
The International Bar – At the top
end of Aikenhead Road (between Hampden and the City), the
International has a reputation as being a “functional”
(read: spit and sawdust) Glasgow boozer. Note: this pub
may now have closed permanently, or may have reopened after
Beechwood, Aikenhead Road – A social-club
like exterior, but yet again I’ve never been in, and
I’ve only ever been past it after games on the way
to Kings Park station (the pub is about halfway from the
ground to the station). Looks like it gets very busy, and
is in a residential area, so wouldn’t be surprised
if they have a regulars-only policy.
The Clockwork Beer Company, Cathcart Road
– Near Cathcart Station (on the same circle as Mount
Florida and Queens Park) – the Clockwork is usually
a very nice pub and is famed for it’s beer range.
The beers on offer range from the in-house brew, a good
selection of real ales and normal beers, through to the
more eclectic: pear cider (it’s only an alcopop!)
and the like. Now for the bad news – the Clockwork
is almost always ticket only, uses plastic glasses on matchdays
and the tickets are taken up by Supporters buses and locals.
Might be worth a try if you’re in the area or visiting
the Hampden museum.
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