If you want a good honest and friendly Scottish experience, hop the subway across the River Clyde to Bridge Street station where the Lauriston Bar stands. I have passed along the pub many times on my way to the Citizen theatre and O2 Academy, but I had written it off because of the uninviting exterior. Big mistake. Once I ventured through the door, it was like an epiphany!
Owned by a father and son who pride in taking care of their patrons, the Lauriston Bar is more than a pub. It is a hidden gem which brings you back to the ’60s Glaswegian social scene. Recently declared a category-C listed pub, the décor has not changed since, with an island bar spanning both the public bar and the Lounge (hosting random musical events), red Formica tables and curtains. Here, the walls are plastered with mementos of past decades: Old Glasgow pics, regulars down the years, newspaper cuttings, but also… obituaries and fine art from friends. There are a free old school jukebox and a custom-made “indoor” smoking area including TV, armchair, and radio with a tape deck. All these really convey a sense of history (used in the film Young Adam starring Ewan McGregor in 2003).
The Lauriston always has a welcoming atmosphere, a good choice of typical Scottish beers (and hot pies!), great service and friendly locals. It is also fun to watch, as Sub crawlers (Glasgow Underground pub crawlers) often appear on weekends.
Well worth the trip!