Watch: The final days of The Admiral Bar as the 60 year-old pub prepares for last orders

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‘I’ve been around the scene for a long time, and there’s never been anything else like The Admiral’

Early last month GlasgowWorld reported that The Admiral Bar were to shut down after they were pushed out of their home on Waterloo Street in the city centre after a years-long battle with developers and the council.

The pub was, and continues to be, an institution in the city. An intimate venue that in its time has hosted some of the latest and greatest of Glasgow and beyond - including the likes of Billy Connolly, who frequented the venue with the late Gerry Rafferty in the 1970s.

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Paolo Nutini, James Murphy from LCD Soundsystem and Franz Ferdinand have been in the bar more than once in more recent times. Jimmy Page played the venue at least once before he became part of Led Zeppelin. The Cribs, and countless other influential names in the Scottish art and music scene all either played the stage or popped in for a pint at some point too.

Melting Pot was one of many club nights hosted at The AdmiralMelting Pot was one of many club nights hosted at The Admiral
Melting Pot was one of many club nights hosted at The Admiral | Contributed

Hundreds of regulars past and present poured out of the woodwork with messages of support when it was announced last month the venue would have to shut down. This week marks the last week The Admiral will open their doors to punters, as they have been served their notice to vacate the building by March 20.

The owners wanted one last hurrah at the old pub, so have kept the doors open right up until tomorrow, Saturday March 11. We visited The Admiral on Tuesday night, March 7 - to take part in their last ever quiz night.

We spoke with Dave Ross, one of three owners who’ve ran The Admiral for the last 18 years alongside Simon Small and Marc Ferrier. Dave said:”So I was previously with CPL that’s The Garage, The Cathouse and all that went out on my own in 2005. Met a couple of young dudes that were working in the spy bar at the time and the three of us took on this together.

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The Admiral also hosted other Scottish and Glasgow greats in the form of Gerry Love of Teenage Fanclub, Lewis Capaldi, Hipsway, The Apple Scruffs, SLAM, Al Murray, Bobby Bluebell, Gerard Butler, Kevin McDermott, H2O and Amber Swallows.

Many a great night was had in The Admiral over its 60 year historyMany a great night was had in The Admiral over its 60 year history
Many a great night was had in The Admiral over its 60 year history | Contributed

Dave Ross went on to speak about the closure of The Admiral, he said:“It's time to move on - there's a point because there's only so much stress and duress you can allow yourself to be put under - but don't for a minute and think this hasn't taken its toll. In the last couple of weeks, I've been so sad.

Despite the owners, staff, and friends of the pubs sadness over it’s closure, you’d be hard pressed to tell anyone in The Admiral was in mourning over the pub. The place was packed on Tuesday night with old friends gathered around the tables and booths for one last night at their favourite venue, it was hard to hear the questions over the sound of glasses clinking and clamorous laughter.

Speaking about the last days of The Admiral, Dave said:”Like last week, we took more than we did in any week over the Christmas period. You can hear the buzz, we're into the last quiz night and we’re having to knock people back because you don't want them standing for a quiz, obviously...

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“...It’s endless[The good times at The Admiral], the laughter, the fun, the atmposphere... it’s been fabulous.

“If there was a Cheers in Glasgow, it’d be The Admiral - it’s a community pub in the city centre. I’ve been around the scene for a long time, and there’s never been anything else like The Admiral.”

We visited The Admiral on their last ever quiz night - as they prepare to move to their new venue on the former site of The Woods - soon to become the Admiral Wood.We visited The Admiral on their last ever quiz night - as they prepare to move to their new venue on the former site of The Woods - soon to become the Admiral Wood.
We visited The Admiral on their last ever quiz night - as they prepare to move to their new venue on the former site of The Woods - soon to become the Admiral Wood. | Kaitlin Wraight

It’s not all over for The Admiral just yet though, as Dave Ross intends to take over The Woods - a pub just down the road from the original site on Waterloo Street, and a lot closer to Glasgow Central.

So the spirit of The Admiral will live on in this new pub, set to be called The Admiral Wood - named after a Scottish navyman and privateer who fought England in the 1400’s (it’s also a clever combination of ‘The Admiral’ and ‘The Woods’, if you hadn’t noticed).

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Tomorrow night, March 11, will see the Waterloo Street call last orders for the final time - before reopening under their new roof once the retrofit is complete.

The Admiral is dead, long live The Admiral Wood!

You can watch our last trip to The Admiral at the top of this article, or on Dailymotion.

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