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Old Glasgow Pubs by john gorevan


Sylvesters Family Parlour & Leroy's.

134 Ingram Street, Glasgow.

In the NEWS 1980...

The Pub Where Kids Come First.

The Most revolutionary idea in the history of the Scottish Licensed Trade is about to burst upon the Glasgow scene.

I warn you that pubs will never be the same again.

Sylvesters, that chic establishment in Ingram Street, opens a separate hostelry for families on Tuesday. And from what I've been hearing adults had better be careful.

At the door, two boys dressed as bouncers, will stop adults from entering unless they are accompanied by a child. From 8 a.m. until 8 p.m. the rule will be children and adults only. No adult without a child, no child without an adult.


Mike Kenna, the ebullent owner, told me: "This is the first of its kind in Scotland. We will open at 8 a.m. for breakfasts and adults will be admitted then without a child, but come 11 a.m. the rules about adults and children must apply.

"We will stay open all day until 8 p.m. when the law insists that children must not be in licensed premises. I am naming the place Sylvesters Family Parlour.

"What I don't want though is people to think I'm about to run a baby-sitting service. I don't want adults bringing their offspring and dumping them while they disappear into my pub next door or into the bookies or away to do some shopping. "Once inside though, the kids will enjoy it. I've got a video screen and we'll show films and television, especially the kid's programmes on Saturday mornings.

The walls of the place we're going to use for painting competitions. "I've installed six space invaders which ought to keep going as they swig their Cokes or Lemonades.


"For the opening on Tuesday I'm bringing about 80 kids from some homes in Glasgow and a pipe band will play them in to have the run of the place. It looks as if it's going to be a lot of fun."

Mr Kenna has spent more than six figures" on Sylvesters and the Family Parlour. I hope he knows what he's letting serious drinkers in for. I can't wait until Tuesday to see how it works out.


In the NEWS 1981...

Food "n" Fun.

Whole new atmosphere at Leroy's.

Let me recommend to you, heartily, a new nitery in town called Leroy's.

It officially opens tonight, although I popped in last night when they put staff through a dress rehearsal. I tried them out with a dish called Fry Me to the Moon... which was quite delicious.

And it is also indicative of the feeling of Leroy's It is a fun spot. Although the name is new, most people in the city will be familiar with the site, it is the family parlour of Sylvesters in Ingram Street, the first pub in Glasgow where you can take the kids along with you to have a soft drink, a cup of coffee and even watch a video show at the same time.

After 18 months of running Sylvesters and the family Parlour, the owners, Mike Kenna and John McIntyre, have reappraised their situation. The family department is still tremendously popular.... but it virtually died for business around 6.30 p.m. Mike and John decided to make it work for its living. So they refurbished the parlour, and it really is attractive, to make it into a lounge-cum-diner from 7 p.m. onwards.

Interior of Leroy's 1981

Interior view of Leroy's 1981.


Having been in last night I can tell you that it really is something different. It is licensed through till 1 a.m. if you are having a meal or a snack and it really has atmosphere, that indefinable commodity which is essential to make any place swing.

You don't have to have a meal. You can drop in and have a drink, it's that kind of place. The drinks, as in Sylvesters, are served in quarter gill measures although they are putting the emphasis on wine. A selection of wines, by the glass, the careffe or litre, are available.

As Mike says: "We are experimenting at the moment, but it really is a case of giving the customers what they want." The music is "canned" at the moment but looking to the future Mike and John hope to have a resident disc jockey and even introduce live music.... if there is a demand. Despite an absence of advance publicity, Leroy's was absolutely jam-packed by 11 p.m. last night, and the joint was really jumping with folk, and not so young people, having a great time.

They ate from a selection of foods which range from those marvellous American Sandwickes to a fillet steak. But a cautionary word, if you ask for a rare steak make sure you mean it. Mike, who is a chef as well as part-owner, really takes you at your word!


Mike tells me: "When we decided to use the family parlour more extensively we felt we would have to give it a separate identity. That's why we called it Leroy's.

When we were looking for a suitable name I happened to come across an old record called "Bad, Bad Leroy Brown," The name Leroy stuck in my mind so we decided to call it that.

"There is no question of the family parlour side of our operation closing. That will continue as usual. The new operation is really an extension of what we are doing already, only giving more service to customers.


Leroy's will also be taking party bookings with the Christmas market in mind. "We can do anything from sandwickes up to a full meal," says joint-owner Mike Kenna.

In charge of the day to day running of Leroy's are Greg and Donal (without the d), so if you are interested, give them a ring at 0141???????. Incidentally, you can book a table if you are going to have a night out and a meal.

It's about 18 months since Sylvesters opened and right from the start it was a huge success. I do not exaggerate when I tell you that on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, people are actually queuing to get into the place and it's a case of two out two in.

They are hoping to repeat their sucess with Leroy's. I recommend it to you warmly.


Sylvesters advert 1981

Sylverster's The Pub and Leroy's advert 1981.

In the NEWS 1981...


One of Glasgow's best known city centre pubs is up for sale.

But the man who opened up Sylvester's and Leroy's and put some razzamatazz into Glasgow's pub-life promises today "I'll be back."

Mike Kenna, who came north from his native East End of London 14 years ago, is selling the big Sylvester;s lounge diner and, with it, Leroy's the first licensed premises to take advantage of the revolutionary Licensing "Scotland) Act of 1976 and cater for kids.

Asking price for the properties with master auctioneers Christie's handling the selling arrangements, is a massive £270,000. But Christie's ask : "Is there a business in this field with a higher turnover and profit?

"Combined turnover must exceed £650,000 per annum and there are excellent long lease terms."

When he took over, in partnership, at Sylvester's in Ingram Street, a little more than two years ago, mike Kenna made a short move from another hostelry in Candleriggs sited Granny Black's.

Sylversters ad 1982

Sylvester's the Pub and Leroy's advert 1982.


In the NEWS 1892...

Casper football girls 1982

Casper Girls. 1982.

Casper's fabulous phantom five are practising their spooky skills for the great Lifeline football competition.

And the girls from the Kirkintilloch lounge bar, named after the friendly ghost, reckon they will be able to spirit away the honours.

Teams representing pubs and clubs in the West of Scotland are paying £100 to enter the girls' five-a-side tournament. The final will be played before thousands of football fans attending the Patrick Thistle/ Celtic league fixture on April 24 at Firhill Park.

All the teams taking part are being invited along to Firhill to cheer on the finalists, and help Lifeline, the Evening Times campaign aimed at buying essential life saving hospital equipment.

The pubs and clubs taking part are ving with each other to see who can raise the most for Lifeline. For instance brothers Enrico and Carlo Liverani, who run Casper's are planning to run a supporters bus to Bellahouston.

The man behind the tournament is Mike Kenna of Sylverster's in Ingram Street, Glasgow. His team, Mike's Molls, have already been promised help by Ind Coope.

Closing date for entries to the competition is Saturday. So if you want your pub or club to be represented contact Mike at 041 ??????

Already we have bought a Dinamap for Yorkhill Hospital which measures the blood pressure of tiny tots. Top of our shopping list now are two machines for the Royal Maternity Hospital at Rottonrow, which can save babies from blindness, brain damage or even death. They are called transcutaneous blood gas monitors and are needed urgently.


In the NEWS 1983...

Sylvester's and Leroy's goes into Liquidation.


In the NEWS 1983...

Nighspot's New Owner.

One of Glasgow's liveliest night spots, Sylvester's and Leroy's in Ingram Street, has been bought by well-known catering family for a six-figure sum.


The deal is good news for the staff of Sylvester's and Leroy's who are being retained. The night spot was previously owned by John McIntyre and Mike Kenna who told me: "I will ne taking a well-earned break before looking around for somewhere else to hang my business hat."


Robert Mateo 1984

Mr Robert Matteo. 1984.

In 1984 the Matteo brothers where trading as Sylversters/ Duke of Touraine and Oceans.

When Rober Matteo took over the new business in Ingram Street, he kept the name Sylvester's and changed Leroy's to the Duke of Touraine.


In the NEWS 1986...

Rich Pickings

Mixed fortunes for the Matteo brothers. Robert, who owns Sylvester's in Ingram Street, has been robbed of £5000 by two gunmen. Tony owns the Montgreenan Mansion House Hotel, near Kilwinning, and has come up with a luxurious idea for rich golfers.

For £240, a limousine will pick you up in Glasgow and take you to the Montgreenan for a champagne breakfast. A helicopter will then take you to Turnberry for the Open Championship, then back for dinner.


In the NEWS 1989...

A Long Wait for the Duke.

Robert Matteo is an unhappy man. He thought the cheque would have been in the post long before this but it isn't and he's had to take a job in the meantime.

Robert owned Sylvester's and the adjoining Duke of Touraine in Ingram Street until the Scottish Development Agency met his price for the remaining years of a lease to allow the building to be redeveloped as Cochrane Square luxury flats.

Everything was supposed to have been settled away back in January. In the meantime the wheels of bureaucracy grind on. The SDA told me today that it hoped the papewrwork would be complete in two to three weeks and that builders could move in soon after that.

Glasgow District Council, which holds the lease, says that the paper work is with lawyers but that there are no hitches. Robert has taken a job helping a friend run Moodiesburn House Hotel. He told me: "The family had a Duke of Touraine at Parkhead for 24 years and I ran the one in Ingram Street for five-and-a-half years.

"When I eventually get my money I hope to open another Duke of Touraine."


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