Gallus Glasgow H: the Horse Shoe

Glasgow has its fair share of shiny metropolitan bars, boring chain-pubs and total dives, but it also has a lot of “real” pubs with interesting history behind them. One such is the Horse Shoe Bar in Drury Street, founded (as you can see above) in 1884. Its (surprise) horseshoe-shaped Victorian bar is supposedly the longest in Europe at 104 feet 3 inches.

Immediately opposite is some more recent history – Yesbar only opened in 2011 when it was known as Vespbar (the decor features a Vespa scooter), but it changed its name during the Independence Referendum last year and decided to stick with it. You can still see the original name on the canopy.

Here are a few more City Centre pubs: Sloan’s (1797), the Scotia Bar (1792) and Babbity Bowster (1985, but in a building dating from 1790).

Finally, let’s move out of the City Centre to the West End where I live. The Curler’s Rest on Byres Road is one of my “locals”.  There is said to have been a tavern here since the seventeenth century, when this would have been a rural area (with cow byres) instead of a busy city street. The present building is “only” 18th century, takes its current name from a nineteenth century curling pond and, after several refurbishments, has a pleasing interior which combines the traditional with the 21st century. The rest of the street has built up around it over the centuries.

For more on Glasgow pubs, see WOW24/7’s 12 of the best “proper” pubs in Glasgow and 10 more of Glasgow’s best “proper” pubs. It’s pretty gallus to hang out in any of them.

What’s next for the letter I? Are you football crazy?


  1. Whit aboot ‘The Ubiquitous Chip’? I remember going for a meal there with some Uny pals in 1977 and we took a wee lassie who worked in The Co-op and who was a bit of a rough diamond, but, we felt, needed to be included . Oh, the embarrassment when she asked if she could have a doggy bag to put the fish heids in for her faither’s ferrets!


  2. I’m still a pub kind of lass when I get the chance. I rarely go on evenings, but we do have a friend who runs a pub in Durham. The atmosphere is really nice. πŸ™‚


  3. I’m not a drinker, but I like the environment of a good pub. I wish we had more of that here rather than having to choose between a restaurant or a bar.


  4. I don’t drink, but I would totally visit that Horseshoe Pub in a heartbeat. It’s quite charming looking. πŸ™‚


  5. I love that the pub kept the name Yesbar after the referendum failed to pass, but I much prefer the old pubs with history. We do have one place in Minneapolis that reminds me of the pubs in London. They are very much a neighborhood hangout but also have a wide range of events (Fridays are kilt knight and Celtic music, Wednesday and Sunday are pub quiz) that bring in people from all over the Metro later in the evening. Glasgow seems so wonderful!


  6. I love how old these pubs are and there must be a real feel in these places. We actually have an old pub called The Mansion House which is from around 1812. It gets quite a few folk in there on the weekends although I have not been in there in years. I get too tired now-lol