100 New City Road, Glasgow.
There has been a pub on this site since 1853. The first licensee was spirit dealer Mr James Steel. The following year wine and spirit merchant Matthew Henderson took over the business, he continued as licensee until 1869. In 1870 Francis Crumlish took over the licensee, spirit merchant Francis also had a public house at 124 Garscube Road, however he left his New City Road premises the following year to concentrate on his other pub in Garscube Road.
William Sutherland then took over in 1872 until 1881. George Galloway tried his hand at this pub for a few years and gave it up two years later.
It wasn’t until William Imrie a well-known wine and spirit merchant took over and turned this pub into a very good business. Mr Imrie also had public houses at West Nile Street, and Marlborough Street.
In 1895 alterations of an unusually extensive description has been going on in the premises of William Imrie at 100 New City Road, for some time. These were considered necessary for several reasons, not the least of which was a laudable desire on the part of Mr Imrie that his establishment should rank second to none in the West End of Glasgow, and those who had visited the new City Bar during the last few weeks will readily agree that this desire is now un fait accompli. The inauguration or to use a good old Scotch term “house warming,” took place, when, on the invitation of mine host, a select number of friends met to honour the occasion.
The chair was occupied by Mr W J Davidson, writer (lawyer), while Mr R C Cowan discharged the duties of croupier. The following gentlemen took part in the proceedings.. Messrs Thomas Brown, John Dove, Robert Dunn, William McKean, T Y Paterson, William Imrie, William Imrie jun., H S Donald, John James, J C Turnbull and Thomas Gillespie. Among others, apologies for absence were received from Messrs Gemmell, Croall and Aitken.
The chairman proposing the health of Mr Imrie and success to the City Bar, paid a high tribute to his sterling character as a good citizen and esteemed member of the trade. Speaking as a representative of the trustees under whom Mr Imrie had now for a long number of years been a valued tenant, he referred to the harmonious and satisfactory nature of all their business transactions. Other toasts were from the Brewing and Distilling Trades. Songs were sung at intervals by Messrs Dunn, Brown, Donald, Imrie jun., and other. A liberal supply of cakes, wine and fruit added to” a wee drap o’ the Auld Kirk” was provided for the guests.
The City Bar was one of the most elegant and commodious pubs in the area at that time, situated on the tramway lines on New City Road and occupied an important and enviable position. It was advertised that the bar was a quiet and steady one and there is an entire absence of the rowdy element. Since Mr Imrie disposed of his other premises on West Nile Street,so successfully conducted for a number of years in the City Bar.
The internal fittings had been renewed after the alterations with a modern fashion. To the left a long range of counter, solid mahogany, extended the whole length of the bar, and, as a background, a uniform row of barrels on which were displayed the various blends of whisky and other liquors in stock. The decorative work here, and, indeed, all over the premises, reflects the greatest credit upon Mr John James, of Wellington Street, H S Donald, Rutherglen Road was responsible for the stained glass work which was of high class and beautifully designed. Passing into the large room seated for about forty, further evidence of artistic skill was apparent. The floor was laid with linoleum and the walls decorated with beautiful colonial engravings.
The family department was entered from Abercorn Street which was thoroughly isolated from the main bar. Snugs were available for the gents who wished for a quiet drink. The beer was raised from the cool cellar from a Harris Beer engine. The beer was supplied by Messrs J & J Brown, East Wemyss, Fife. Mr Imrie’s son was learning the mysteries of brewing.
William Imrie continued to serve the locals here until the end of WW1.
There are no records from 1922 to 1934 as to these premises then in 1935 Neil B Rintoul occupied the premises. Mr Rintoul also have a public house at 1042 Argyle Street but gave up the following year to concentrate on the Argyle Street premises. Many will remember publican Mr James Marshall who ran this pub from 1937 to the 1950s. One of the last publicans to have this pub was John Hastie. The pub was demolished in the 1960s.
Do you remember any of the old Pubs on New City Road? If so please leave a comment.