Sue Says

September 17th, 2018 | Posted in: News,Sue Says

Straight talking from our publisher…


It’s certainly been a full on four weeks – but you know me, I love being busy. It was great to catch up with so many people at the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards and the feedback has been absolutely brilliant. So well done to all the finalists, and of course the winners. It’s never an easy task judging and our mystery shoppers did an excellent job. I am always happy to supply feedback.

One of our most popular categories in the awards was Dog Friendly Pub of the Year – and we had hundreds of votes for the various pubs, with The Forth Inn winning. However not all pub groups are happy letting dogs in… JD Wetherspoon has just banned them! I think there will be a campaign to let them back in. JDW is known for doing things their way and it is definitely going against the trend. Hotels are becoming more pro-actively dog friendly. In fact Macdonald Hotels is offering holiday breaks with free accommodation for your dogs. Book me them in!

I love it when you come across quirky bars, and recently I have come across two. First up was the Eagle Barge Inn at the Caledonian Canal near Spean Bridge. A barge that has been converted into a bar and restaurant… it certainly was cosy. The other one was in Glasgow, The Summoner’s. It’s a gaming bar with comfortable arm chairs and multi-coloured keyboards. They call it an e-sports bar. It’s located on Pitt Street, and I’ve certainly not seen anything like it in Scotland.

New research shows that no alcohol is safe to drink. The report called The ‘Global Burden of Disease’ was reported in the Lancet. Although the researchers admit moderate drinking may protect against heart disease, they found the risk of cancer etc outweighed these protections! The same month another study published in the British Medical Journal found that moderate drinkers were at the lowest risk of dementia, compared to heavy drinkers and non drinkers… but then again another study found that even moderate drinking could increase the risk of dementia. The only thing going demented is me!

Glasgow City Council is discussing increasing licensing hours to 4am for night spots and public views are being sought, in fact it has been holding events for the public attend. It is talking about introducing it as a pilot programme. Personally I cannot see the point of this. I can recall one nightclub owner telling me that the people who are still out drinking at 4am are more trouble than the cash they generate. I was also out in Glasgow the other weekend, and never mind 4am, the pubs were not full at 11pm! So I hate to think how the nightclub industry is doing, but I don’t think increasing the hours for ‘night-time licensed establishments’ will do them any good whatsoever. Clubs have to adhere to much stricter rules than pubs that open late. The board want to make Glasgow more European – more like Berlin (population 10 million). I’ve got a better idea – why not just make it easier/ quicker for operators to get pavement licences?


Tue 11th December 2018

The very brightest and best of the drinks community will next September descend on Glasgow to see the Diageo Reserve World Class Bartender o... Read more.


Wed 5th December 2018

Quiet Man Taverns, aka brothers Daniel and Finbarr McNally, has taken over The Dogs restaurant in Edinburgh and renamed it The Perch.... Read more.

Design Feature: Jacques

Wed 5th December 2018

Brel’s wee brother Jacques is the new kid on the block in Finnieston. Owner Oli Norman’s latest offering to the Glasgow bar world (he al... Read more.

MSP Letter

Wed 5th December 2018

Dear xxxx As my local MSP, I’m writing to make you aware of the crippling rates bills that myself and others in the hospitality indust... Read more.

It’s time to rattle your local MSP about rates

Wed 5th December 2018

Life sucks. But that doesn’t mean that you need to suck it up when you’re getting a raw deal? Like the amount licensees are payi... Read more.

Design Feature: The Bell Jar

Wed 5th December 2018

The Bell Jar is a novel by Sylvia Plath. It’s also the name of a new bar on Glasgow’s Dixon Avenue, on the city’s south side. It’s t... Read more.

Design Feature: The Old Schoolhouse

Wed 5th December 2018

Belhaven Pubs debuted the refurbished Old Schoolhouse on Glasgow’s Woodlands Road last month and in the process of researching this featur... Read more.

Key to the Loch: licensee interview with Sandy Fraser

Wed 5th December 2018

Gabriel Oak is a character in Thomas Hardy’s Far From the Madding Crowd. As the name suggests, he’s the sturdy, reliable character at th... Read more.


Wed 5th December 2018

Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin, wife Michaela and business partner Dominic Jack of Castle Terrace are now the proud owners of a brand new... Read more.

Greene King profits up

Mon 3rd December 2018

Belhaven owners Greene King has reported £1,051 million in revenues in the last six months, up 1.9% on the previous half, after a strong sa... Read more.


Thu 29th November 2018

Energy companies are holding more than £24 million belonging to Britain’s hospitality businesses. That’s according to an independent st... Read more.

Scottish government plans to ban alcohol advertising before 9pm

Wed 28th November 2018

The  Scottish government plans to curb alcohol abuse by banning drink adverts on TV before the 9pm watershed, while drinks manufacturers wi... Read more.


Tue 27th November 2018

One of Scotland’s leading hospitality groups, Buzzworks Holdings, welcomed school children from Glenburn Primary this week, to its Bakehou... Read more.

Restaurants could face curb on portion size and calorie count

Thu 22nd November 2018

Food Standards Scotland (FSS) has launched a consultation on limiting portion sizes, maximum calorie limits and calorie labelling. They are ... Read more.

Brora Distillery set to re-open after 35 years

Wed 21st November 2018

Brora distillery, which last operated in 1983, is set to reopen and back in production by 2020.  The copper pot stills have been transport... Read more.

Edinburgh and Glasgow rank highly in average expenditure on a night out findings

Tue 20th November 2018

According to the study by money website thinkmoney, Brit spends £44.88 on each night out, with Edinburgh (£50.40) and Glasgow (£49.23) ... Read more.

Targeted help needed to tackle the heaviest drinkers in the UK says alcohol watchdog

Mon 19th November 2018

Analysis of drinking habits across England and Scotland ( it's Alcohol Awareness Week 19th November 2018)  shows that the majority of peop... Read more.

Flat sales in managed pubs and restaurants

Mon 19th November 2018

Britain's managed pub and restaurant groups saw their collective like-for-like sales grow just 0.2 per cent in October with pubs and bars ... Read more.

Design feature: La Vita Spuntini

Thu 15th November 2018

Walk into the La Vita Group's new £800k Glasgow restaurant, La Vita Spuntini Gordon Street, and what looks like a cherry blossom tree recre... Read more.

Swede Talking: Interview with Janne Johansson

Thu 15th November 2018

Janne Johansson has been a Gulf war hostage, slept out under the stars in Glasgow’s George Square and worked in more countries than I’ve... Read more.