Sue Says!

Our publisher Susan Young doesn’t mince her words and here they are…
What a busy month this has been. It’s the time of year I love best – checking out the pubs nominated for the Scottish Bar and Pub Awards. The public has been voting… and we have been checking out the bars and pubs with the most votes. The most important part of any judging process is the meet and greet. Although we visit all the last nominees, we also have mystery shoppers out and about, plus our four-legged friends too of course. They’re very keen on treats. Just saying! The finalists have all been revealed and the PR machine is now revving into action. Good luck to everyone involved.
I’ve been quite quiet on the rates front lately but I promised Harry Hood that I’d keep the cause alive and that’s exactly what I will be doing over the coming months. The good news is that when I interviewed Stephen White this month he said he would have a look at the issue and see what practical solutions he could come up with. So expect a meeting once we’ve got summer out of the way.
Andy Gemmell has opened The Gate in Glasgow’s East End and it is a cracking wee bar with first-class service. He has put his money where his mouth is and that is to be applauded. He has spent the last few years training people around the country and doing brand marketing. Now he is back doing what I imagine he loves doing best – creating fun and bonhomie in the trade, plus great drinks and a great ambience.
Meanwhile across the road at 226 Gallowgate Joanne Munro is receiving plaudits for her food. And from Joanna Blythman no less.  She is recognised as one of the toughest food critics around. So well done Joanne.
I popped into the opening of The Ivy in Glasgow – and what a great looking venue it is. (See design). Here’s hoping it gets a good turn and that the added interest will bring some new business to the city centre. Perhaps businesses nearby will get a spin-off. Certainly, when Buzzworks opened Scotts in Queensferry, the businesses around about saw a substantial benefit.
Scotland’s drug deaths are rising – which really is appalling. Even the USA has seen the number of drug deaths fall.
What are we doing wrong? Perhaps instead of firing on all cylinders when it comes to the ‘demonised’ drink, they should be putting more resources into finding a solution to the drugs issue.
Talking of demonising drink, I saw recently that various health bodies are advocating that gala days, festivals and events such as Highland Games should not be allowed occasional licences if there are going to be children there. Some of these events rely on the bar to create the funds to host the events. Gala days up and down the country could be cancelled not to mention the commercial impact on Highland Games and possibly the Highland Show – all major tourism events. I would say this is worth keeping an eye on. Next up could be children’s licences in pubs… mark my words.
I feel for the licensed trade operators in Sauchiehall Street. First the whole street was ploughed up to make way for larger pavements and trees – then the fire at Glasgow Art School closed many premises on the street. And now that the landscaping has been finished and the venues that have applied for street licences, there’s a bit of concern about how many people have applied for them. So, as we went to press, no-one knows whether they are going to be allowed to put out tables and chairs on the newly created larger pavements. Said one, “It’s taking forever. The summer will be over before Glasgow Council work out what they are doing.”
Someone mentioned to me the other day (it might have been Colin Barr) that orange wine was going to be the next big thing. I hadn’t seen any – but blow me down, since then I’ve seen it on at least two menus, advertised online as well as on a wholesaler list. He could be right!
Talking of Colin, he is as proud as punch that son Josh has opened his first venue. He has also been biting his tongue for the last month or so, or so he tells me, as Josh endeavours to put his own ideas into practice without dad interfering! It’s great to see the next generation of bar owners coming through.
I hope you enjoy our Most Eligible list – I had no idea how shy all you singletons are. It’s taken Jason longer to do that feature than any other one ever! But we have a crackin’ bunch of eligibles. I recall a national newspaper doing it back in the day – I think I got to number 13… oh to be 28 again!
News, People

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