Top 5 pubs (+2) in the City Centre

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Picture the situation, you are in Glasgow, in need of relaxation and a bit of entertainment, what’s the first thing you are gonna do? Right. Hit a pub. But, if you are looking for a nice one and hope to find the information in a guide or a review like this – forget it. You don’t really need it, in fact just follow the crowd in the central streets of the city, it will speak for itself and lead the closest way to the best place. Crowds can be different, young and energetic, older and mature, quiet and relaxed and so on, because Glasgow – the city with a strong drinking culture – can satisfy all tastes.

If you are still here with me, forget that I told you to forget the review and check this one for the top 7 pubs around Glasgow city centre.

7. Bloc, 117 Bath Street
Definitely not the fanciest looking place, but a little bit of rough appearance adds character to this pub, which aims to replicate soviet period, this is clear from the very start when you see red soviet star hanging outside just over the entrance of the pub. The interior is decorated in red and black also resembling something eastern and communist. Price for drinks varies throughout a week, but in general they are average. The closest beer to ‘Soviets’ you can get is Russian Baltika and Czech Staropramen, but if you are not in a very eastern European mood you can also taste western San Miguel and Erdinger. Crowd is generally of young age as the venue is popular for rock gigs.

6. Brunswick Cellars, 239 Sauchiehall Street
This one will suit young people looking for a cozy place to spend time with a couple of friends (it can also suit a date) and possibly some indie or rock music on the background, which sometimes may be a bit loud. As the name may suggest you will find yourself in a dark and sombre atmosphere somewhere downstairs. The venue is not big and often may be full. The drinks are priced below average; most of them are rather cheap, and this may be the reason why it attracts students. However, keep your eyes peeled while looking for the Brunswick Cellars, as you may easily miss it while walking on Sauchiehall Street.

5. King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut, 272a St. Vincent Street
Another venue famous for live gigs: in the past Oasis, Blur and The Verve have performed at the King Tut’s. Many even claim that Oasis’ success story started right here. If you don’t necessarily want to attend a gig you can find a place around a table on the first floor and grab a pint. The crowd may vary, depending on who is performing and what day of the week it is. One day you may discover yourself on experimental rock electronic night, featuring hipster youngsters, while on another day you may encounter over-50s enjoying some fine jazz music.

4. Flying Duck, 142 Renfield Street
This pub is situated very close to Glasgow’s biggest cinemaCineworld, and that’s why many visitors decide to stop here and have a wee drink before or after a film. The ownership proudly states on its own website – ‘it’s all diverse and different but neatly not under the banner of “not” mainstream.’ Like Brunswick Cellars this one also is situated underground and represents a cozy place to chill out and have a drink. And it also has a special feature – you can use a microwave here, so if you want to bring a sandwich or a Tupperware with left overs with you, feel free to warm it up. Apart from a cozy kitchen-like pub, the Flying Duck also features a bigger room opened on club nights, but despite the club atmosphere this one is also arranged to with a homely style, as you can find a big dancing area, with a wardrobe in the middle of the floor.

3.The Art School, 468 Sauchiehall Street
Yes, the Art School Student Union is back and now Glaswegian youngsters can stop asking a question popular in past three months, after closure of its Renfrew Street premises: ‘What happened to Art School?’ Though the renewed club, now replacing the old ‘Capitol’, is comparatively smaller than their previous location, the designers have tried their best to fit it to the older format. As the name suggests, if you decide to hit this one you will encounter mostly those youngsters either studying art in Glasgow or just creative people, or at least those who think they are creative. The place has three rooms, and a big variety of music is available. Live gigs are also regular events!

2. The Butterfly and the Pig, 153 Bath Street
On a club night the Butterfly and the Pig usually serves as a prelude to those going to ‘The Buff Club‘, situated just above the pub (which often provides free passes to do so, after a certain time). The Butterfly and the Pig itself is more into retro stuff, this is especially true about the music played: 50s and 60s Rock’n’Roll), featuring live bands occasionally. The decoration may also remind you of the mid-20th century. The atmosphere here is very lively, most of the visitors are keen on dancing (at least sometime after 10pm) and you would rarely see bored faces. Nice food too!

1. Nice’n’Sleazy, 421 Sauchiehall Street
This pub, which borrowed its name from the Strangler’s song celebrated its 20th birthday in October 2011. Being one of the most popular club venues in Glasgow, a vigintennial is definitely something to be proud of.-  Nice’n’Sleazy’s ground floor features a pub open 7 days a week. It also has a club downstairs, opened most days of the week and offering different events depending on the day. For example Monday’s are acoustic nights, allowing visitors to take part in open mic nights.-  Nice’n’Sleazy is big enough to fit in a big crowd, but at the same time the perfect size to feel comfortable in a circle of friends. The pub mostly has regulars, and if you really like it from the very first time, then you will find yourself coming here often, and seeing familiar faces. The decoration and the music is something between Grunge, Rock, Indie, Hipster, 80s, but don’t be scared of such a range, it is a really good mix.

David Lobzhanidze


David Lobzhanidze is MA multimedia journalism student at Glasgow Caledonian University. Has experience of working in broadcast, print and online journalism. Before coming to Glasgow has worked for Georgia Today, Playboy Georgia and Pervi Kavkazski (Tbilisi based TV channel broadcasting in Russian) in past years. Interested in cultural, entertainment, social as well as political topics. David is fluent in Georgian, Russian and English.

2 Responses to “Top 5 pubs (+2) in the City Centre”

  1. Peter Thompson says:

    How did you rate these pubs? I would disagree strongly with your choices… Have you even been to the majority of pubs in Glasgow? There are a lot of hidden gems all over Glasgow.

  2. Charlotte Crozier says:

    Really? I also, do not agree. The only ones really worth a visit are sleazies, and maybe tuts, if you are going to a gig.

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