GMs making their mark: Sandy Gourlay, Oran Mor, Glasgow

Ahead of International Women’s Day on Wednesday, 8 March, DRAM celebrates just a few of Scotland’s inspirational female general managers who are making their mark on the licensed trade.

Today, we speak to Sandy Gourlay who, in her role as General Manager, has helped make Oran Mor a true institution in Glasgow’s West End.

Name: Sandy Gourlay
Role: General Manager, Oran Mor
Location: Glasgow
Age: 50

Sandy Gourlay has been in charge of Glasgow West End institution Oran Mor since the venue opened 13 years ago.

At the time Sandy, who formerly worked as a chartered accountant, had been working as owner Colin Beattie’s bookkeeper – the pair have worked together for 21 years now.

Colin asked Sandy to head up Oran Mor and she’s never looked back. “I naturally fell into this role,” she says. “Going from accountancy to the operation side suited me and I now operate Oran Mor in its entirety, working closely with Colin.”

Her proudest achievement has been watching Oran Mor “grow and mature as a venue” particularity the evolution its live music programme and popular theatre night A Play, A Pie and a Pint.

She adds, “I love working with people. I have over 150 staff and we all get on really well. I love the customers too, we have so many old regulars. I think this is a very rewarding industry to work in. I always look forward to coming to work because there’s a different challenge every day.”

Looking back on her partnership with Colin, Sandy adds, “We have a really great working relationship and I really admire his ideas. He has always guided me and advised me on how to deal with certain situations and helped me succeed.”

When I’m not in Oran Mor: My nights out usually end up in Oran Mor! I also like to travel and had a great trip to New York, Boston and Martha’s Vineyard last year.

Drink of choice: Diplomatico rum and coke

Star Sign: Aquarius

Click below to meet more inspirational general managers in the Scottish on-trade

Therese Grethe, Waxy O’Connors, Glasgow

Helen Taylor, The Anchor, Broughty Ferry

Geraldine Murphy, The Pot Still, Glasgow

Babs Steele, The Allison Arms, Glasgow

Gayle Copland, The Wine Press, Dundee

Rozlynn Gavin, The Applebank Inn, Larkhall

Nicola Haslam, The Seven Kings, Dunfermline

Lynda McGaw, The Parkville Hotel, Blantyre

Jade Cunningham, O’Shannons, Kilmarnock

Beth Harding, Montpeliers, Edinburgh

Category: Features
Tags: Colin Beattie, Glasgow, Oran Mor, Sandy Gourlay