The licensees of The Bank Bar on Union Street Dundee have received a long service award from the pub’s owners Star Pubs & Bars to mark their 20th anniversary at the pub. Susan and Paul Russell are now aiming to clock up four decades at the helm of the pub.

The Russells lead a team of 12 staff – including Paul’s son Ciaran Russell who is Bar Manager.

The award recognises the contribution Susan and Paul have made to the community. Over the years, the Russells and their regulars have raised more than £15,000 for Tayside Mountain Rescue, of which Paul is the Deputy Team Leader.

Dundee born-and-bred Susan used to be a customer of The Bank Bar enjoying lunches there with her mother in the 1990s and, when she heard it was short staffed, offered to help. Recalls Susan, “It was meant to be part-time and short-term but I fell in love with The Bank Bar. When it became available, Paul and I jumped at the chance to take it on as our own. It really was a dream come true.”

Formerly a branch of the TSB, the building turned into a pub around thirty years ago, taking the name The Bank Bar to reflect its history, and it still houses the bank’s original safe today. 

While the Russells have built a name for cask ales, gaining cask marque accreditation and introducing ales from local breweries, brought in live music and made the pub dog-friendly, little else has changed.

Said Susan, “We’ve seen trends come and go, old fashioned locals close and new style bars open, but we liked The Bank Bar as it was when we took over and we’ve remained true to that.”

Continued Susan, “It has been hard work but we’ve enjoyed every minute of our time at The Bank Bar and are looking forward to many more happy years here. We love meeting so many different people from all over the world and working with our fantastic staff and the musicians, who have all become great friends.”

Said Star Pubs & Bars area manager Brian Gray, “It’s a tremendous achievement to keep a pub at the top of its game over 20 years and it’s all down to Susan and Paul, their high standards, brilliant service and great customer care. Thanks to them The Bank Bar has stood the test of time and remains a fantastic traditional local and a real asset to Dundee.”

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