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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan

 

Minstrel's.

66-74 Broomielaw, Glasgow.

Minstrel's

Minstrel's. 1991.

This old landmark on the Broomielaw was set on fire June 2005 the boat had to be pulled down as a safety precaution.

There has been a pub on this site since 1846 owned by John Rankin. His wife sold the pub to Mr McKinnon in 1865.

Doune

In the 1980's the pub was known as the Doune.

wines and spirits

This is what it looked like during the 1940s.

Email from Bob F.. Brian Douglas owned the Minstrels, Leon owned it in the 1980s when it was called the Waterfront. I remember a football team who played from here called the Minstrels.

The Double Six 1960s

The Double Six. 1960s.

Thanks to Alice for her email..."Passing the Broomielaw tonight we started to reminisce about the pub we used to visit.  Our son couldn't remember the name he knew it by and he told us to check it out on your site.  

We told him it was called 'The Double Six' and hubby thinks it got its name because of the address - 66 Broomielaw.  We frequented it a little around 1965 because my husband (then my boyfriend) knew one of the guys who played in a two-man group (Frankie & Johnny).  Johnny's name was John Dennison.

Interior view of the double six

Interior view of the Double Six. A few mates with Gordon Muir in the middle. Note in the background, drummer, John Dennison, of the popular group 'Frankie and Johnny'.

Thanks Alicex for the image.

The Double Six 1960s

Another view of the Double Six looking east. 1960s.

The offices of Dewar's Scotch Whisky and High & Dry Gin by Booth's are well positioned at the corner of Oswald Street.

Frank's Place Advert 1971

Frank's Place Advert 1971.

In the 1970s this popular bar was called "Frank's Place".

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In the News 1971...

Extra Special Trip.

An all-expenses paid trip to Copenhagen sounds like something straight from the pages of Hans Christian Andersen... but that, in fact, is the fairy-tale prize being offered by a Glasgow Publican.

The six-day trip for two, worth about £300, will be the first prize in a talent contest to be held in Frank's Place in the Broomielaw. Owner Frank McKell tells me that he has arranged the trip through Carlsberg and the winner, and friends, will be their guest during the six days in Copenhagen.

I suppose it is what you could call an extra special opportunity.

The trip will include the air trip, accommodation in a first-class hotel, visits to a night club and the Carlsberg brewery and an escorted trip through the city. The only money the winner will need on the trip is for presents to bring back home... everything else is on the house.

Competition

The trip is scheduled for June of next year and Frank intends beginning the competition early in August. He emphasises - "The winner will have to accept the trip. There is no question of taking money instead. It will be a visit in a lifetime." The competition is open to any type of entertainer, professional, semi-professional or amateur, but because of restricted space it will be impossible to have beat groups. Frank will be holding auditions for the competition shortly, but there will be automatic entry for any previous heat winners at competitions which he has staged.

Franks Place

Frank hands over £100.

Anyone interested in the Copenhagen trip should get in touch with Frank. I'll give you details on the contest nearer the time. Incidentally before it begins Frank plans "an instant fiver" competition on Thursday nights. This is open to anyone who drops in and gives a song. Best singer of the night wins the £5. Incidentally winner of their last talent contest was Alastair Robin from Mount Florida. In photograph Frank hands him his prize, a £100 note.

In the News, March 1971...

With eye-catching 36-24-36 statistics, Gwen Brownlie is the most shapely "bill-board" in Glasgow these days. Gwen is one of the barmaids in Frank's Place in Broomielaw, Glasgow, and "head and tail" she lets customers know exactly where she works.

From Thursday all of the girls who work the floor in the lounge bar there will be dressed in sweaters emblazoned with the word "Frank's" and hot pants with "Place" across the shapely seat. It is the best and most tantalising piece of advertising I have came across for a while.

Gwen Brownlie at Franks Place

Gwen Brownlie, most shapely Billboard in the city.

The Frank in the advert is Frank McKell, who ownes the public house, and he hopes to make it more a club than a pub. Frank gets a talent contest under way on Thursday, with a first prize of £100. There will be only one cash prize, but there will be other prizes of Whisky. The contest will run for about six weeks before the semi-final stages, and anyone interested can contact Frank at the lounge.

Organist Jim Brannigan is featured in the lounge on Thursdays and Fridays, and at lunch-time and in the evening on Saturdays. The Saturday lunch-time session is a fun affair, with members of the audience providing their own entertainment. To sustain interest Frank puts up a half-bottle of whisky for the best entertainer of the day.

In the News 1972...

interior of Waterfront 1972

Where the stars drop in... in this case the football stars with Davy are left to right; Donnie McKinnon, Patrick Thistle; and Alex Forsyth of Patrick Thistle and Scotland. 1972.

Scots Football Personality Davy Wilson has hammered home many scintillating goals in his star studded playing life, but he has never notched up such a scoring certainly as he did when he opened the Waterfront Restaurant in Glasgow.

If there was any doubt the fact that he was right on the ball when he got into the food and drink game it was dispelled in one week. Most restaurants run at a loss in the initial stage. But Davy tells me that in his first week he has not only broken even, but made money.

The Waterfront is sited at 66 Broomielaw, and, as you might expect, is nautical in character. But what makes it slightly incongruous is the fact that Davy admits quite frankly, "I must be the worst sailor in the world."

His future

"I get seasick crossing the suspension bridge!"

Davy, a former Scottish international and Rangers player, is now with Dumbarton, and, at 33 reckons he still has plenty of playing years left in him, but as he says, "You've got to reckon that the steam will run out of your legs some day, and have to think of the future."

As I said, the theme of the restaurant is nautical, and, just to give it that extra touch he bought a disused ship's lifeboat for £300. Half of it is hanging outside the restaurant and the other half is the bar area, which seems fairly appropriate for a man who has performed many a rescue operation on the football field. Only snag is that Davy gets that old feeling of mal de mer every time he steps behind the bar.

Advert Waterfront 1972

There is one thing of which you can be sure, his rolling gait isn't in any way influenced by alcohol, because Davy has never had a drink in his life. Which is a pretty sensible thing when you are mine host. Davy is setting his gastronomic sights high. His aim is simple, to make the Waterfront the best eating house and the tune-filled place in Glasgow.

As he says, "What's the point of going in for a thing unless you are going to do it right? Good food is essential and we are aiming at giving the absolute best." Everything on the menu is a la carte, and fresh lobster is flown in from Benbecula every day to grace the tables. Lobster Mornay comes in at £2, as does the Thermidor, Newbourg, and a la mayonnaise. fried scampi comes in at 95p with fillet steak at £1.10 and sirloin at £1.

Other items on the menu include braised ox tail, deep fried chicken, beef stroganoff, steak Diane and gammon steak Hawaii. For starters there are avocado pear and prawn cocktail at 60p, Kipper pate at 60p, smoked trout at 60p, caviare on toast eel at 55p.

These are only a few of the items, but Davy points out that diners can have a good meal for around the £1 mark. "You can spend £1 or £10, it all depends on your palate and your purse." he says. "We don't have any one speciality of the house; every dish is a speciality with us. We give value for money, and, let's face it, that's the only way to get people back."

Personalities

Already entertainment has become an established part of a night's fun at Waterfront. They have featured Neville Taylor and his son Brain; Billy Gordon has been on stage, and Danny Steven, a comedy impressionist from the North of England. From next Saturday they are starting a lunchtime entertainment from 12 noon until 2.30 p.m. with Skip and Abie providing the music and laughs.

Although it has been open for only a short time it has become established as a meeting place for many personalities from the football and the entertainment worlds. "We think we have already created a friendly informal atmosphere, a place where people can come along and have a first class meal and a lot of fun," says Davy.

advert Waterfront 1972

Incidentally, and this is just for the ear of the men who might be thinking of going along, Davy's line-up of lassies who dish up the food and dispense the drink are among the bonniest I have ever come across for a long time.

Most places take some time to get off the ground as I mentioned earlier but this is obviously one of those spots which is going to be a top scorer with the public, and what could be more appropriate?

Thanks to Alistair for his email dated 27th March 2012...

"My dad Alex Nicolson (now 76) helped dig out the tunnels underneath the pub during the seventies when it was The Waterfront. the tunnels and rooms off of it were used for storage.  The manager was a Mr Alex Cowan who hired him as a pal. My father helped dig so far they uncovered a disused window into the adjoining property at the bottom of Robertson St – The Clydeport Authority building. The window in question opened into a basement games room where during my fathers day job as a chauffeur for the CPA he regularly played snooker. With the tunnel to the window this extended to his weekends too. "

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Waterfront advert 1979

This advert from 1979, shows attractions as Don Reid (Star of TV's Who Do You Do) and Eric Prince a knock-out vocalist.

In the NEWS 1979...

Everything's Shipshape At The Waterfront...

It's hard to believe that around 100 years ago the Broomielaw was a bustling port, teeming with sailing ships anxious to off-load their cargo before heading down river again.

Nowadays no ships come this far up the Clyde and the Broomielaw is more famous for its picturesque walkway. But there are still some links with the shipping life in the shape of The Waterfront pub in the Broomielaw near Oswald Street.

You can't miss The Waterfront. It has half a ship's lifeboat on the wall above the entrance. The Waterfront was recently taken over by Milnrow Development Company and they have spent a considerable amount of money refurbishing and redecorating the premises.

TASTEFUL

The lounge bar, The Waverley, has been tastefully fitted out in beige and, in fact, with its port hole-shaped lighting, gives the impression of being a ship's lounge.

In the walls are pictures of various kinds of ships including the famous Waverley. In the Eagle Bar, the public bar, the theme is the same, with the main colour being red. Again there are pictures of ships on the walls, the most impressive being one of the aircraft carriers, the HMS Eagle.

The Waterfront is turning out to be a very popular pub, and Milnrow think that the live entertainment on Friday and Saturday nights has something to do with it.

Said Mr Pat Gardner, a spokesman for the company: "At the moment we have a resident D.J. on a Friday and Saturday night and we hope to expand on this by having entertainment on other nights, and cabaret every few weeks."

Food is also served at the Waterfront, at the moment in the form of business lunches. The Waterfront is licensed from 11 a.m. till 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday, and is available for private functions. A dance floor in the Waverley Lounge is available for such occasions.

Waterfront advert 1979

The Waterfront with the Waverley Lounge and the Eagle Bar. 1979.

Waterfront advert 1979

Another advert from 1979.

Waterfront advert from 1979

This 1979 advert shows coming attractions at the Waterfront. Includes Terry Mundy and Chuckles, and Frankie Farrell.

UPDATE 09/01/2013...

The Double Six was one of the main places in town for ebtertainment. At weekends the place was packed with customers waiting to hear the live bands. One of these bands was known as "The UnKnown". Lead singer Jackie McNeil emailed me....

Hi John, My name is Jackie McNeil, me and my band played at the double six pub in the mid sixtie's. I was the singer who at the end of the night while playing our last couple of songs would climb onto the bar while singing, we always ended with the rolling stones 'Satisfaction', we were called 'THE UNKNOWN'. We played off and on for about a year and more. We sometimes played three nights a week, a Thursday, Friday and Saturday. The manageress was called Margaret. the lounge was sometimes so crowded the it was a hard trip to get to the toilets which were next to or little stage at the bottom end of the lounge. The others in the band were  Andy Borland, Tony Jackson, James Murray and Colin Glover. We had various other people in the line up but that was the original and ended up with that line up.

The Unknown band

In the photo, from left to right is Jackie Dickie on lead guitar, me Jackie Mc neil singer, Andy Borland on rhythm guitar, Tony Jackson on bass and James Murray on drums. The band changed its line up from time to time but mainly stayed the same except for the lead player or main lead player was Colin Glover.   As I remember the girl in the foreground was Hanna Gordon, she was a regular and as the singer I nearly always got the attention of the girls in the audience I knew Hanna quite well, I wonder what she is doing now.
As you will see the lounge was quite narrow but pretty long, with the ladies and gents toilets on either side of our little stage. The style of the punters is in keeping with that year.
The Double Six was mobbed almost every weekend, it was a great time to be living and playing in Glasgow.

Do you remember this Band or any of the band members? If so please get in touch.

End.

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