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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Artizan Vaults.

3 Finnieston Street, Glasgow.

image of Mr Robert C Kerr. 1897

Mr Robert C Kerr. 1897.

Wine and Spirit Merchant Robert C Kerr was born in Catrine, Ayrshire, Robert Burns country. Robert was educated at the village school. He started work very early in the cotton mills, cotton spinning being at that time one of the stable industries of Scotland.

Robert then went on to be a miner. What a change of occupation, from soft cotton to hard dark coal mining. Young Robert then can to Glasgow and worked in a large east end cotton factory. He then entered the spirit trade as an assistant in a pub owned by Mrs Armour, Stevenson Street, Calton.

Mr Kerr was very ambitious and mastered the trade, hoping to once own his own public houses. When the Anchor Tavern, 21 Argyle Street came on the market Robert jumped at the chance to be his own boss.

After acquiring the licence, business was good and seven years later opened the Artizan Vaults in Finnieston Street. Robert managed boss premises and was assisted by his son in the Anchor Bar. The Anchor Bar was located on the confines of the Trongate and in one of the busiest parts of Argyle Street.

exterior view of Dick's Bar 3 Finnieston Street.

Dick's Bar, 3 Finnieston Street. 1966.

The history of the Anchor Bar dates back to 1788.

When Robert took over the Artizan Vaults in June 1895 the place was in great need of refurbishment. Robert installed incandescent light throughout the pub and the ro0oms were both comfortable and well ventilated. One neat little snuggery, known as the "Cosy Den". A new gantry and spirit rack behind the bar was among the handsomest in the area, the walls were decorated with pictures and mirrors.

There was a large cellar underneath the premises from which beer was raised in cool and perfect condition by a Bruce beer engine. All the best whisky and liquor was stocked in the Artizan.

Robert became a licence holder in 1889, entered upon the Anchor on the 17th October 1889;m obtained the transfer on the 17th December; bought the "Artizan" on 17th June, 1895; and obtained the transfer 17th April, 1896. Seven is surely his lucky number.


exterior view of Dick's Bar 1966.

Dick's Bar 3 Finnieston Street.

The history of the Artizan can be traced back to 1867 when Wine and Spirit Merchant James Taylor acquired a certificate to sell wines and spirits at 3 Finnieston Street. James was born in Rutherglen.

By 1880 James was living with his family at 5 Finnieston Street and purchased another public house The Royal Bar, 328 Scotland Street at the corner of Watt Street. Five years later we find his residing at 115 Dumbarton Road before moving to 16 Strone Terrace, Dowanhill, so business was very good.

In 1881 James was living with his wife Janet Colquhoun with seven daughters and one son.

When Mr James Taylor passed away in the early part of 1890s his wife took over the business until 1895.

Robert C Kerr then took over the pub. Robert was living at 91 North Hanover Street in the city centre. He gave up the Artizan Vaults in 1898.

David Burrell then took over the pub and continued to serve the locals until 1908.

Another well-known and respected Glasgow Publican to own the pub was James McCondach, who ran the pub until the 1950s. Many will still remember Raphael Issacs in the 1960s before Mr John Dick took over the pub and renamed it Dicks Bar.

In the 1950s this old pub was known as the Cosy Corner. Maybe someone was renovating the old bar and saw a sign the "Cosy Den" in the snug bar and renamed the pub the Cosy Corner.

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