Starting 11 For A Summer of Sport

Part One: This month Nicola Walker talks to eleven great bars renowned for sports to find out what makes them top of their game, their plans for the Euros, and how they intend to score with customers this summer.
065C4357-5447-4086-B427-9C8B4C8B7642 4 5005 cAngels Hotel, Uddingston

Angels Hotel in Uddingston has strong football connections having been owned by the Hood family for over 60 years. After a makeover 5 years ago, Harry’s Bar, named after late owner and football legend Harry Hood, is certainly going all out for the Euros.

Head of Marketing, Bill Sullivan says, “We’re incredibly popular, especially with locals. For the Euros, on top of the seven TVs we already have, we are bringing in five more – two in the terrace, two in the restaurant and an extra one in the bar. No matter where you are sitting in the venue, you will have the best seat in the house.

864A943A-FF02-4A16-A4F9-543D71C243E5“Before every Scotland game we will have a piper and live music to create a great atmosphere. We’ll have free pies at half time, plus drinks promotions, themed cocktails, themed food deals, bespoke ‘We Can Boogie’ T shirts, giveaways and a James McFadden will be the face of it as well. We own the URL ‘’ which will be the hub for all our digital activations. We’re really going for it and our aim is to make all Lisini venues the go to place to watch the Euros across Lanarkshire.

“We’re looking forward to a great month of trade over the Euros. Obviously, we are also looking for some sunshine and for Scotland to play well! Its’ all about the experience for our customers and creating as great an atmosphere as we possibly can.”

F767681D-4FA2-4C2E-9A27-E79F8CE537E2 4 5005 cThe Three Sisters, Edinburgh

Renowned for being one of the top venues for sports in Edinburgh, The Three Sisters is planning some great events over the summer. They already show a range of sports including rugby, football, golf, darts, horse racing and GAA, as well as international sports such as NFL, basketball and ice hockey.

0D5F638C-ADFE-4EEF-AF82-0902D74F0549General Manager, Michael Davies, said, “We have always been big for rugby and international events so we want to be the place to be for the Euros as well. We’ve been upgrading our AV over the last six months and have the giant screen in the courtyard as well as over 32 other screens. You can’t help but see a screen in the venue.

“We will not just be showing the Euros, we will be immersing ourselves in it. We are turning upstairs into a Bavarian Bier Hall and our menu will be ‘Schnitzel and Stein’ themed. Even our outside food vendor will be converting to a German theme.

“Our live room is turning into a Fan Zone, partnering with Capital FM who will be broadcasting from there and interviewing fans during the games. We are expecting it to be huge. All our table packages are already fully booked for the opening Scotland game, so it’s standing room only!

“For the Paris Olympics we will be leaning into a French theme and are planning a mini bar Olympics event in our courtyard. We want to offer something different and attract some families for this as well!”

9A8FBD71-70CD-4BBD-8D87-FE057BEF15C3 4 5005 cThe Tap Yard, Glasgow

The Tap Yard burst onto the Glasgow scene last year and really is a step up from your average sports bar. As well as three 75-inch screens above the bar which can all show different sports, there are 11 booths that have their own TV integrated into the table, two of which even have their own beer tap!

8995A8C6-A044-4F15-B35B-CA9E7A912FE6Owner, Iain Reid explains, “Every TV works individually and we have three Sky boxes so you can choose whatever sport you want to watch. Our food is also a big thing, great quality and all freshly made, plus we offer some great premium beers without the premium price tag. We actually have 11 different starting beers on tap.

“We have been open since August and we’ve had the Rugby World Cup, a season of football and the Six Nations – it’s been amazing. We can also show Formula One, golf, boxing, and the Olympics. With us, it’s about the sport, but all the offerings around that are what makes it such a great experience. The Scotland games so far have been mad, and we’ve really established ourselves as the place to be.

“For the Euros we will be offering a free pint if Scotland win and will be part of the huge fan zone planned for Merchant Square. It will have a brand-new laser projector plus bench seating, and you’ll be able to buy drinks from anywhere in the square.”

904A6C7A-41E8-4EDC-BA4F-F87EE41EB1C2 4 5005 cMalones, Aberdeen

Malones Aberdeen uses the slogan ‘Malones for atmosphere’ throughout its social media. This is no doubt because of its reputation for showing all sports and showcasing live music every night.

General Manager, Paddy McCrossan, explains, “In Malones it’s always easy to create a great atmosphere because of the layout of the pub; it’s a nice size and it’s really open, so once you get a couple of fans cheering it really takes off. “We have three Sky boxes, two outdoor TVs, eight indoor TVs and two projectors so for the Euros we’ll certainly have the Scotland flags flying. We’ll be showing all the games with sound and have live music on right after the games.

“We also show all the Irish sports and there’s not a lot of places around here doing that. The GAA is a big one for us. This peaks in August/September, so that’ll follow on nicely after the Euros.

“Obviously being an Irish bar we expect to sell a lot of Guinness. On an average week we sell 15/16 kegs and on St Paddy’s Day we sold 40! So, we certainly expect the summer sports season to be a busy time for that as well. We also have events in our Bit on the Side side bar – like two quiz nights and a new darts night.’There’s always something going on here at Malones.”

96013F55-DBFB-4289-9F4C-C28BF5995548The Imperial, Inverness

The Imperial in Inverness opened in December 2022 and is part of the Cru Hospitality family. It certainly has everything you would look for in a great sports bar including a pool table, darts, gaming machines, 13 TVs, three Sky boxes, TNT and Viaplay.

General Manager, Matthew Culley, explains more, “We are now primarily a sports bar. We have a pool team, a darts team and a dominoes team, plus we show all the sports with the commentary. We’re allowed under 18s in until 9pm if they are having food, so we can have families in to watch the sports as well. Everyone is welcome.

“Through the Euros we are showing every game. Our marketing team are planning full décor internally and externally and there will be free half time food for Scotland games. “Whilst the Euros will be a big one for us, we do all sports. We are very customer driven so if someone wants to come in and watch a certain sport then we can put that on for them with the commentary. We can show 3 different channels at once and tailor each area of the bar to a different sport if need be.

“We have been getting busier and busier. I obviously expect the Scotland games to be very busy, but we expect to get a good turn for some of the other games as well due to tourism in the area.”