EVERYONE who likes a regular visit to Glasgow city centre’s pub scene was likely devastated when the news broke over the weekend that the Admiral Bar will soon shut its doors forever.
For 60 years, the iconic Waterloo Street venue has served the city’s people with pints, pizza, and an atmosphere that is hard to replicate, creating a ‘unique community’ as the owners called it when they made the sad announcement.
From the outside, it resembles a quaint Victorian-era tavern. But the inside combines a traditional pub with a basement club, hence why the Admiral Bar has become known for its eclectic mix of clientele, unforgettable club nights and its frequent tributes to a late music legend.
As well as the regular city-dwellers, the bar is no stranger to famous faces popping in for a pint – or a few – as former Glasgow Times columnist Gary Lamont once recalled when he visited The Admiral with Paisley singer Paolo Nutini, Claire Richards from 90s pop group Steps and actor Joe McFadden.
River City star Gary said: “What do you get when you cross Paolo Nutini, Claire from Steps and Joe McFadden from Holby City? A pretty surreal and boozy Saturday night out at the Admiral Bar, that's what!"
Pizzas served fresh and hot from a stone-baked oven are a popular choice for visitors looking to accompany their pint with a nice meal, especially during popular quiz nights.
In March 2020, when the bar was forced to close along with every other hospitality venue in the country due to the Covid pandemic, the team decided to use the dough it would have used to supply 70 pizzas to the homeless in Glasgow.
The Admiral Bar’s name regularly crops up when there is a worthy cause or charity in need of a fundraiser and a chance to use the venue’s gig space to make a difference.
In November last year, local folk rock group The Wakes performed to raise money for Fans Supporting Food Banks and The People's Pantry which collected food donations for those in need ahead of Christmas.
And even when the bar celebrates the memory of one of the music industry’s most loved and missed legends, helping others has remained at the forefront of what it does.
Since David Bowie’s death in 2016 from cancer, a tribute night has been held in his memory every year as far as Covid restrictions would allow.
Dave Ross, the owner of The Admiral, has said that it hosts the regular tribute events not only to keep his music and memory ‘burning brightly’, but to give something to charities with a connection to the glam rock icon’s life.
The veteran DJ and Bowie superfan previously told the Glasgow Times that the nights have raised around £10,000 over the years for organisations like Cancer Research, SAMH and the Beatson.
A series of parties are planned for the closing week of the Admiral Bar to make it the ‘busiest and best ever’ before a final farewell in March due to a redevelopment of the site.
A spokesperson said: “Closing a business is one thing; closing a successful, solvent and iconic institution has been another.”
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