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28 February 2020

A much-loved Paisley local that has been serving residents for nearly 100 years is to receive a £200,000 revamp to secure its future and add to the regeneration of the town centre.

The refurbishment of The Abbey on Lawn Street is being undertaken by Heineken-owned Star Pubs & Bars and the pub’s lessee, Ronnie Saez. It will upgrade the tired local to create a great quality pub that complements the redevelopment of the area and investment in the nearby Town Hall.

The pub will close its doors on 1st March and is scheduled to reopen towards the end of the month.

To improve The Abbey’s external appearance and the look of Lawn Street, the work will completely renovate the outside of the building and add new signage and lighting. A small backyard will be converted into a courtyard garden with flowers and festoon lighting.

A full interior makeover will replace the toilets and make The Abbey more comfortable and contemporary. The new look will feature exposed brickwork, wood floors, warm colours and leather-covered booth seating plus a glass door opening onto the courtyard to let in more light.

Licensee and Paisley resident Yvonne Mcgillivray is bringing in a host of other changes to further broaden the pub’s appeal. As well as introducing Cajun food alongside traditional pub favourites, Yvonne is extending the drinks choice by adding great quality coffee and a new selection of premium wines, spirits and beers. To ensure consistently excellent draught beer and cider, the project will also overhaul the cellar with state-of-the-art dispense equipment. And, with the upcoming Euros and Olympics in mind, four new high-definition screens will be installed to cater for the needs of local sports fans. 

Says Yvonne, who started at The Abbey in 2006: “I loved the pub’s quaint feel and how friendly the regulars were the minute I walked in. Our customers’ loyalty has kept the Abbey alive – we’ve got some regulars who’ve been coming in for more than 50 years. However, just like Paisley’s town centre, The Abbey needs a new direction if it’s to thrive for the long term. The Council has recognised there’s a real opportunity to attract people to the town by creating new leisure opportunities. A good pub, bar and restaurant scene will be key. We want to play our part by bringing The Abbey and all it offers into the twenty-first century, giving pub-goers the more premium experience they want.”

Comments Brian Davidson, Star Pubs & Bars’ operations director for Scotland: “The plans for Paisley are really exciting and should draw new people into its centre. With more housing under construction, too, there’ll be a real demand for excellent pubs that cater for all. This refurbishment is just what The Abbey needs, and we’re delighted to be supporting it. The Abbey will keep the warm, welcoming atmosphere that regulars love, whilst providing many more reasons for people to visit, attracting a younger generation along with more women and families.”

Star Pubs & Bars acquired The Abbey from Punch Taverns in 2018.