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4 August 2020

Two Glasgow pubs are benefiting from upgrades into top quality community locals as part of a £1.04 million investment in Scotland’s West Central Belt pubs by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars during 2020.

Work is set to start on a £325,000 refurbishment of The Princess in Riddrie, whilst The Drum in Shettleston reopens this week following a £210,000 makeover. The programme also includes refurbishments of The Abbey Bar in Paisley and The Spateston Inn (formerly The Osprey) in Spateston. The projects are transforming the pubs inside and out, making them more comfortable and contemporary and introducing improved sports viewing, new food menus and extended drinks ranges. 30 new jobs will be created.

The joint investment at The Princess is being undertaken with mother and daughter team, Adrienne Greenaway and Victoria Asghar, who have run the pub for nearly 20 years. The revamp will provide the Glasgow local with a smart new look and a welcoming appearance that will enhance the neighbourhood. As well as installing new windows, the project will render and paint the building and add new signage and lighting.

The pub’s garden will be turned into one of the best outdoor spaces in the area. Perfect for social distancing, it will have seating for 80, new decking and pretty planting plus covered sections and heating for year-round use. The improvements inside The Princess will be equally dramatic. The overhaul features new toilets, a refitted kitchen and a stylish design complete with wood floors and booth seating.

Explains Victoria: “We’ve been closed since lockdown. The Princess is a hub of the community and regulars are missing it terribly. We want to give Riddrie a really great local, so hopefully people will feel it’s worth the wait. We’ll be able to properly cater for women, families and senior citizens for the first time. We’ll have everything from special meals for children to prosecco for ladies’ get-togethers. Residents won’t have to travel into the centre for a meal, entertainment or a fantastic night out anymore, it’ll all be on the doorstep. For those concerned about using public transport during the pandemic, that should be a real added bonus.”

The reopening of The Drum has been delayed by four months due to the pandemic. The refurbishment has broadened its appeal and made it family-friendly and inviting to all. The previously dated pub now boasts a rustic urban style with wood floors and paneling, leather seating and café style windows. Traditional features such as the coach lights have been retained, and the original snug restored for group bookings. Plus, for sports enthusiasts, there are high tables with their own mini TVs and big screens.

The development has trebled the drinks available and brought in premium wines, spirits and cocktails as well as homemade food. Ingredients are sourced from West Coast suppliers and the menu spans pub classics, daily-changing burgers and dishes with a modern twist.

Says operator John O’Malley: “The Drum has been part of Shettleston since 1868 but had lost its way and appeal in recent years. Our aim is to give The Drum a new direction that meets the needs of everyone in the community and puts it back on the map. People are desperate for good news at the moment. There’s been lots of excitement about the prospect of a new-look local. We’ve had a terrific response from regulars and residents.”

Comments Lawson Mountstevens, managing director of Star Pubs & Bars: “We’re firm believers in the future of community locals. In challenging times such as these, they’re even more important to the residents they serve. However, they need to keep pace with pubgoers’ changing expectations. These refurbishments will reward regulars for their loyalty and attract the new customers pubs need to thrive for the long term.

“This investment also underlines the benefits of the tied pubs model for licensees. It comes at a time when the lower risk and higher support of the tied model in Scotland is in danger of being jeopardised by The Tied Pubs Bill now being considered by the Scottish Parliament.”

Star Pubs & Bars has 240 pubs in Scotland including more than 50 pubs in the Glasgow area.

Work starts at The Princess on 10th August. The Princess is expected to open in early October.

The Drum reopened on 3rd August.