79 St. Vincent Street, Glasgow. G2 5TF. Closed.
Danny Broon’s. 1980s.
To read the full history of this pub and Daniel Brown, check back soon for our second book.
Now Called Failte. 2007.
When Daniel Brown closed it’s doors for good in 1978 the pub became known as Century 54, it was then back to Daniel Brown, Caskie & Co; Finnegan’s Wake, then “Failte” the first Irish themed pub in Glasgow.
Caskie & Co. 1991.
In the NEWS 1977…
Danny’s line to the past.
Tram cars used to be as much a part of Glasgow as jelly pieces or the Barras. Sadly they are no more now than an electrifying, bone-shaking 2D trip down memory lane.
I will never forget the childhood sense of anticipation as the family outing made its way in from the sticks to “ra toon,” en route to the wee granny’s.
Highlight of this Saturday pilgrimage – even taking precedent over my granny’s treacle toffee – was the cherished ride on a tram, reeking of the city with its brick-hard leather upholstery, straps that were just out of reach for this enfant terrible, and the thrill of never knowing if you would shortly be decanted on to Sauchiehall Street from the innards of the shaking giant.
Many a happy afternoon was spent merrily bouncing about on the front seat at the top, with my father sticking to me like Aroldite in an effort to maintain the status quo of four in our family entourage.
Being rather on the short side then, well, I was only four, if may have seemed likely to my father that his number 2 son could conceivably bounce straight out of the tram.
Aooh, those magic moments. But it is still possible to get a whiff of that nostalgia in congenial surroundings. Danny Brown’s Bar in St. Vincent Street is another Glasgow landmark, a place to drink and eat in comfort, with the highest of reputations in catering for customers’ needs.
The old Danny’s Bar has been restyled to take on the atmosphere of the Glasgow tramways with prints of early century city street scenes, an original destination board and other memorability of the era.
Manager David Simpson hopes to redesign the entrance in the shape of a tram door, so you can stop through the entrance into a world of the past. A piano is to be installed, for sing-along every evening, and Mr Simpson is on the lookout for a regular pianist to lead the celebrations.
If like me the tram holds a special part in your memory, and you want to enjoy an atmosphere redolent of that dear, departed conveyance, then Danny Brown’s is a must for you.
In the NEWS 1978…
IT’S LAST ORDERS AT DANNY BROWN’S…
One of the city centre’s best-known hostelries, Danny Brown’s, is closing on Saturday night, for keeps.
And for several generations of Glaswegians the disappearance of “D.B’s” will mark the end of an era. At one time the bars, restaurants, and function rooms in St Vincent Street did a roaring trade.
But now says Alan Gardner, Scottish area manager for Swallow Hotels in Scotland the complex “is being shut down completely because it is unviable.”
This means that the Top Hat, the Brown Derby, and Danny’s Bar in Drury Street, which backs the other premises will all close, as well as a favourite restaurant and all function rooms.
Will the property be disposed of? “Either that or developed by our brewery side,” said Mr Gardner. Swallow Hotels and Lorimers the Edinburgh, based brewers both come under the giant Vaux umbrella.
“I can only say that the future of the property is very much under discussion at the moment,” Mr Gardner added.
So Danny Brown’s joins the long, saddening list of quality restaurants which have vanished from the city scene in recent years, establishments like the Grosvenor, the One-O-One, Guys, His Lordship’s Larder, the Exchange.
Its closure also removes Swallow Hotels’ presence from the city centre, although they are just completing a redevelopment programme at their Bellahouston Hotel.
“It will be completed early next month,” said Mr Gardner, “giving the hotel 30 new bedrooms, a new cocktail bar, and an upgraded restaurant.”
In the NEWS 1978…
What’s going to happen to Danny Brown’s premises? That’s the question we posed the other day when it was announced that the city centre bar and restaurant complex will close for keeps tomorrow.
One man who’s definitely like to talk to Swallow Hotels, the owners is Edinburgh, the owners boss Brian Waldman, who told me, “It certainly sounds a possible site for a venture I’d like to launch in Glasgow.
“This is a nightclub with a very tartan cabaret, catering basically for tourists. Our Edinburgh club. Pipers is a 350-seat restaurant theatre, and has been a big success during its first year.
“Oddly enough,” we launched Pipers by acquiring the Berkeley, a hostelry run by a company owned by Vaux, the same brewers who control Swallow Hotels.” Brain is in no doubt that tourists and other visitors to Glasgow could support such a venture.
“For instance just the other evening, a party of 42 travelled over from Glasgow’s Albany to spend an evening at our place,” he told me.
Lynch pin of the Pipers floorshow is Glasgow man Scott Paul Young, he’s compere and singer. Until recently another singer was Lady Deirdra Murray, widow of Sir William Murray, who ran Ochtertyre Theatre.
Rumour had it that Deirdra was sacked. But Brian told me, “Rumour’s wrong. The fact is that she’s forming a double act with Tam White. “The duo are using our club to rehearse before they cut their first record next week.
Daniel Brown’s at night.
Daniel Brown’s interior. 1963.
Shortly after Danny Broon’s closed these old premises were re-opened as Century 54.
Century 54 advert from 1978.
In 1870 Thomas Gemmell was trading here as a confectioner, two years later Daniel Brown took over the shop.
The premises are now called Chaakoo Bombay Cafe.
To read more on this fascinating history, check back soon for our second book.
Do you remember this great old Bar? If so please leave a comment.